No MBA mumbo-jumbo, just stuff that's worked through 30 years of team-building in business and the military.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Breaks are Good Leadership

Thank you to those of you who expressed your support for this blog. It's gratifying that there's enough interest to make it worth doing. Now, back to business.

Taking a few days off, from Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ as well as from this blog, allowed me to catch my breath and regain some perspective. That's an important thing for leaders to do.

If you don't, here are the bad things that can happen:

1. You lose perspective, which is your ability to tell big things from little ones.

2. You lose effectiveness. Just like any piece of worn gear, you start slipping a little, and you're not as sharp.

3. You lose motivation. The fun goes out of the job, the urgency goes out of the crises -- after all, there's always another crisis, right? -- and your eyes drop from the goal in the distance to the rough road at your feet.

If you do take some time, here are the benefits:

1. You can think about your work in context with the rest of your life. That will make you better at work by helping you remove the tension between your professional and personal lives.

2. You can rest the parts of yourself that get consumed by your job, while exercising something different. I got back into my workouts, and read some fiction.

3. You gain fresh perspective at work. Having reminded yourself why you do it, you're in a better frame of mind to distinguish productivity from activity.

So take your breaks. Unplug for a weekend. Use your vacation time. You'll be a better leader, and your team will be a better team.

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