The Value of Labor Day

So—it’s Tuesday on the calendar, but it’s Monday from my perspective. Yesterday was Labor Day, and I joined my family and friends for some fun at the lake. In the boat on the crystal clear green water, I wondered:

  • What are my colleagues doing to celebrate their Labor Day?
  • How does our nation manage to still even celebrate this day with our performance-pressure, deadline-driven, Wall Street oriented corporate culture?
  • Who was still at the office working and why was I the lucky one who really got to be off?

Congress made Labor Day a federal holiday in 1894. I think those sages knew better than us the answer to all these questions. Bottom line: we needed perspective. Back then, it was respite from the labor unions and the fields. Today, its time away from communication inundation via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, instant messenger, e-mail and our cell phones to name a few.

In my dual-income, one-kid, two-dog household, time is precious. Juggling business dinners, dance classes, my child’s homework, last week’s laundry and the proverbial “What’s for Dinner, Mom” saga, perspective isn’t about a 9-to-5 day and then home for tea-and-crumpets, its about the seven P’s: prior proper planning prevents piss-poor performance. The perspective should always be—what can be done today to prepare for tomorrow. Utilizing resources creatively helps maintain that balance and is the foundation for the ability to provide the cool, objective, wise-counsel our clients deserve.

I wasn’t at c21 when Sharon started the firm in 1992, but I know she wanted to create a great place to work that offered clients Remarkable Service and Real Results. She wanted a place where it was not about the billable hour, but about the final product. She wanted a place where employees felt compelled to cross the finish line and keep running. Her perspective has always been work hard, play hard. And so, to that end, I found myself on a glassy lake, with the wind in my face, celebrating the opportunity to labor—for a great company with an intelligent team that never gives up in the pursuit of what is best for their clients, community, colleagues and companions.

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