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Be A Leader – Take A Break!

“If you want to be an effective leader, start leading the way with regular breaks. “
This quote comes from the blog post ‘Take A Break! Bad Things Rarely Happen” by Tristan White, CEO of the Physio Co. which also happens to be one of Australia’s Top 20 Places to Work.

It’s the final line in the post, but the one that most struck me. I mean, how many CEO’s, Executives or Managers see that a key part of their responsibility as a leader is to take a break? Surely they should be working hard, putting in overtime, doing their best for the company?

However, this is exactly Tristan’s point. NOT taking a break is NOT good for the company.

Taking breaks wasn’t always Tristan’s forte – “I used to think that I needed to be in the office every single day.  I thought I needed to be there earlier than everyone else and I thought I needed to stay later.  I was the leader.  I needed to be there. My team needed me to be there, just in case something went wrong.”

But how often does something actually go wrong?

If you have things set up correctly, major disasters should rarely happen. Of course, small problems may arise, in fact they are bound too. However, they could arise if you were there or not, and are you really the only one who can solve the problem? Give your  staff the chance to stretch their problem solving muscles, and give yourself the chance to look after yourself and take care of things outside of work as well. It’s not only good for you, but it is a wonderful way of demonstrating the importance of work life balance to your staff.

Yes, But I Can’t Just Now

Yes you can! However, there is likely some preparation that needs to happen. Take the time to start planning:

  • What (really) needs to happen while you are away?
  • Who can do this for you?
  • Start your complete delegation process
  • Set up a contingency plan for when things do go wrong (without wasting time anticipating every single possible issue)
  • Trust your colleagues

Don’t set up expectations that long hours and excessive hard work is “the way things are done around here”, to the detriment of health, productivity, and dare I say it, happiness.

Schedule your next break today! Then tell us about it. What have you got planned for your next break?