3 Ways to Prepare Your Team To Be Successful When You Take Time OffJun 08, 2022
Oftentimes as a CEO, taking time off can be a double edged sword. We find ourselves really wanting and needing to take time off to decompress and relax but at the same time filling our minds with what ifs and worse case scenarios that can make taking time off feel like an insurmountable challenge! You end up thinking that you don’t want to have to deal with the repercussions of taking time off so you just don’t.
But as summer time looms around the corner I want to help show you that you can take time off and it all starts with preparing your team to be successful when you’re away.
1. Be clear before you leave
Let your team know exactly when you're leaving, even to the minute. This gives them plenty of time to check in with you before you leave on anything that they might have questions about or need feedback on.
Arrange a pre-vacation meeting with your key team members to make sure that you can hash out any looming items and also help clear your mind that you haven’t forgotten to discuss anything before you take time off. With your mind clear, you’re free to enjoy your vacation.
2. Empower the small things.
Let your team be in charge of the little things and then designate one individual on your team who is in charge of the larger things. That way there is a clear structure of command and other team members know who to turn to when they have questions about the bigger pieces.
I worked in a small company and the owner would often go away and not designate one person who was in charge. And there were a couple people that would try and step in to take the reins, even though it was kind of unsaid that I was in charge. This often led to conflict and confusion within the team which ultimately led to the owner being contacted by different team members who weren’t clear on who to turn to or how to solve any issues that came up.
By having one person in charge you can also set very clear boundaries that that’s the only person who can contact you in an emergency or when a situation arises that they cannot handle. Make sure that you carefully pick the person for this role so that you are confident that they will be able to handle most things.
3. Set boundaries and stick to them.
As I mentioned earlier one of the boundaries that must be put into place is having only one person able to contact you while you’re away.
Another boundary is how they can contact you. So for example, if they really need to get hold of you they can reach out at a certain time of day or only via email/ text etc. By setting boundaries around your times and your preferred method of communication you are making sure that you’re not being constantly bombarded with things, allowing you to fully enjoy your vacation.
Setting an out of office reply is a great way to manage people’s expectations when your off and make anyone outside of the company aware that you are away and when you will get back to them. If you think emails can’t wait then you could possibly have someone checking your emails and dealing with anything urgent or time sensitive.
I know that this can be a hard one to follow through on. I have struggled with this exact thing myself and often found myself sitting on the beach, replying to emails that I know I shouldn’t have replied to. But the problem with doing that is, once you open that email, you're removing your boundaries. You’ve effectively said ‘It's okay to contact me while I'm on the beach, on vacation’ and you've potentially opened the floodgates.
The hardest part about setting boundaries is actually sticking to them but if you do then you’re going to give yourself the gift of true rest and relaxation. Not just half relaxation, half mind on that email you’ve seen pop in.
And it is so important for CEOs to recharge their batteries.
When we are fully recharged we come back with more energy, bigger and greater ideas and more motivation to take your business to the next level.
When you don't allow that time to really truly rest, to recharge, and to really just switch off for a few days you can often come back feeling worse or even resentful so make sure that when you are taking time off you are really switching off.
I challenge you to put these three ideas in place when you're preparing for your vacation this year. And really, honestly get some true rest and recharge and I guarantee you're going to come back to your business, a whole new you.
And if you have any great tips for going on vacation as a CEO, I'd love to see them in the comments. Let me know how you prepare your team, how you set your boundaries, and what else you set in place before you leave.
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