After much anticipation, my wife and daughter finally got their new kitten, Stanley. Watching this ball of energy chase its tail reminded me of a recent article in The Harvard Business Review called “Crazy Busy: The New Status Symbol.”
In summary, Americans don’t respect leisure time.
In the old world order, leisure was a status symbol. Today, according to research shared in the article a lack of leisure time causes “one to be held in high regard.” To me, this is backwards. Poor organization, lack of delegation, not being surrounded by a top notch team, and/or not leveraging technology are common causes of a crazy busy life.
Michael Gerber, author of the eMyth, states “work should give life, not take it.” I agree. Every year, we take an extended spring break. When working, I have two standing days a week that I work from home allowing me to enjoy little things like lunch with my wife or talking with my kids while doing a school drop off or pick up.
There are times where I have “crunch time.” But whether for me or those who work with me, if crunch time is all the time, it loses its meaning.
In this final post in the series, I share thoughts on innovation and preparing for growth through education.
Professor Stewart Friedman in Work+Home+Community+Self from the September issue of Harvard Business Review states the third leadership principle is being innovative.
Friedman shares six strategies for being innovative to support the earlier described “four way win” concept. They are:
Being results focused
Challenging the established way of doing things
Envisioning new ways to do things
Embracing change with a creative spin
Creating an innovation culture
At Intertech, innovation is woven into the fabric of who we operate. For example, once a year, through our FedEx Day employees have 24 hours to work on anything they choose. Also, once a year, we hold a town hall–where the leadership team is absent–and the employees have an open discussion on what we should start doing, stop doing, and continuing doing as well as identify strengths and weaknesses in the firm.
Personally, I spend a month away somewhere warm every January with my family. Most mornings start with a pot of coffee and reflection, envisioning the future, and brainstorming goals and plans to make those goals a reality.
To help prepare for leading a larger organization and think in new ways, I read a variety of magazines, blogs, and books, attend executive education–I’ll be headed to the London School of Business in March–and participate in Entrepreneur’s Organization (EO).
Friedman states “leading the life you want is a craft. As with music, writing, dance or any athletic endeavor, you can always get better at it by practicing.”