4 things leaders do for the holidays


Whether you’re headed off to sightsee in far-flung destinations or you’re more into the idea of a ‘staycation’, everyone wants to use their holidays well. Here are four things that great leaders do on their holidays to use every second wisely. 

  1. Plan Ahead 

Taking some time off isn’t just a good way for you to get some R&R, it’s a great chance to give your team some time to take the reins in your absence. However, neither of those things will happen effectively if you don’t plan ahead. 

Regardless of whether you’re jetting off in the middle of the year or over Christmas, you need to consider what needs to be done while you’re away, delegate effectively and make sure everything is in order before you leave. When you don’t plan ahead, you leave your team in the lurch, stressed and wondering how they’ll handle the extra work without a plan in place. 

You also run the risk of coming home to a huge pile of unfinished work that your team couldn’t handle effectively. Catching up on work is normal after some time away, but give yourself a fighting chance to retain some of that relaxation you worked so hard on while you were away.

2. Switch-off

Ah, the elusive tech cleanse. Leaders struggle with switching off because it goes against everything they are used to. It makes sense! As a leader, you want to be ready to take every opportunity and keep pushing forward, but in the long-run, it will hurt your productivity as you burn out. 

Switching off doesn’t need to mean throwing your phone in the nearest lake – it can mean putting an auto-responder on your emails and deleting the app (for now). It can mean making sure that there is only one delegated team member that has your personal contact number for any real emergencies that might occur, rather than the whole team who can call you at any hour. 

When it comes to switching off, you don’t need to go drastic but you need to remember that if you make yourself contactable, you will be contacted. Give yourself a chance to unwind, to take the pressure off and to clear your mind of the day-to-day chatter. 

3. Set goals 

Perhaps this sounds a little too much like work? Don’t worry, we don’t mean leadership or business goals — although if you find some clarity while you’re away, by all means, set those goals too. 

Ever have that feeling after a holiday that you’re already ready for the next one? Or do you love the time you have with your family on holiday and wish you could have more? Sit down on the last day — or even on the plane journey home — and take some time to set goals for the next holiday or break you will have. Write down how many family dinners you would like to have in the next few months. Set tangible goals for your rest, relaxation and rejuvenation time.

4. Take the holiday 

Is your annual leave sitting there, building up slowly but not actually taking you anywhere? Here’s a gentle reminder: leaders are human. Everyone should take the time off they’ve earnt, and leaders should set the example by taking their time off. 

Pushing through the work year after year might work in the short-term but that approach has no longevity. You will burn out sooner or later.

Take your leave, get a change of pace, a change of scenery and take time to relax, refresh, reset and reflect. 

Taking some time off is also an excellent opportunity to give your team a chance to step up to the plate. Letting them lead themselves as you step away for a break can give them a fresh confidence, boost their skills and enhance trust within the team. 

If you’re ready to start using your time off to make your team stronger, People Make the Difference can help. To find out more, visit www.pmtd.com.au or call us on 0412 333 415. Try our online leadership training videos – $99 for complete access. Great value if you’re committed to growing your leadership potential.