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Take a Break

March 12, 2019

Photo by Elyse Turton on Unsplash

Strategies. Meetings. Decisions. Move to Agile. Move to digital. Transform HR. Transform this department. Deadlines. Getting our products and services out.

As leaders, we are connected 24/7. Being connected with our mobile devices has meant we’re always available all the time. We have the pressure to move faster. Do more with less time. To our benefit and also to our detriment, we end up doing it. We end up meeting the deadlines. We end up meeting with our people. We end up growing organizations and growing teams, but we do it at a cost. We do it at a cost to ourselves.

There used to be a time not so long ago where we had work-life balance; however, I don’t think there’s truly a separation between work and normal life. Given that we’re always continuously connected, we have to learn when to take time out and I’m as guilty as everyone. Up until four years ago, I never took a long vacation. I would always take my vacation sprinkled a day or two here or there or maybe even a series of single days. That doesn’t give you time to disconnect and unwind.

Today’s leaders need to be creative. We need to be aware of everything around us and we need to have self-awareness. We also need time to do deep reflection of who we are, and who we want to become. If you don’t take that extended time off to be able to clear your mind, you’re unable to prepare yourself for the next chapter. You’re unable to prepare yourself to learn who the next to you is going to be.

This week, I want to remind you to take that time off and really take care of yourself. As they teach us on the airlines, if the plane is heading into trouble, put the mask on yourself before others. As leaders, we can forget to put the mask on ourselves.

I would like to leave you with three things:

  1. Remember to take minimally a week or two weeks off every year to be able to really look back, reflect, and really developed awareness you need to bring the creativity you need as a leader
  2. Encourage your team to take a week or two off. They’re doing creative, complex work. They’re dealing with almost the same things you are, but you need to lead by example and you need to really push them to take that time off. Before coming to you, maybe they’ve been conditioned to be heroes. They’ve been conditioned that vacation is for the weak. Encourage them to take time off
  3. When they’re on vacation or you’re on vacation, honor that. Don’t respond to emails, don’t ask them things on their time, so we can all reflect and be better.

Watch my video below.

Remember to lead how you would like to be led.


Twitter: @DDame

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