Miss me? The screed was silent the last two days. I did what for some is the unthinkable – I took a break. For the 18th consecutive year, 11 of my dearest friends and I went away to play golf. At least, that was the original idea. It turns out, however, that the trip is more about hanging around with the other guys, laughing, playing cards, eating too much, and generally decompressing than it is playing golf. All of us are over 50; some are over 60. Everyone is in a senior position within their business and industry. Everyone carries a smart phone of some type and most everyone had a laptop along on the trip. What was interesting was how some of the guys chose to use them and this is the point I’d like to make today.
I often rode in a van (we travel with 4 guys in each van) with a guy who immediately got on the phone to do business as soon as the door to the van shut. An efficient use of time but it had a couple of negative effects. Obviously, we had to turn down the music in the car and couldn’t talk very loudly to one another. More importantly, it was a subtle reminder to those of us who were trying to tune out the “real” world for a couple of days and enjoy the benefits of a vacation – lowered stress, avoiding burnout, etc. that the rest of the world hadn’t taking a break and maybe we shouldn’t be either.
A couple of other guys jumped on their laptops to do business in one suite apart from the rest of the group and it wasn’t a 5 minute mail check – it was an hour or more each day. Where I drew the line was the guys who were taking business calls on the golf course. Fortunately, each time they did it there was a $5 fine paid into the group’s pool for tips, etc.
This isn’t a rant against the technology. Instead, it’s a rant against those of us who can’t take a break. I like to think of myself as a responsible businessperson but part of being responsible is putting in place a support system to handle stuff when you’re not there (or get sick!) as well as communicating to others that you are taking a break. The break helps you better serve them, keeps you fresh, often generates news ideas and helps you live longer (there is research!).
Where have I been? Recharging my batteries. Thanks for caring!