Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Keep your saw sharp during the Holidays

Wishing you all a Happy Thanksgiving, and safe travels if you’re flying or driving in this crazy weather east of the Mississippi. We tend to live, work and socialize among some of the world’s most fortunate people. Keep that in mind as the so-called “stress” of the Holidays raises your blood pressure around the office or at family gatherings. We leave and breathe deadlines every day, but I know that’s something we all need to do better here at HB.

Don’t take your eye off the blade and sharpen the saw

Also, with year-end budgets, reports, forecasts and contracts bearing down on us, it seems there’s precious little time to get our “Day Jobs” done. But, you have to find a way to do so or you’ll be sorry come January. Management guru Stephen Covey once quipped, too many managers complain "they don't have time to sharpen the saw, because they’re too busy sawing!"

But you’ve got to keep the saw sharp. You’re going to have unexpected delays, breakdowns and snafus this time of year. The key is to adjust and set reasonable expectations, not to point fingers at yourself, your managers or your staff who didn’t bring their “A Games” on a particular day.

Be exuberant, but not irrationally so

Yesterday, the NASDAQ closed above 4,000 for the first time in 13 years. Venture capital investment’s up 17 percent over this time a year ago, according to the National Venture Capital Association. There’s a renewed boom in subprime lending, according to today’s New York Times. And despite higher mortgage rates, single family home prices posted big gains in September and home construction permits rose to their highest level in five-and-a-half years, according to October government data.  

It’s easy to get complacent this time of year since macro-economic factors look pretty rosy and we know many of you have enjoyed an uptick in business this year. Remember, part of this uptick is several years’ worth of pent-up demand and doesn’t necessarily mean you can forecast it again next year. Figure out how much is sustainable and how much is ad hoc. If you’ve had a good year, make sure you know why you’ve been successful (and not just lucky). Make sure you can duplicate that success and you have invested prudently in technology and staffing to meet that demand—but not over-invested.

Our blog has more as well as the FREE Resources page of our website.

Tags: National Venture Capital Association, Thanksgiving, Stephen Covey, sub-prime lending, NASDAQ 4,000


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