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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Take a break...and get a productivity boost

The sad reality is that most of us senior leaders don’t take all of our allotted vacation time each year. And if we do take a break, we remain plugged in to the 24/7 service culture we have helped to create. We remain completely accessible to any and all who want us. As leaders, what we need to understand for ourselves and also impart to our employees is that no one is bigger than the company. If you can’t leave work for a few days or a week, then there is a serious problem that will result in an unsustainable situation.

There are tremendous benefits to taking a break. I’m not going to focus here on the obvious benefits of being refreshed and recharged. I’m talking about the value to your team and your co-workers. Believe it or not, taking a vacation and being out of reach can actually boost productivity. You give your team a break from worrying about all the things you throw in their way when they are trying to get their work done. You also give them the chance to shine and be more visible by stepping up and taking on some of the responsibilities you need covered. It’s also a great way to develop people and expand their experience. But the trick is to not undo all they did while you were out, just because they did it differently.

Still in doubt? Read this terrific article on 10 Reasons to Go on Vacation for further inspiration.

As a senior leader, no one expects these days that you will completely disconnect while you are away. Technology is driving around-the-clock work cultures. The traditional work and play boundaries are blurred. Empower your people by letting them know you are “leaving it in their hands.” Use the opportunity to grow your team.

When is your next vacation planned?

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