The Beltway Executive Last-Minute Gift Guide

Last-minute Christmas panic gifts are not difficult to spot: an “In the Kitchen with Karl Rove“ cookbook; wasabi-scented bath soap; an iTunes gift card that can only be redeemed for Kevin Federline “songs.” Christmas is four days away, and yet 35 million Americans seem to be rolling the dice when estimating their ability to find something great at the last minute.

And for the Beltway CXO looking for gifts that will inspire employees, partners and customers – look no further. I’ve assembled a handy last-minute gift guide that will leave them buzzing for weeks (note to executive: aforementioned buzzing may or may not be positive in nature).

images.jpgFor the Federal Agency Customer:

Executives looking to recognize that special Federal Agency employee while at the same time staying under the $20 gift limit are not out of luck. Might I suggest an IPv6 handbook. Nothing says Merry Christmas like a step-by-step guide to transitioning to the new protocol. (P.S. – re-gifting last year’s IPv4 handbook could in fact cause that Agency’s communications network to implode)

For the Employee:

Beltway executives do not want the hard work of their employees in 2007 to go unnoticed. The long hours, time away from family and devotion to the cause were paramount to your firm’s success. Respond in kind by giving that special employee a “5 Day Telework Gift Card.” That’s right: leave employees smiling with a gift card that can be redeemed for five full days of telework in 2008. You’ll be the hero of the staff, and it will be weeks before they read the find print stating that the gift cards are not valid in the contiguous United States or between the hours of 8am-6pm.

For the Subcontractor:

They helped you land that huge IDIQ contract with the Department of Education and now, it is time to let them know how much you care with a framed copy of the Sub’s 8a certification letter – complete with autographs from the entire SBA management team.

For the CEO of the Company You Acquired:

You bought his/her company for $200 million, and now that person could effectively bathe in caviar every day and still have millions left over in the bank. Bottom line: You’ve done enough for them this year, no gift required.

For the CEO of the Competitor who beat you out on the big contract:

constellations.gifAs a child my grandmother eschewed traditional holiday gifts that kids might actually want (i.e. – toys, games) in favor of a certificate that arrived every year notifying me that a constellation had been purchased in my name. This gift was about as useful as the U.S. savings bonds that she sent every year for my birthday paying .00005 percent interest. (in fact, I believe the postage stamp used to mail the Bond was worth more than the Bond itself). Now that I’ve aged it is clear that the Constellation in fact makes the perfect gift…for that CEO at the competitor who walked away with the multi-year $3 billion deal with DHS you spent months bidding on.

In any event, I hope these last-minute holiday gift ideas will serve you well in the few days left before Christmas. Happy Holidays indeed.

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