Work hard, play smarter.
"In times of great stress or adversity, it's always best to keep busy, to plow your anger and your energy into something positive."
When I came across this quote from Lee Iacocca, it immediately became apparent to me how people might mistake Iacocca's advice as hard-nosed CEO's advice to channel negative energy into higher levels of productivity.
One of the greatly misunderstood American business values is determination. The idea of grit, self-reliance, and "buckling down" to meet a challenge is too often misinterpreted as a need to simply "work harder" in times of adversity.
You might be able to turn the sting of anger or weight of stress into motivation to make a change, but "doing more" isn't always going to be the most advantageous path in times of adversity. Iacocca doesn't say, "work harder," he actually only argues for focusing on "something positive."
That "something positive" might well be working shorter hours with better focus. Emerging research on personal and company productivity suggests that the time-honored workaholic's tradition of "longer hours doing more with less" doesn't result in higher levels of achievement.
In fact, a wide range of compelling evidence suggests that waves of concentration and effort are best paired with periods of positive recovery. Recovery may take the form of exercise, healthy food, naps, and other restorative, "non-work" activities which help us reset our focus, replenish our energy, and allow us to approach our challenges with a fresh perspective. (For an excellent read on this topic, check out Tony Schwartz' book, The Way We're Working Isn't Working.)
As everyone in real estate faces the challenges of a recession, it may be very tempting to preach the gospel of "just work harder," but giving in to what sounds good could ultimately be counterproductive to your success. Have you neglected to give yourself time to recharge, refuel, and reenergize yourself? Are you balancing hard work with healthy play? What's the "something positive" that will get you through?
Article written by Scott Levitt Oakley Signs & Graphics, Inc.
Something for us all to think about no matter what occupation we find ourselves doing.