The Point: Each year you’re afforded the opportunity to take a vacation. Some do it to unwind, others to see a far off distant land, but the vast majority don’t even bother (See my previous post on Fear of Missing Out or FOMO by CLICKING HERE). In this post we’ll take a look from a leader’s perspective on this whole vacation hubbub and identify if you are better or worse off as a result of taking vacation… Enjoy!
Decrease Vacations = Increase Damage to Relationships
How much time do you take off every year? 1 day? 1 week? 1 month? A new study shows that Americans are taking less vacations than ever before. The study shows that on average Americans take 16 days per year. Furthermore, the study reflects that taking just a few more days per year could lead to making you happier. The study was commissioned by the U.S. Travel Association (CLICK HERE to see a press kit for Travel Facts and Statistics).
The results could be disastrous. Spending more time at work and less time with your family for the majority of us leads to damaging those relationships at home (There also could be parallels drawn to relationships at the office, productivity therein, etc.). So what’s the poor leader to do in such situations? In other words, to vacation or not to vacation?… That is the question!
Meet Leader Mike… He “Vacations”
One of the leaders I worked with on an executive coaching and leadership development program years ago exclaimed proudly on the vacation topic “I vacation. I will bring my laptop and cell to the beach with me and work, while the family frolics in the ocean.” In other words, Mike planned on spending his family vacation working. Mike’s logic (if that’s a good word) for working on vacation stemmed from two primary points:
- In order to get/stay ahead he needed to get/stay connected to what was going on back at the office.
- It was his tremendous appetite for work that allowed his family to go on vacation in the first place, so they should appreciate it!
I remember trying to imagine what his kids thought of the scenario? I’m certain that they blew it off as “That’s just our Dad and they way he’s wired” or “Quite frankly, we’d rather have him tied up with work rather than engage with us!”
The Benefits of Vacation
I’ll admit, I’m a terrible vacationer. Have lead several ventures the pressure I feel is incredible and I at times can very much relate with Mike. If as a leader you don’t do something, and there is always something to do, you will fall behind. While I’m not saying that you can’t delegate work off to stakeholders in the organization, but we all know that there are certain business moments where no delegation can do.
But a few years ago my wife reminded me that vacations can actually be beneficial for you. Vacations are supposed to provide you with the “down time” needed to refresh your leadership batteries. Vacations are a time that can allow you the opportunity to reunite face-to-face with family that typically you don’t see outside of the Holiday Season. Vacations are also a time or you to be a kid again (Remember those stress free times?)
So I’m going on vacation! I’m going to take two (2) days off and recharge my batteries. I don’t plan on having this be “down” time for me though. Instead, my refresh/recharge moment is going to come by attending a professional association’s conference. My plan is to come away from this vacation with new strategies, new network relationships, and new methods to take the business higher. I also plan on coming away with great memories created from spending some high quality time with my wife. I’ll report out on my findings… Wish me luck!
PS – You may enjoy several of the other posts I’ve recently written:
- The Leadership Challenge: Motivating Stakeholders
- The Leadership Challenge: Fear of Missing Out (FOMO)
- The Leadership Challenge: Leading the Shit Show – 5 Tips!
- The Leadership Challenge: Shutting Up
- The Leadership Challenge: Anger Management – 5 Tips!
- The Leadership Challenge: Passive Aggressive Stakeholders
- The Leadership Challenge: Evangelism
- The Leadership Challenge: Employee Recognition
- The Leadership Challenge: Office Backstabbing – 5 Leadership Lies to Avoid
- The Leadership Challenge: Should You Stay OR Should You Go? 5 Criteria
- The Leadership Challenge: Succession Planning
- The Leadership Challenge: Why HR Isn’t Developing YOU as a Leader
- The Leadership Challenge: Helping Those That Don’t Want Help