TriActive America and http://www.triactivekids.com/ CEO James P. Sargen is preparing to take a well-deserved vacation. Here are his thoughts on the value of a respite:
“When you mention vacation in this contemporary go-go work environment, many busy executives think of two and three-day get aways to a fancy spa or resort, where they can take the family, with the kids frolicking in the pool or on the water slides, and the spouse with appointments at the spa or hitting the balls on the golf course. Add to this happy picture, cell phones in constant use, Bluetooth devices for blackberry or laptops.
The working spouse is on the job, sitting by the pool sipping a cool one, with mind and energy intent on that phone call, email or paper they were working on.”
What’s wrong with this scenario? The traditional vacation is treated like a dinosaur! Here’s how Jim defines a real vacation: “In the traditional vacation, you leave the work behind and recharge the battery, look at life as a big picture.” The problem with short-term breaks, where you focus on work rather than relaxation? “There can be very little rest or refreshment of the spirit in what passes for "mini vacations."
Cell phones, lap tops, blackberry devises are really nothing more than tools. On the job, they make work easier at the same time that they take the essesence of life and make it "instant." A plumber goes on vacation and leaves his tools at home. A carpenter does the same and this goes for most other jobs or careers. ”
But when you look at vacations in the corporate world, it’s a different story. “Move into the corporate world however, and whether you’re in finance, real estate, insurance, the law, or any of a series of other "white collar" type careers, the tools get taken with you,” says Jim.
“I remember years ago when I was developing the first of several regional shopping centers. I would go to International Council of Shopping Center Conferences and attend the sessions. At every break, hordes of fellow attendees rush to the banks of telephones outside the breakout rooms. I´d wander over and get a coffee and iced tea and relax, chat with others not in a hurry to get in communication with their offices.
I would be asked by others who managed large properties why I didn´t rush to the telephones. Didn´t I need to stay in contact with my office. My response was, no, I usually hired good people, trained them in their roles and allowed them to do their job.
If something came up, my employees were on the scene and should be able to deal with it. In over forty years in creating and managing companies, my attitude has never changed.”
“A well-run company is one where any one person will be missed when they are gone, but the company continues to succeed in spite of their absence,” says Jim. “It´s time to rethink the idea of a working mini vacation and go back to real vacations as times to relax, have fun, mix with family and friends and recharge the battery so that when you come back, your energy and drive are as good as the day you started the job!”