As summer rolls in, so do the lazy, hazy days that
comes with it. Summer brings us back to a time of
kicking back, taking some time off, and just
But do you heed its
Have you decided to stop
working by taking a much-needed
vacation, working less hours or simply doing
less of the seemingly "productive
I hate to admit; too many summers have passed me by
without doing just that. While working in
marketing for Fortune 100 companies for over 20 years,
summer was the start of our planning season for the
following year so I missed many sun-filled days and
rarely took vacation.
I could have taken the time off, but I
The reality is that I believed I
was just too important to take time
off. I believed that if I weren't there,
something would fall through the cracks or not get done
the way I wanted it to get it done.
So, I continued to work around the clock, despite
my own needs to pull back.
Some might say I was
I would say that it wasn't loyalty but
instead it was my ego driving me to work
When your ego is driving you, you can
become arrogant and buy into the false belief that you
are the only one capable of pumping productivity
forward. Your sense of
self-importance can become distorted and
therefore impact your ability to pull back and let
others to step in.
The more you are proactively
pushing, the less you allow others to help you
progress your business.
Because our productivity-driven society has
wired us as doers, the best leadership lesson we need to
learn is not "to do," but instead "allow others to do."
This requires the ability to pull
Do you believe that you are so important that you
can't take the time and pull back?
In my book, The Connected and Committed
I speak about
how keeping your ego in check is a necessary tool for
leadership. When your ego is in
check, you realize you are not the only one driving
productivity, but instead you understand the importance
of others in order to achieve long-term
Our egos get in the way of
really trusting others.
I learned this, and continue to learn this, most
with my daughter Leila. She is the best teacher
for expanding my leadership capabilities. When I
push too much I don't allow her to step in. When
she doesn't step in, I do it for her. When I do it
for her nobody wins since I don't grow and she
doesn't learn. It becomes a vicious
So for those of you unable to take a
vacation, realize that this has a lot more to do with
your inability of letting go and your need for control,
than of your ability to effectively
lead. In fact, effective leaders don't
need to oversee every detail; their presence isn't
required for others to do a great job and continue to
push forward in their absence.
My leadership with my daughter will stand
the test only by her actions when I am not
I know that I am not alone in my struggle
with over-doing. It is challenging for doers
to pull back and not do as much. But when
you learn the power of pulling back, trusting and
guiding others, I promise you will do more of it.
You will have less on your plate and your
results will be better...plus you will be
empowering and developing others.
So try pulling back a lot more and take that much
needed vacation or break.
And it's best to do it, before you really