We are in the midst of prime vacation season for a lot of people who live in the northern hemisphere. As my vacation is approaching, and I have been thinking about how I will transition to be off the grid; so here are a few key ways that leaders have #vacationfails that undermine their time off and ultimately their team:
- #fail to plan
- The most obvious one is usually the one most violated. If you plan on enjoying your vacation anywhere but your home, you are typically buying planes tickets and making hotel reservations months in advance. Delegate meetings to your team or reschedule entirely. If you regularly engage with senior leadership, check their schedules in advance. The executives are typically so busy, that meetings are booked months ahead of time…….it should give you plenty of time to plan around key meetings.
- #fail to prepare
- The week before you go on vacation is typically like a mad dash to clear your desk. But why do you have to clear it in the last week…..you know when you are going on vacation. Help yourself and your team prepare by studying your calendar on two or three weeks either side of your vacation. Help your team prep to cover meetings or start projects while you are gone by spending focused time with them in advance. (Also, to help yourself out on the return, you might want to think about some email filters to help you quickly get to the most important information first when you get back)……speaking of which….
- #fail to prioritize
- There is a solid 0% chance you will clear the last 3 months worth of emails, presentations, and meetings in one week. Going back to the idea on prepare, choose the most important things you need to prep your team and manager for, and put everything on the back burner. Again, think about work that needs to be done in those two weeks either side of your vacation. There is nothing worse than dropping a request on your team immediately when you return, because you failed to plan and then prioritize work.
- #fail to pass on (empower)
- You spend time building and encouraging a great team with great team members. Show them you trust them……appoint one or two people to be the key points of contact in your place, step away, and let them run the ship. Nothing degrades trust like the manager or leader that are emailing and “just checking in” during their “vacation”. It sets a horrible example. Don’t do it.
- #fail to permit (disengagement)
- Give yourself permission to truly disengage. Too often I have broken the rules above and have come back far more exhausted. Yes, things can always happen, but, your team is capable and if you plan, prepare them, prioritize what is important, and empower them to lead, there is no reason you can’t completely get away and enjoy exploring a new city and time with your family and friends.
Please understand I am writing this as my own reminder. I have not done all of these well, but with my own vacation coming up and the need to get some rest before the big demands that typically come up in the second half of the year (budget time, talent reviews, hitting goals, etc.) you owe it at least to your team, if not yourself, to follow these tips.
Here’s this week’s 5 for 5 articles:
50 Of The Best Things In Life That Aren’t Available To Buy – by Amy Johnson – via Lifehacker
- SO WHAT: Appreciate the little things.
- Tags: Gratitude, Happiness
The 7 Must-Know Rules of Productive Meetings – by Kevin Meany – via Entrepreneur
- SO WHAT: I would like to have a laugh at this list, but I know I have violated many of these. As the leader, you can set an example for your team members by following these recommendations. #6 is my favorite.
- Tags: Productivity
Instead of following your passion, find a career that changes people’s lives – by Jess Whittlestone – via Quartz
- SO WHAT: A great article how to find work that will give you direction and impact.
- Tags: Career
The Trouble With Better Mousetraps – by David Burkus – via Brand Quarterly
- SO WHAT: An important reminder that just because you have an idea does not mean that people will flock to it.
- Tags: Ideas, Innovation
Leadership Skills That Make Creative People Thrive – by Ian Callum – via LinkedIn
- SO WHAT: All true about leading. My favorite is #11 (Develop talent and ambition)
- Tags: Leadership
All the best, kevin