7 Smart Rules to Follow
Here are some tips that will help empower and enable your team to succeed while you’re away, and they may just make your vacation more enjoyable.
1. Set some ground rules.
Set expectations before you leave. If you just can’t not check email, make your plans clear to those around you. Perhaps you want to check email just once at the end of the day, and respond to only notes that have been marked “urgent”–or you may not want to respond at all. Either way, make a plan before you leave so that everyone knows what to expect.
Make sure your team feels empowered to carry on and step up without you. Delegate responsibilities for approvals and decisions to team members whom you trust. And make sure your team knows who is responsible for what. This will not only ensure nothing goes unnoticed, but it will empower people to take more initiative–when you’re gone and even after you return.
3. Give yourself a schedule.
If you said you’d check your email once a day, stick to it. If you decided to do one conference call, don’t add more to the calendar just because you feel you should and you’re free. Stay true to the expectations you set.
4. Make an effort not to respond.
The more you respond to non urgent emails and phone calls, the less clarity there is around responsibility. You are on vacation; you should do your best to stay there. Remember that you’re helping your team as well as yourself.
There is a reason you work with the people you do; you probably hired most of them. They’re smart; you trust them. Remember this, and don’t worry about what happens when you take a vacation.
6. Allow for mistakes.
Everyone drops the ball at some point, but even that is a learning experience. Allow for mistakes to happen when you’re away. It won’t be the end of the world.
7. Enjoy your vacation.
Really take your vacation. You deserve it. I always feel a bit sorry for the people who constantly check in even if they’re on vacation, because they’re obviously not having an excellent time.
The leaders whom I respect the most are the ones I never hear from while they’re away. Set a good example and go away–preferably where cell service is spotty. And have fun.
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