Do you know the vacation schedule of your top leaders? You should. They need to know that vacations aren’t optional.
Too often in our fast pace organizations, we develop unhealthy work expectations including a “real leaders don’t take vacations” culture. Unhealthy leaders joke about employees who take time off, reward those who don’t use all their vacation time, and even enforce negative consequences for those who actually take vacations.
I’m so thankful that the first pastor my husband worked with out of seminary taught us the value of taking an annual vacation. The time away from ministry and work was a refreshing time for our marriage and family.A great leader builds an organization that can thrive when they are out. Click To Tweet
Here are 5 reasons you should require your leaders to take a vacation:
- It’s a good reminder that the world goes on without us. A great leader builds an organization that can thrive when they are out. Stepping out of leadership to take time off is a great reminder that life and work will move forward without us. If our organization can’t operate without us, we are not leading well.
- It makes others step up while we’re away. When you step aside, it allows others to step up and into leadership. Strategically make this part of your vacation plan. Choose those with leadership potential to take over some of your responsibilities, including facilitating meetings, speaking, leading presentations, or networking for learning.
- It’s good to refresh your mind, body, and spirit. The right vacation (which usually requires good planning) provides you an opportunity to shake the cobwebs out of your mind, get some much-needed rest, and to spend unhurried time in prayer. A clear mind, and rested body, and a renewed focus on God can refresh your leadership in ways nothing else can. For me, getting out in nature to hike, bike, wade in streams, walk on a beach, and watch a sunset or sunrise all refresh my mind, body, and spirit. Whatever does that for you, plan your vacation with this in mind.
- Healthy rest makes a healthy leader. Face it, we can get in leadership patterns that are simply not healthy. We don’t get enough sleep, we work too late too often, we grab unhealthy food on the go, and we let the stress of work impact us. We simply can’t lead well when these patterns become prolonged. Sometimes a vacation is a much-needed time to rest. More sleep, restful exercise, outside time, and having slow and healthy meals all add up to a healthier leader.
- A refreshed mind is able to think more clearly. Stepping away from the daily work of leadership can allow your mind to clear so you are better able to think as a leader. Somewhere around the third day of a vacation, I will start to think more strategically and more creatively. The ideas will start to flow and I can see with greater clarity the opportunities for the future. Your organization and your team need your leadership thinking to help guide them to the future with focus, energy, and passion.
What are your vacation plans? Plan now for time away and require your leaders to do the same. You will create a healthy culture with healthy leaders where people and ideas thrive.A vacation required culture creates healthy leaders where people and ideas thrive. Click To Tweet
Why do you think leaders should be required to take a vacation?