We love what we do. Our business thrives on watching you and your organizations grow and prosper. We know how important it is to remain excited about your job, your employees and your organization’s mission. But sometimes the best way to do this is … to take some time off. Yes, that’s right! Taking a vacation has proven to be not only good for you but also good for your organization.
Because it’s still summer for a little while longer, we started thinking about vacation and, as we talked with many of our clients, realized that many of you are working right through the summer months and plan not to take any vacation at all this year. Well, we’re here to tell you that this is a bad idea.
5 Reasons to Take a Break
Here are five sound business reasons why you should take a break:
1. Going on a vacation shows you have confidence in yourself and your team. Essentially, you’re telling them — and everyone else — that you trust your people and believe your processes won’t devolve into a festering mess in your absence.
What’s more, delegating some of your ownership/management responsibilities to others while you vacation is a good way to test your key employees and get a sense of how ready they may be to take a step forward in their careers.
2. People who work all the time are boring. Sure, pie charts and spread sheets are great, but occasionally people like to hear about Disneyland, camping or Vegas. Set the right example: Upon your return, call a “debriefing” meeting to discuss what you missed while you were gone. But, instead of getting right down to business, share some details of your time off — maybe even a slide show or video.
You obviously don’t want to get too personal with the details, but sharing some fun anecdotes and images can set a fun, productive tone for the meeting and solidify relationships with attendees.
3. Your team is more productive when you go away. Seriously, many workers tend to relax and focus better when allowed to work independently — or, in this case, ultra-independently seeing as how you won’t even be in the office.
Again, this is an opportunity to both trust and challenge your workers. Although you shouldn’t overburden employees with additional duties while you’re gone, you might ask a chosen staff member or two to cover for you in a key area.
When you get back, see how they did. Sometimes an employee entrusted with an important responsibility will offer a fresh perspective on the task and may even improve on how you handle it. For this reason, try to resist the urge to change things back to “your” way when you return — at least until you’re sure that your way is better.
4. You will be more productive when you come back. If you step away from the daily noise and give your back-of-mind processes a chance to chew on things, the most strategic processes will likely reassert themselves as the clutter falls away. “The pause that refreshes” may be a cliché, but it’s also often true.
5. Taking time off increases creativity. Did you know that Kevin Systrom came up with the idea for Instagram on a beach in Mexico? Graphic designer and typographer Stefan Sagmeister (designed album covers for Lou Reed, The Rolling Stones, and Aerosmith) takes a year-long creative sabbatical every seven years to revitalize his creativity. Taking time away from your organization can actually motivate you and help you think outside the box.
As Seattle continues to set records for consecutive days with high temperatures (this August 2015 broke the old record from 2003 of 61 days at or warmer than 70 degrees) we hope that you take time away from work—even if it’s just a day or two. Put your laptop away, hide your phone and just be present for the needed time away. Quieting the noise for a while is especially important in today’s business world. When you go on vacation — go on vacation! Take a page from the bankers and stay totally out of touch while you’re out.
When we’re not on summer vacation, PDG is thrilled to be ramping up for a great Fall! Our next Leadership Acceleration Program (LEAPÒ) group will be starting in the fall! We have small cohort groups starting in Seattle/Bellevue, Tacoma, Portland, Bay Area, and San Diego. LEAP can help you learn how to effectively incorporate vacations into your busy schedule as well as elevate your leadership skills in many, many other ways. It’s a 12 month journey focused on real world application. Join us online to learn more. Register at http://bit.ly/LEAPWebinar for: Thursday, September 17, 9am PT. We look forward to hearing about your summer adventures next time we connect. Be well!