Remember, as kids, how much we looked forward to the summer and adventures with friends and family? As leaders, we may feel uncomfortable taking time away from work to unwind and to refresh. If you struggle to take time off, even for a couple of days, here are some pointers to keep in mind (post these in your office or as a reminder on your phone!)
1. You are Human – aka Work/Life Balance
One of the top challenges most leaders face is balancing work demands with home and personal life. A vacation can reset that balance, bring you closer to friends and family, and give you a new perspective to bring back to work to help continue that better balance. You know better than anyone else, You MUST recharge your own batteries – from long days, from busy schedules, and from non-stop stress. Remember, that you are a human BEING, not a human DOING. And PTO does not stand for Pretend Time Off! If you still struggle to take time off, ask yourself honestly “What is getting in my way?” Is it truly your own attitude about taking a vacation or is it the attitude of others?
2. You are a Leader – your role is more strategic than day-to-day operations
Leaders manage the work environment, rather than the daily routine. All your actions and decisions over the course of the year have set the tone for this environment, and the environment should be able to withstand you being out of the office for a couple of days. Just remember, leaders work with and through people to get results. If done correctly, the team feels they accomplish the work, and you support them in the background with direction, motivation, and development. They will continue to feel this support in the culture you have created, even when you are out of the office.
3. You have prepared your team! (and if not, you can start when you get back)
Here is a simple checklist to reassure you that you can step away for a couple of days:
- You have been working on your delegation plan and have moved day-to-day tasks off your plate
- You have been developing your team to take on more responsibility
- You have had conversations (and agreements) with your internal and external partners on who you have assigned authority to make decisions
- Your team knows your expectations and how you make decisions
- Your team knows their daily/weekly/monthly goals
- Your team knows how to problem solve when issues arise
- Your team works together as a high performing team!
If you need to work on some of the items listed above, then reach out to us – we have the coaching and training to help you with all these leadership skills. Please schedule time with us, then take your vacation with peace of mind and childhood excitement. Now, go jump in a pool and get some sand on your toes!