I recently wrote about the early days of my credit union career. At that time I did a lot of traveling, primarily by car and throughout Florida. Through my career I’ve traveled regularly but not enough to wear the soles of my shoes. On a recent trip I was thinking about how much travel has changed. When I started working there were no cell phones, laptops or email. I would call into the office once a day to check in but other than that I was disconnected from the day to day activities. Today of course our office is where we are and it travels with us. With just a smart phone we keep up with all of our calls and emails, we can view documents, and we can participate in video conferences. Overall, incredible progress and no doubt technology has enhanced our productivity. But I do miss the days when a “business trip” was really a chance to escape for a few days. That time, whether sitting in a car or on an airplane was an incredible opportunity for a fresh perspective and clear thinking. The road less traveled now seems to be part of the information highway. When I go to conferences it’s always interesting how many people are reading email rather than listening to the speaker. And yes, I’m often one of those people. I know it would be valuable to “disconnect” from time to time but it is difficult to do. I suspect the next reality TV show following Intervention and Hoarders will be people unable to go a day without their smart phone. I’ll be surrounded by family and friends as the cameras are rolling. . . “Jim, everybody here loves you like crazy…”

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