Monday, August 1, 2011

Disconnect on Vacation

Our greatest strengths can become our greatest weaknesses if practiced at the wrong time.  The ability to be connected to your job twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, is a source of comfort for many leaders.  However, here are four reasons you should completely disconnect during your precious few days of vacation in August.

1)  Your brain needs to rest, recover, and grow.  You need to have some time to let your brain meander.  Leaders need to think, plan, and worry most of the time.  You need to let your mind rest for a couple of days.  After a short respite, let your thoughts wander to places you like.  View, read, think, wonder, and imagine about subjects that energize your possibilities and expand your views of the world.  Reconnect with ideas that are important to you. 

2)  You need to spend more time with the important people in your life.  There has never been anyone on their deathbed that says, "I wish I could have spent a few more weeks at the office."  People always wish they had more time with the people they love.  Today, most of those opportunities are jammed into a few weeks a year.  Don't miss a moment.  You could create the special experience that your family will remember forever.  Be there for them and for you.

3)  You need to give someone else a chance to grow.  Vacation used to be the time that our team had to step up and make choices while the boss was away.  Let your team feel the accountability of leadership.  Set parameters, objectives, and expectations and then let them lead.  They will be fine and you will be much better for the experience.

4)  Give yourself the the time to appreciate all you have and all you have to give.  Leadership is demanding; there is little time to enjoy your efforts and achievements.  But leaders must nourish their own spirits.  Look for progress - see what has been accomplished - honor your work.  I know there is always more to do.  But take the time to give your spirit a drink of hope for the future by embracing the progress of the past.   Give yourself a real pat on the back.  Celebrate your leadership.

Hokey?  Maybe.  Necessary?  Yes.  Trust me.  Disconnect and find out for yourself.

You don't have much time.  Use it well.

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