Has the college spring break become part of the culture of work?

It seems to me that we have just finally pushed through the traditional holiday season of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year, and now we are already taking off work, weeks at a time, for fun in the sun or on the slope. Spring is for growth, my friends and leaders, not breaks!

Now before you think I don’t appreciate time off and the importance of work/life balance, I assure you I do. I think we all need to take a step back, spend time with family, and rest. But spending so much time away in the ‘Growth Months’ can be a very expensive opportunity cost for you and your company. Building early momentum in the ‘Growth Months’ of the year, February through May, is one of the most important factors in achieving your business goals. And this momentum depends on everyone, including the leader. The business we build early in the year grows like an annuity all year. The new product sold in February is reordered again in July and September. The contract signed in April is fully completed and paid for by the end of the year.

There are so many things in our lives and businesses that we cannot control. We cannot always control the supply chain issues we are facing today; we cannot always control the political, economic, and global crises going on. But we can control when we focus on our work and drive towards momentum. And we must be leading it from the front. I would say that your value of time during the Growth Months is 3X compared to the impact later in the year. When you are leading and helping build your team’s momentum, your value is multiplied by the team’s engagement and growth all at the same time.

Remember the time and value exercise? What you earn (salary + distributions) divided by the hours you focus on work. You can triple your value by focusing on activities that will produce yearlong opportunities early in the year. I love this quote from Andy Rooney, “I’ve learned that opportunity is never lost; someone will take the ones you miss.” It is so true! Not only do we as leaders risk losing momentum early in the year, but we could potentially be losing opportunities permanently.

Seize momentum for the year now during these Growth Months.