How To Optimize Holidays With Your Mentor, Manager, And Staff

Giving the wrong gift in a corporate setting is the best-case scenario, it’s gonna be really awkward. The worst-case scenario. It could seriously impact your career. 

We are talking about that today and diving into gifts to give your mentors, your managers, and your employees, no matter where you sit in the organization. Also, we’re gonna touch base on how to choose impactful friends in your life and surround yourself with winners so that you can be a winner yourself.

Question one, How do you qualify potential friends to have in your life?

For me to have somebody in my life, as a friend, somebody that I spend time with, they must be  exceptional, at something in their lives. Because think about this. If I’m spending time with someone, that means I’m not spending time with my children, or I’m not spending time on the business making more money for my family and my loved ones to thrive and have an amazing life. So, that said the person that I’m spending time with as a friend must be absolutely exceptional in some area of their lives, that could be work or something exceptional in the business realm. Like they just know something or some skill, absolutely top tier that could also be morally or spiritually that could also be health-related, etc. Because those are the people I want to be around. 

It’s not about having everybody the same and everybody has the same personality and the crowd is this just everybody’s the same and looks the same and acts the same. Does that happen? That’s the opposite of what I want, but exceptional people are who I’m going for. If I’m gonna be friends with someone, I want them to be exceptional so that I can also bring a lot to the table and so that we can both grow from that relationship and achieve amazing things. 

So, let’s talk about gifts for different types of people in your life. 

The first is what do you buy a mentor for a gift? The number one answer to what kind of gift to buy a mentor is something unique and custom or rare. That’s what you’re looking for. It’s not about the money because if that person’s successful or they’ve achieved a lot, they actually don’t need more rich people, things, or something that just, you can go swipe a credit card and buy. 

What that person’s looking for is something that they can smile, know that there’s a ton of thought put into that and that it’s something that either took a huge effort to find, or that’s something super custom to them or it’s something that has value outside of monetary. That’s my number one advice. 

So for instance, one thing you can do for a mentor or somebody that’s been very meaningful to you and, given a lot of value to your life that is very successful or way ahead of you in their career is to get them a custom item. These are things like there are many custom watchmakers that make very custom, beautiful watches for very inexpensive. Now they look incredible, but you can do things like engrave their name on the back and do all these things and you’re not buying them a Rolex. You’re buying them something that’s custom to their specifications, that they would like.

Another thing that’s amazing is that it’s extremely custom and is something like a bobblehead with their face on it. So you put their face on a bobblehead or something. That’s very custom to them. If they like a sports team, you throw that sports Jersey on them. If they like golf, you put a freaking golf club on their hand or you just make it custom to them. What do they like, cool shoes or a cool suit or a cool hat with their favorite sports team or the college that they went to. Those things go so far. It shows that you thought about them, you know, a thing or two about them and you went out of your way to customize and planned this. 

This will be on their shelf or their desk and their office forever. They will never throw this away and always think of you when they do this. Not only is it not expensive, but it also is not about price. This is maybe a hundred dollars purchase, right? But what it does to them and the value that it gives them is so valuable. It’s so positive and it’s so thoughtful. 

A third example for a mentor. If they’re into like, or people with a high level of achievement, oftentimes they drink something and they prefer something. So if you’re gonna go down the wine route, find a wine. That’s a 99-plus or 98-plus-rated bottle. That’s not necessarily expensive, but extremely rare. What was a big blip on the radar for the wine industry? If they’re in to say whiskeys, there are a ton of whiskeys that are rare and have won certain awards in different countries that are amazing gifts that maybe look rare or are hard to find. 

You want to find the highest-end liquor store that you can find. That’s a non-chain and you want to talk to their booze, broker, their liquor, broker, their spirits, broker, talking to that person. You find a rare bottle and say, how would I get this? How would I find it? and that person could help you track it down and buy it through that store.

Between those three, the number one rule is rarity and customization, and thoughtfulness. That’s what you want for a mentor and it will pay dividends and they will never forget the gift.

“Thoughtfulness and intentionality over price tag win every single time. “

Let’s dive into Manager Gifts. Now here’s a good thought: take care of your managers, people that are extremely important to your business, people that run major portions of an important business that makes everybody’s lives better. So managers are unique because there is this balance of something that’s really important to them or  a huge bonus is the number one thing that you could give most managers, but it’s not thoughtful. It’s just easy, right? and while it would make a good impact in their lives, doing something that’s extremely rare and creative and all that stuff, it would be very thoughtful, but by the impact on their lives less. 

So far as a mentor, it’s really valuable to source something that’s rare or hard to find or unique that no one else is gonna be able to provide, for a manager. You want to provide something that’s somewhere in the middle that will benefit their daily life. But also that is thoughtful as well. 

The best balance for a manager’s gift is to balance something that will improve their daily life, but also be thoughtful and engaging. If you do this correctly, this is an opportunity to connect with your managers and spend time with them and build something and build a memory possibly, etc.

So what I would say with managers is if they’re crucial to the business, then take care of them, make sure that they have bonus structures that are ongoing for achievement, and make sure that they have end-of-year bonus structures that benefit them for their hard work throughout the year and then also make time to spend time with those people and connect so that you guys have a relationship that’s more than just a bland, dry, see each other in the office, go do your own thing that you actually connect and you both care about how that other person’s life is going and you want them to have a good life and be successful. 

Those are always the best situations for a workplace for key people in that organization. 

So for some examples of that outside of just the bonus structure that I talked about, go to events, go see things that are gonna be memorable, that you guys are both gonna be like. That was incredible. Also, plan events, where you can get a bunch of people and you guys can enjoy the company of maybe multiple people at the company or multiple friends do things that are not work-centered, and get out of the office and make memories together. 

If you’re an employee and you’re looking for something to get your manager as a gift, you want to think of something personal that is very catered to their life and what’s important to them. So that might be tickets to a baseball game for them to take their kids or some kind of event that they’re into. That’s very meaningful to them, or maybe a gift certificate to a restaurant. If they’re a foodie, right? 

A gift from an employee to a manager should highlight how much, you know, and appreciate the important things about them and their lives and if you lead with that, it’s gonna be a great gift 

Next is an employee’s gift. When it comes to employee gifts, you’re thinking about what to give the wider scale of, let’s say, frontline workers or day-to-day employees, etc.  

My favorite thing to do is something that’s a celebration of the achievements of the team. When you can do that, it brings the team together in a massive way, whether it’s something as simple as going bowling or going to some kind of event together or getting everyone together, but take the time at that event to celebrate those employees and let they know specifically what they did and call out the people that are doing a great job and what they’re doing. Even something as simple as circulating an email, giving a round of applause to several employees for crushing a project that they worked on, etc, it’s about recognizing their achievements and celebrating those.

So, strategically in an organization. If you can bring a bunch of people together and make memories as a company and especially highlight key individuals or a team effort, I think that’s great. It unifies the team a ton. It brings in a ton of morale and positivity and just a really, a great strategy and a great opportunity to connect with everybody together 

Then, How do you navigate time off during the holidays both for you and your employees?

When it comes to holidays and time off for employees, yourself, and your team as a whole, it greatly depends on the industry, but let’s talk about the most difficult, which is retail. At our peak in the previous company, we had something like 45 employees at one time. Most of them were on the younger side. Most of them were frontline employees. So you can imagine what scheduling must have been like for that crowd during the holidays. 

Managing scheduling of employees during holidays is all about compromise. Who’s taking which days and why especially for managers, you need to get way ahead of it. Let’s say a handful of months and just say, who has plans on which holidays and why? Typically in retail, it’s gonna be an arm wrestling match between all of them to figure out who takes which ones. But some managers you’re gonna see naturally are just like this holiday is less planned or less organized, or I have nothing on the plate for this holiday. Those are easy wins. The tough ones are when you say look, and you give one of their superiors the ability to sort through it with them, then it’s just a kind of compromise. People can split shifts, they can do different things to make sure that everybody attends what they need to. But at the end of the day, you gotta cover your basis as a company and that’s part of being a manager at any company yourself.

In a more office environment, it’s less about scheduling and it’s more about responsibility coverage. It’s making sure that when things come up on holidays, just who runs point on what emergencies and what that looks like. If something comes up. So we’re in real estate, we deal with a lot of that. So if there’s something like a literal building on fire, or there’s literally like a level 10 emergency, we wanna know which property managers are in which place to receive what calls on holiday. 

From there, they have our cell phone numbers, they have our emails, they know how to get in contact with us and they’re also professional enough to understand where the line is. So they’re not calling us because there’s a clogged toilet. They’re calling us because there’s a level 10 fire emergency. 

So if you draw the line and make it clear where those lines are and you identify who’s handling what, that handles about 95% of issues, planning holidays around responsibilities of the company, it’s important going into holidays and certain events that you are thinking through the gifts that you give people and being thoughtful about what gifts would give the biggest impact to the recipient and just a reminder, if you’re trying to make sure that you’re efficient with your money, when buying gifts, typically the further out ahead of the purchase, you are the less expensive it’s gonna be. Cause you can sit down and think through an amazing gift and if it’s something that’s custom, you have the lead time to get a custom gift. 

As it gets closer to the time that you need to give the recipient the gift, it’s going to be more expensive because to get the same level of thoughtfulness and the same level of quality from something that you can’t customize, you’re gonna pay for it. That’s just the nature of gift giving. 

Navigating holidays for me has changed quite a bit throughout my lifetime.  Early on I pretty much just worked huge chunks of traveling and that’s not good for anybody. That’s not good for me cause I’m not really recharging. That’s not good for the people I’m going on those vacations or those trips with, because we’re not really engaging. I’m kind of disengaged in thinking about work. If I’m doing that.

As I fast forward to today, the goal is not to run a full workday from wherever I’m at. The goal is to just check in probably once or twice a day, overview everything that’s going on, and make sure that things are moving and if they’re not moving or there are any snags on things that should be happening, then I’m checking in and addressing those right away. Basically, I’m looking for urgent things and putting those out. If there’s a huge issue in the business that needs my immediate attention, I’m giving it my immediate attention with the boundary of whoever’s bringing that knowing not to cross that line into something where they can handle it on their own and I don’t need to be involved, etc, because it’s no longer a delegation. If people just bring you stuff over and over, if people just bring you stuff over and over to solve the problems of their responsibilities, you’re not delegating effectively. So it’s drawing the boundary and letting people that have tasks delegated to them, handle that while you’re gone, just like when they’re out of the office, other people are gonna handle their work and not cross the boundary with them as well. 

So more or less while I’m traveling, I’m making sure that I’m engaged in big items and I’m available for emergencies. But outside of that, I’m really trying to enjoy my vacation and enjoy my time off so that I can recharge and come back to the office as the recharged, focused, energized person that my team needs me to be as well. 

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Frequently Asked Questions:

What does it mean to optimize your holidays?

Optimizing your trip is making the most of your time and resources to have a rewarding and pleasurable getaway. This might involve preparing an itinerary, budgeting for expenditures, and identifying methods to save money and time.

What are some tips for planning an itinerary for my holiday?

When planning an itinerary for your holiday, consider the following tips:
1.Determine your destination and what you want to see and do
2.Research travel and accommodation options
3.Make a list of must-see attractions and experiences
4.Plan a flexible schedule that allows for unplanned activities
5.Allow for travel time and rest days

What are some ways to save money while traveling?

Some ways to save money while traveling include:
1.Booking travel and accommodations in advance
2.Choosing off-peak travel times to take advantage of discounts
3.Staying in budget-friendly accommodations, such as hostels or Airbnb rentals
4.Eating at local markets or street food vendors instead of restaurants
5.Taking advantage of free activities, such as hiking and exploring parks