3 ways to help leaders really enjoy their holiday

Isn’t it true that the measure of a good boss is not what happens when they’re there, but when they’re not?

Sometimes taking a day off, or having a holiday fills you with dread. By the time you’ve worked ten times harder than you’ve ever worked in your life to get absolutely everything done before you leave, set up your out of office on your email and briefed everyone who needs to be briefed you’re far too shattered to enjoy your time off. You then return from your holiday only to start checking your E-mails before you even get back into the office so that you can ‘hit the ground running’, which means that by the time you’ve been back a couple of days your holiday is a distant memory and you feel like you need another one.

Does this sound familiar?

Having time off shouldn’t be a chore. In fact it’s essential. No-one can work at full pelt 24 / 7 without coming up against burn out sooner or later. In order for you to be effective in your role and in your life, you need to re-charge your batteries from time to time, and this means having a change from the day to day in whatever way you choose.

So, how do you do this without stressing over stepping away from the office?

1. Use your team

You don’t have to do everything yourself. Bring your team up to speed with tasks that you do so that you can comfortably leave them to get on with it. This will also help should you get run over by a proverbial bus.

2. Train your team to be solution focused

Develop and empower your team to make their own decisions. They shouldn’t need you to answer every question and solve every problem. This only causes problems when you’re not there. Support them to do this for themselves.

3. Put some good systems in place

We all accept that people go on holiday, and have days off. You’re not Superman / Woman. You don’t think badly of people when others take time off, and no-one thinks badly of you. The problem comes when things are left and no-one knows what’s going on. So, put some systems in place that will help others. A frequently asked question list; an out of office explaining who to contact or a sign post to a website; or even a project plan. What ever you choose by communicating where you are with what to others before you go will help them to ‘babysit’ for a while.


So, if you’re needing some time off, but secretly dreading the thought, prepare your team to take the slack so you can take a well deserved rest.


I’d love to hear what strategies you have in place for when you take a break. Let me know by leaving a comment.


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