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President's Day is a Time to Reflect - About What Your Official Holidays Are... (Bonus - My Top 5 Presidents)

Happy President's Day, suckers.

Who's actually off on President's Day?  More people than you might think.  Check out this graph of the percentage of US offices closed on various holidays (email subscribers, click through if you don't see the graph below):


Let's talk about that graph.  The big item in play in my eyes is Martin Luther King Jr. Day.  Strategically, your company needs to recognize MLK Jr. Day as an official holiday.  Some of you won't like that. Others will, and the rest will be neutral.

But strategically, you need to recognize MLK day.  But you don't want to add another holiday - I get it.  The process to get there is pretty simple - look at your official holidays and see what you can revoke as a holiday to make room for MLK.

Let's look back at a post I did on MLK day:

Next, you could look at your existing holidays.  I rank order them like this:

Untouchable - Christmas (birth of Jesus), 4th of July (birth of our country), Memorial Day (remembering those who served and gave their lives)

Less meaningful but still untouchable - Christmas Eve (wow - try it - I wish you luck) New Year's Day (just try and take that one), Thanksgiving (our right to remember Omish-like founders and eat large amounts of food), Labor Day (celebrating workers - try that one)

One you could trade out, but there would be hell to pay - Day after Thanksgiving (expected if you've already given it - hello entitlement!!)

Trade this one or one like it out for MLK in 2019 - President's Day, Columbus Day, etc.  (Let's face it, the presidents are on money, and damn, Columbus didn't even really discover America, right?)

If you want to give MLK as a holiday but want to stay even related to paid time off, this is your playbook.  1) Trade out President's Day or Columbus Day if have it.  2) If you have floating holidays or generalized PTO, reduce by one day and designate MLK as official in exchange. 3) Go get Friday after Thanksgiving or (winces) Christmas Eve to trade for MLK.

The clear target in holiday day revoking is President's Day.  If you recognize it but not MLK day, do the paperwork and announce you're switching it up.  President's Day is gone and MLK day is in.  Both are Mondays. Anyone who complains has a lot of time on their hands.

Presidents appear on money - it's OK to revoke a holiday that involves no activity or focus when people are off.  No one will miss it.

Celebrate this President's Day if you're off by doing something that's overdue.  Recognize MLK and put President's Day on the back-burner.

My top 5 presidents of all time, BTW:

5.  JFK - Icon. Who knows what would have happened had he lived?

4.  George W. Bush - Going to be criticized by many, but 9/11 is a waterfall event.  He led when he was needed. My take is what he did was a lot harder than anyone wants to give him credit for. Also, he seemed like a normal guy in many ways.

2. (tie) Obama - Furthest away from my politics, but a leader nonetheless.  I think the fact that he got into the job, found out how difficult it is being the leader of the free world (hello situation room and drone strike approvals) and was able to maintain his grace and composure was beyond reproach.

2. (tie) Reagan - Tear down this wall, m***** ******s.  Evil Empire goes down under his watch.  Advantage: US, but also the world in general.  Leadership with a capital "L".

1. Lincoln - There's only one Lincoln, baby. Read Team of Rivals to understand just how amazing Lincoln's time was and how far ahead of his time he was.  Plus he was a tall, angular dude.  I feel like I could throw it in to him in the post and get a bucket if I needed it.  If I throw it to Obama, the lefty is just going to shoot it.  

Also Receiving Votes: Washington, Teddy R, FDR.

Happy President's Day, fellow capitalists.  Hit me with your top 5 in the comments.




James Polk is never given enough credit for his annexation of Texas and much of the Pacific Coast


Amen -

Give me your five if you are willing!!



1. Washington
2. Lincoln
3. F.D.R.
4. Polk
5. Jefferson

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