At the end of next week, Ptex Group will be closing its doors for a few short days.
Our hardworking team plans to celebrate the wonderful Jewish holiday of Pesach (Passover) and will honor this beautiful, timeless tradition… by taking a vacation from the office.
Dozens of studies show it is both healthy and important to periodically take a break from our hectic work schedules. And the reason is quite simple.
As humans, we’re all creatures of habit. We have our morning routine. Our work routine. Our pre-meeting routine. We all just like to get into a rhythm and keep it that way.
After all, sticking to a routine is the key to being productive. Successful people are well-known as sticklers for routine. Routine provides structure. It establishes a sense of security.
Which makes having to change routine so hard.
It means tearing down the habits we worked so hard to create. It means demolishing the cocoon of security around us. Forgetting what we always knew.
Yesterday, I learned this lesson firsthand.
Along with millions of Americans, I’ve been avidly following the 2016 election process. It’s been a wild, turbulent spectacle, and has commanded everyone’s attention.
We’ve seen how one man took the entire political system and threw it into a complete frenzy. I’m referring, of course, to Donald Trump.
Now, don’t worry – I’m going to steer clear of the political arena, and in no way is this an endorsement. However, I feel there are always valuable business lessons to be learned from current events.
Agree with him or not, there is no denying that Trump has positioned himself as the odds-on favorite to win the GOP nomination. To many, this has been nothing short of an astonishment. Astute businesspeople will notice, however, that he has simply applied a couple of basic, winning business concepts to his campaign:
Reid Hoffman (no relation), co-founder of LinkedIn, has a famous quote which resonates with entrepreneurs:
“If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late.”
It’s a simple but revealing maxim. And, truth be told, it’s one not reserved for entrepreneurs orbusiness owners, but applicable to every single one of us.
Many people tinker and re-tinker with their assignment, their product or their business – all in the name of “making it perfect”. In reality, though, that perfectionism is just procrastination in disguise.
The reason people procrastinate?
I’m always amazed how the greatest business insights can sometimes come from the most unexpected places.
On a recent flight back from Israel, I struck up a conversation with one of the stewards. We made a little small talk, and soon our chat turned to his job. During the course of our discussion, he lamented to me that, although he always tried to be friendly to every passenger, he had no real business incentive to be cordial.
He described the startling lack of employee appreciation. There was no recognition from his superiors for better customer service. No compliment for going the extra mile. Positive feedback was from passengers, not superiors. The only way to get noticed? Publish something foolish on social media. Boy, would that work!
Instead, he explained, the employee growth module of this airline was, essentially, “survival of the fittest.” Been here for 4 years? Congratulations on lasting this long, here’s a raise.
This is a very troubling and flawed model.
Let’s face it. Today’s business world is more difficult than ever.
Now, I’m sure many of you are probably thinking, “what are you talking about? Modern technology has made staying connected easier than ever!”
Allow me to explain.
The daily bombardment of phone calls, texts, emails, status updates, and other messages flying across our screens has really made us more detached and out of focus. We’re constantly being pulled in a thousand different directions. Spreading ourselves too thin.
As a result, our stress levels have risen and our productivity has suffered.
However, there are those who, despite the available distractions, seem to be productive no matter what.
What’s their secret?
2016 is just a couple of days away.
Many businesspeople know that the change in the calendar year is a great time to set goals for the next year.
But not too many know that there is a step prior to setting goals – the mindset.
Smart businesspeople know that there is no straight path to success. There are many confusing twists and turns, and it’s easy to get lost. To simply keep moving to try to find your way out is counterproductive.
Just ask Richard Bauer.
It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of building company culture.
Showing your appreciation to each employee is critical. Countless studies show that positive employee engagement will impact a business’s success. Successful leaders can build a workplace culture that gives their company a competitive advantage.
So this past Chanukah, I decided to demonstrate my appreciation to the hardworking team at Ptex Group – but in a slightly different way than in previous years.
I quietly created a special Chanukah Goody Booklet for each employee that was mailed directly to their home. Inside the booklet were various gift options for our employees and their families to choose from.
To make all this happen, I had to take a little trip down to a place that most people dread: the post office.
We all know what a nightmare the post office can be. Long lines. Confusing signs. Gloomy decor. Apathetic workers. Even longer lines.
My experience this time was no different.