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Engaging Business Breaks

October 23, 2012

The drive to Oswego was breathtaking. The orange and red leaves on the trees were swirling around in the wild autumn wind. The panoramic view of the country roads between Syracuse and Oswego confirmed this short business trip was going to be well worth it – if only for the picturesque view. Little did I know, I would gain great insight for today’s editorial by leaving work behind for a couple hours.

 I was invited to SUNY Oswego to be a part of an accreditation interview for its Business School. Most accredited college programs periodically go through a rigorous internal and external evaluation process to earn official approval of its programs. I enjoyed lunch and conversation with an esteemed accreditation representative, another Oswego State business graduate, two members of the Oswego business community, and a sharp 19 year old business major.

As the evaluator asked us how we help Oswego’s business program, we gave diverse answers. The staff member’s responsibility was to form good “town and gown” business relationships so both entities prosper together. For the alumni board representatives, our goal was to promote the college’s business school. For the student, he advised younger classmates about upcoming coursework to make the process easier. For the community leader, she helped the economic development for the city and its relationship with the college.

As I drove home I realized the importance of taking time to be involved with something other than one’s work. As entrepreneurs we live and breathe our companies 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. When we agree to get involved with something unrelated to our daily entrepreneurial focus, we open ourselves up to new insight. If you read the success strategies today, you’ll find some terrific business take-aways from my time at the Oswego meeting. 
Today’s post is to encourage you to take time away from your business periodically to meet with people unrelated to your company, to engage in diverse conversations that tantalize your thinking, and to share insights with people you normally wouldn’t meet. Although it was difficult to be away from my desk during a busy event week, it refreshed and energized me because I changed my environment for half a day.

Remember we all need breaks from time to time – breaks from our business, escapes from our workload, and getaways with new people. Meaningful time away from work can be a positive impact on our personal and professional development.

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