Vacations and their Aftermath

For Your Interest – July 2014

What's it like when you return back from a conference or seminar or vacation? Are things running smoothly or are they coming apart at the seams. Which do you prefer? Regardless, each scenario says things about you as a leader - quite different things, actually:

Things are a mess upon your return and you don't like it one, single, bit.

Welcome back! And if every fiber in your being is trying to prevent yourself from screaming "Did you do anything right?" at your direct reports, the problem has probably a whole lot less to do with your team than you realize. Chances are that much of the angst can be traced back to you doing a very poor job in preparing them for your absence, or dealing with some long-standing performance issues. Grade: -10.

Things are running smoothly and you don't like it.

Welcome back! Your staff did a great job! Every thing's fine, except ... you're suddenly feeling like you're not as needed as you used to be. An extra cog in the wheel? Better off not even being there? Oh my. Is my job at risk? Oh, dear, my job is at risk. Rather than being happy for all that went well in your absence, you're acting small and disrespectful to the people who really worked hard to keep things going. Grade: -5.

Things are a mess and you kinda like it like that.

Welcome back! Clearly, you were missed and it's good you're back because you're needed, hero. And yet, if this is the case, it's likely that your ego is getting in the way of you properly challenging and developing your staff. Grade: -15.

Things are running smoothly and you like it.

Welcome back! Some good stuff happened while you were away and they're glad you're back. It isn't easy filling in for you when you're gone, but they did a really nice job of it. And now, they're ready to turn the reigns back to you. It's not easy doing what you do. They have a much better understanding of that now. And they're that much more appreciative of just how good of a boss you really are. Bingo! Grade: +10.

The ultimate litmus.

If your staff works harder when you're out of the office than when you're in -- and you're properly appreciative of the fact -- you're probably a pretty good leader.

(Original Source: GottaGettaBlog!-2007)

P.S.Hope you had (have) a nice summer vacation!

P.P.S. And by the way, please do your best to NOT contact any of your staff who are on vacation, themselves -- or expect them to check their emails and voice mails while they're away. Remember: The point OF a vacation is to actually BE on vacation! Let them BE.

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- bz
Barry Zweibel | 847-291-9735
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