I‘m just back from 3 weeks uninterrupted leave, and I often joke before going on leave that I only want to be contacted if the building is burning down (that way I can get my photo of the day).
Even as CEO when I am on Annual Leave, I am on leave. It’s my time, or family time, and as much as I love my work, it’s not Agoge’s time or that of our clients. In fact there are only two things I want to know about, major safety incidents or significant illnesses, and of course the building burning down.
I believe that disconnected, uninterrupted leave is one of the most important things we can do to increase our value to our organisations. Without the disconnect of leave, passion wains, creativity dries up and resentment can kick in.
Whereas the break always helps you reconnect with the people you love. It gives you time to chill. To unwind. To clear your head. For those in physical work where the demands are different to my job. It gives your body a chance to relax, recoup and recharge.
More than anything else you become aware that work is not meant to be all-consuming.
None of this is new or a surprise. So my challenge is this…
When you take leave – do you fully disconnect?
When others are away – do you relentlessly protect their leave?
I hope the answer to both is YES.
Taking uninterrupted leave takes a lot more discipline than most people afford it.
For me personally I need to discipline myself to DND my phone. To disconnect my email on my phone and laptop. And to not take an interest in work stuff.
Similarly my team needs to know, it’s unacceptable to call. And they need to be empowered to make decisions.
In the end, the discipline for everyone is worth it.