Leda Writes for Fintech Futures: Caffeine and angry bankers

Dr Leda Glyptis 11:FS Foundry CEO
5min read

Every Thursday, Leda Glyptis, 11:FS Chief of Staff creates #LedaWrites. This week she turns her attention to City Airport, coffee and banking.

Recently, I was sitting at City airport, after a 5am alarm, observing the suited crowds lose their cool at the delays at security and the crowded, overpriced cafés as half of London’s bankers seemed to be zooming off to meetings on early Monday morning shuttles, all crisp shirts and sleepy faces.

Filled with under-caffeinated righteous indignation. Picking fights with the security guards. Picking fights with each other. Berating the baristas. Bumping into fixtures and fittings and huffing loudly.

Being busy is a badge of honour in a bank.

“Have you seen my diary?” is one of the most common laments in the industry.

Back-to-back meetings with assistants valiantly squeezing 30-min sessions in wherever they can. Sessions that you will be a few minutes late for, because no time was allowed to wait for the lift, say hi to a client coming out of the meeting room across yours, going to the bathroom or running over because 30 minutes is not enough time for every type of conversation, it turns out.

So everything runs a little late as you run from call to meeting, a little out of breath, flicking through your calendar to remind yourself what the next thing is about, flicking through the background material as the presentation kicks off, one eye on your emails, shooting off three word answers to important questions because you can’t manage to type much more than that while you walk.

When you run around like this, openly and unashamedly leaving yourself no time to do any work, any thinking, any team development, any learning of your own. Not to mention any living.

You work yourself to the ground, pile on the hours, the anti-social flights and late meetings, the weekend email clear-outs and late night responses leaving juniors quavering in fear of the early morning inbox harvest.

You are busy.

You are rushed.

You live on caffeine and the hope that nothing will require more than 30 minutes worth of attention because, truth be told, you can’t remember the last time anything required concentration and you are not sure you remember how to do it.

Senior folks are rushed. They have no time. They have no bandwidth.

What’s clever about that? What’s useful about that?

So stop.



And rejoin the fray.

With better habits. Less haste, more speed. And a radically different way of establishing authority, managing organisations and measuring success.

I will be keeping an eye out on the crowds at city airport, early on a Monday morning, in the hope that the taste for caffeine is all that remains of the way we insist to be doing things today.

Read the whole story atFintech Futures.