By Byron Middendorf
September 3, 2013
September 1 marks the 27th anniversary of the founding of Equinox Information Systems. Since 1986, I have worked for the same company. During that time, the logo on my business card has changed four times. The address has changed three times. The first card had my address and phone number. The second card added a fax number. The third saw the addition of an e-mail address and website. The fourth would not be complete without my mobile phone number.
I sit at my desk today surrounded by three monitors, one smartphone, and my desk phone. I am able to open multiple tabs to the internet, read e-mail from my business and personal accounts, and send and respond to texts. I have multiple tasks lists, iTunes and Pandora accounts, Instagram to check in on my son, Quicken to check my finances, and Amazon to provide my every wish within twenty-four hours. It seems that I am both metaphorically and literally—thanks to my social media account—LinkedIn!
These productivity tools have many benefits; however, sometimes they crowd out the activity that always precedes the birth of an idea, or twenty-seven years ago, the birth of a company. Do you remember these words: think; ponder; reflect? Now it seems that these “activities” have been pushed aside due to the pressure and/or shame I feel when my fingers are not on the keyboard and my eyes are not glued to a screen. When I walk by an employee's office and they are not physically and mentally engaged with a computer, it's easy for me to assume they are not working. They must feel the same way based on how their hands fly to the keyboard when I walk by!
I once had the privilege of attending a lecture by my favorite author, Pulitzer Prize winner David McCullough. An audience member asked David the percentage of time he spent researching and the percentage of time spent writing. McCullough answered by saying that he is often asked that very question. He went on to bemoan the fact that most inquirers left out the most important activity of his day—thinking—and the amount of time he spent on that activity. Evidently, that is where the magic is!
So on my anniversary, I vow to push back from the keyboard. I will think about what it's like to be an Equinox customer as well as an Equinox employee. I will reflect on our history and the path we have followed to success. And I will ponder the things we do well and areas in which we could improve for the future. And I can do all of this without my fingers on the keyboard and the pressure of a blank screen! I invite you to join me in using the same productivity tool used by Aristotle and Lincoln: your mind. No app required.
About the Author: Byron Middendorf is the CEO, owner, and founder of Equinox Information Systems, where he oversees the company's sales, marketing, implementation, and support initiatives. With over 30 years' experience in the telecommunications industry, Byron provides vision and long-term strategic development for the company and its complete suite of software solutions. Although he enjoys those tasks, he is most passionate about his mission to ensure that Equinox is a great place to work. To learn more about Equinox, its product, and staff, visit www.equinoxis.com or call (615) 612-1200.