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A Vacation From Technology


Jeff LeshinBy Jeff Leshin, Vice President, Sales and Marketing,


Ernest Communications

Believe it or not, I decided to take a week off from work, and go to Michigan on vacation. I know the next question, why Michigan?  OK, first of all my in-laws live in Michigan, and second the Upper Peninsula or UP is a great place to go and relax on a lake. So given the current cost of airfare and the fact that the 10 bags my wife packed would have cost a fortune, it seemed like a good idea to drive 12 hours to Michigan from Atlanta. After all, with our sons being ages 8 and 7, what could possibly go wrong?

I remember as a kid, the vacations we would take and the seemingly endless hours in the car, trying to do anything to fight off the boredom we faced. Fast forward to the technology society of today, and our boys spent almost the entire trip either playing their Nintendo DS1s, watching movies or playing Angry Birds on my 8-year-olds iTouch. Naturally, not to be outdone, in the front seat, instead of providing the crucial navigation information I might need, my wife spent her day on a combination of Angry Birds, Bejeweled, Facebook, texting or talking on her phone. In all fairness, I was excited to be listening to ESPN talk radio for most of the trip, so everyone had the driving experience enhanced by modern technology.

We had a great time in Michigan, and the good news is the kids spent the days outside playing and having fun without the aid of any technology.

I did get some reading time in during our trip. I happened to review the Forbes Aug. 8 edition that was focused on the Top 50 Innovative Companies of Tomorrow. I would strongly recommend picking up this edition as it gives a lot of insight into these companies. One article, Picking the Winners,” was extremely interesting and focused on what they called the skills of disruptive innovators:

The five skills of disruptive innovators are:

Questioning  allows innovators to challenge the status quo and consider new possibilities

Observing  helps innovators detect small details  in the activities of customers, suppliers and other companies  that suggest new ways of doing things

Networking  permits innovators to gain radically different perspectives from individuals with diverse backgrounds

Experimenting  prompts innovators to relentlessly try out new experiences, take things apart and test new ideas

Associational thinking  drawing connections among questions, problems or ideas from unrelated fields, triggered by questioning, observing, networking and experimenting and is the catalyst for creative ideas

Given the constant changing in our industry, it is crucial to think outside the box and embrace new ideas. This article and the overall content of this issue from Forbes is a great read for everyone involved in the channel.

Jeff Leshin has more than 23 years of telecommunication background in both the direct and indirect sales channels. He is currently vice president of sales and marketing for Ernest Communications, a privately held national provider that specializes in multilocation consolidation. Leshin started on the channel side in the mid-1990s with Cable & Wireless and managed key partnerships in the western region. He also spent several years at Acceris in San Diego as the vice president of sales, developing its national agent program. He also is a member of the 2010-11 Channel Partners Conference & Expo Advisory Board.


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