Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Sleep Deficit

These have been busy days for me. Today I was at an awesome YPO seminar. More on that later.

I read a very interesting article from the Harvard Business Review, October 2006 Edition called, Sleep Deficit the Performance Killer. A conversation with Harvard Medical School Professor Charles A. Szeisler is highly discouraging. His view is that we all get too little sleep and not getting enough sleep hurts our performance and our productivity. He even goes as far as thinking companies should have a "sleep policy" that don't allow people to take red-eye flights and allow for people to make time zone adjustments.

In reading the article, I do believe there are a number of valid points and I do think I should work more on sleeping properly.

There was a short paragraph on how to stay awake when you need to stay awake (certainly not a main point of the article which strongly encourages sleep). The obvious points were:

- drink caffeine (I rarely drink coffee except when I need to stay awake), although I do drink the occasional soda and tea (usually green tea)

- take naps if they are brief (less than an hour) (and I am a big advocate of a 21 minute nap. )

- exercise (I use this one)

- being in an upright position (duh)

- and exposure to bright light

One comment he made is "it is not heroic to deprive oneself of sleep". Food for thought.

I read a great book by Marty Neumeier called the Brand Gap (even though I am busy, I still take some breaks). As you know, I am a big fan of marketing and branding books. One of the quotes from the books is, "Trust creation as a fundamental goal of brand design."

The book talks about the value of brand versus no brand and usually uses the example of how much people are willing to pay for Coke versus a no name product that arguably tastes substantial similar but doesn't have the brand.

The three questions about branding to ask are:

Who are you?
What do you do?
Why does it matter?

I always remember that branding is not in the mind of the company rather it is in the mind of the customers. It is what the customers truly perceive you as.

Branding is not about logos, slogans, or advertising. Those all help create a brand but those are not the brands in itself.

Part of my interest in branding has to do with my interest in strategy as I believe they are linked.


At 2:39 PM, Blogger LaunchPOS said...

Dear Jim,

I was catching up on your blog late last night and I am a bit concerned about your issues with sleep. It seems to be re appearing frequently in your blog and as one of your fans... it obviously gives me concern.

Perhaps 2 of the linked articles I found at True Star Health will help.

Sleeping Well Away From Home

Tips For Better Sleep Tonight

Jim I must thank you for posting so many great reviews of the books you read... I am trying to keep up with your readings (and postings) and appreciate the wisdom you are adding to my life.

You recently asked how your blog might help Synnex... for what it is worth... it's turned me into a loyal customer!

At 9:51 PM, Blogger Kevin Dee said...

Jim ... I was recently introduced to your blog and am enjoying your posts. I recently "blogged" about the importance of being healthy as an executive. Sleep was one of the issues I dealt with:

There were four blogs in total, the introduction:

One of the blog entries was about diet:

The other entry was about exercise:

Hope you get something from this.


Kevin Dee, CEO
Eagle Professional Resources Inc.

At 10:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good Evening Jim,

Thank you for such a great blog and your comments on retail challenges. I absolutely agree on the fact that there is no etiquette and huge service problems in any retail company. Having experience in that area with several companies as an employee and of course, as a customer, I've made several general observations:

1. Retail workers are unmotivated to sell well, unless they are the company owners
2. There is very little training put into retail staff
3. There is huge employee turnover in most of the companies
4. Finding good sales people for a store is a major challenge for the owners, and a minor issue for managers
5. Society treats retail sales people as a labour which generates a reason for the most of issues outlined above


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