Holidays are an interesting phenomenon in American business. They’re also an interesting study in human behavior. This year, the 4th of July obviously falls on a Wednesday. When I became aware of that a few weeks ago, I warned my Team, “Most people will use this as an excuse to destroy an entire week of work.” As I write this on Tuesday, July 3, the universe has not disappointed me…
The out of office replies, voice mail greetings, excuses and stalls began promptly yesterday morning:
“Well, with this being a holiday week, I don’t know if we can get that done.”
“Most of our folks are out for the holiday week.”
“I’m trying to reach so-and-so, but you know, with the holiday and everything.”
But there is another breed out there. People who keep going, no matter what. I have a lunch meeting today. When I set it up last week, this person said, “I love holidays, because I love getting stuff done with other people who love getting stuff done…while other people are taking time off.” Top performers will no doubt take tomorrow and celebrate the 4th of July. But what they WON’T DO is allow it to destroy their week and use it as a crutch and an excuse for doing nothing, or for providing an object example of mediocrity.
We all need time to relax. It’s healthy. It’s necessary. I’m not against that. What annoys me is people and company cultures that routinely use holidays as an excuse to avoid performing and delivering. I would even submit to you that high performers who squeeze every ounce of productivity out of a holiday week actually enjoy their holiday MORE, because they got stuff done, vs. hiding out and trying to avoid work for days ahead of time.
So how about you? How do you approach holidays?