Some six years ago I blogged about the need for putting vacate back into vacation. In other words, why you should unplug from the workplace while on vacation.
To read the original blogpost, click here.
Almost immediately this got me into trouble. I had several clients scoff at it. I even had a prospect call and say he wanted to cancel our next meeting and would never hire me because of what I wrote.
Wow, I thought. Either I hit a nerve or maybe I was wrong.
In either case, this particular post has continued to be one of my most popular. While it wasn’t meant to be controversial, it was meant to make people think.
To think about the linkage between being a leader, trust, and technology.
However since publishing, I’ve also had a number of clients and people in general say that they resonated with it and, in particular, it’s message. That’s reassuring. I always I try to reinforce that I’m not advocating reckless leadership. Rather, responsible leadership.
Yet, I think it’s time to update the original posting with a few practical tips. These, in particular, are due to our ever-connectedness world and continual-advancing technology.
Tips for wisely staying connected on vacation:
- Remember why you are on vacation–family, friends, experiences. You’ve taken time off and probably fronted money to enjoy the time off. So strive to do so.
- Make it clear before you leave how you can be contacted. Do so with only a select few who may need to contact you. Set parameters on when, how, and frequency. I know one executive who only lets his assistant know and she then acts a gatekeeper (and I’m thrilled he came up with this idea after reading my blog.)
- When possible, delegate your signing authority via passwords or company policy. That’s why such policies exist! And train your delegate on what to review.
- If you will receive calls, screen judiciously. You pay for voicemail; use it.
- If you will check emails, consider doing so late at night when most likely the kids are asleep and you are winding down from the day.
- If there are systems you need to routinely check (and which can’t be monitored by your delegate), likewise do these at night.
- Strive to keep any night work to a maximum of 30 minutes. Consider doing it only every other night.
- If appropriate and possible, use out-of-office autoreplies for email and change your phone greeting.
- Don’t take paperwork with you. At best, take a WOTR (Work On The Road) folder with you. Keep the folder small including only critical documents or summaries. I know of one CEO who always does this whether on a business or pleasure trip–she’s learned that it forces her to prioritize and summarize information even during non-travel times.
- If in doubt or confused, go to #1.
Look, I’m practical. I realize the advancement and availability of technology. I see how it integrates into our lives. I’ll admit that at a family reunion last year it was handy to text people in order to find them. I get it.
But, I stand beside the main point of my original blog post. That is:
A leader must train their team so that they become self-sufficient. Doing so not only allows for greater commitment, creativity, and loyalty from the team but it also frees up the leader to concentrate on further developing the organization (including their own development).
Avoid the temptation to stay in-touch with your office while on vacation.
Put vacate back into vacation.
© Copyright 2015, Dynamic Growth Strategies. All rights reserved.