Are You Taking a Break? I Am!

 In I Wish I'd Known, Leadership

Each month in 2023, I feature one of my top-ten “Things I Wish I’d Known” when I first started as a manager and leader years ago. This month, I’m taking a break — and I hope you will, too!

If you’re a manager, leader or business owner, it might feel really hard to step away from work. I don’t mean for a day here or there. I mean, take a vacation for a week — or even two!

Related: Core Value – Take Care of Yourself

The Anxiety of Time Away

Why does it feel so hard to break away? Well, are any of these thoughts familiar?

  • What if my team messes up a difficult customer situation?
  • What if people slack off while I’m away?
  • What if simmering conflicts between team members blow up while I’m away?

It’s true, any of these things could happen. But pause a moment and check yourself: Are you “catastrophizing” — dwelling on unlikely, worst-case scenarios?

Clearly Communicate. Then Let Go.

If you’re blowing things out of proportion, sit down and have a heart-to-heart talk with yourself. Recall how you’ve previously placed your trust in your managers and team members. Ensure you’ve given them clear protocols and parameters about how and when to reach you IF they are unable to resolve a situation themselves. And then off you go!

Don’t Trust Your Team?

If you feel you cannot trust your managers and team members, that’s a different situation. You may want to plan to get some leadership training for yourself.

Related: Managing is Not Leading

Ideally, you’d have built and trained a team that can run on its own without you being intimately involved in every detail of every day. If you haven’t, that’s okay, and now you have a leadership gap you know you can work to close.

A Better “What If”

Since this is a vacation blog, I won’t go much further with my recommendations. But I would like to share a different mindset with you:

  • What if everything goes perfectly smoothly while you’re away?
  • What if your team members rise to the occasion and demonstrate excellent problem-solving skills?
  • What if your managers get more done while you’re away because they don’t have to attend as many meetings with you or answer your frequent questions?
  • What if everything goes just fine, and you come back refreshed and renewed?

Just some food for thought, because I’d rather you have a bit of sunburn than a whole lot of burnout!

See you again in August!

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