With the summer fast approaching, Heather Foley explains why all good leaders should make time for a holiday.
1. Some distance can provide a fresh perspective for problem solving
It’s almost impossible to maintain a genuine sense of perspective when you’re always in the thick of it. Therefore, one of the best ways that a modern leader can maintain that perspective is to take breaks.
The distance provided by a holiday – both physical and mental – is priceless. It can unleash creativity, which may help to tackle previously insurmountable problems by giving them a new perspective.
2. Re-booting is essential for continued development and improvement
A great sports coach will insist that, in order to get the best results, athletes need to rest. It’s in this rest period that muscles repair themselves and grow. This is a critical element to rapid improvement.
Similarly, leaders need time to re-boot. The world of business has never moved so quickly; decisions have never been bigger or had more important consequences.
Re-booting is essential for continued development and improvement.
3. A holiday can provide you with time to ponder the long-term direction
However senior a leader becomes, there are always day-to-day problems. They may all be urgent and significant. Yet, as a leader, you have to multi-task without losing focus on any individual problem.
It can be difficult in such circumstances to even consider the long-term view, although it was probably your ability to do so that got you the job in the first place.
A holiday can provide you with time to ponder the long-term direction.
4. Renewed energy can help you to inspire others
It’s common sense that a great leader should be charismatic and motivating.
These traits take energy, and a tired leader, no matter how effective s/he is, will certainly be lacking in some enthusiasm.
A good holiday will help you to return to work refreshed and with renewed energy to inspire others.
5. Everyone will perform better with regular holidays
As a leader, you can never underestimate the impact of the example you set. No one these days genuinely believes that anyone can perform at the highest level relentlessly and without a break.
You need to show real leadership. Extol the value of a good holiday by encouraging colleagues to spend time with family or friends. Enthuse about relaxing on the beach or being revitalised on the ski slopes. Your teams will be glad of the example and, ultimately, will perform better for it!
Holidays are not just important, they are essential, and if you’re the kind of leader who resists them, you’d do well to appreciate their benefits.
Heather Foley is a consultant at technology provider and consultancy company, ETSplc.com