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Summer Lovin'

Optimize Blog - July 17, 2013 - 0 comments

With all the media frenzy surrounding the impending Royal birth we had to chuckle at the Queen’s response to a little girls question over which the Queen would prefer, a girl or a boy. The queen responded by saying “I don’t really mind but I’m going on holiday soon so I would like the baby to hurry up and arrive”.
We all know the Queen is very busy and so it was great to hear that she too looks forward to her vacations. Equally here at Zeitgeist we were encouraged by the recent comment from John Donahoe, the CEO at eBay, that he views taking legitimate vacation as critical in enabling him to stay on top of his game.
He believes that the idea of him having to be connected to the company 24/7, 365 days every year is flawed. He is connected for 50 weeks of the year but he ensures that for two weeks he is completely disconnected.
He admits to finding this stressful at first, being off the grid and away from email but it soon becomes very liberating for him, calming his mind and allowing him to be more creative with his thoughts than when facing down the barrage of work issues that he normally confronts.
Coming back from his two weeks he says that he is always refreshed and re-focused and it ensures that he is even more ready to face what the coming period has in store for the company.
It is a challenge we see regularly with client groups. We see leaders who cannot go on vacation without their BlackBerry and even their out of office notifications state that they will be “checking their email infrequently” which in our experience actually means daily……
There are many reasons for this of course. Fear of not being in control, lack of trust that those left behind will do the right things, some ‘opponent’ might gain an upper hand in our absence etc. But all this comes at a cost as there is never a real opportunity to recharge the batteries.
As we move into the summer months with schools closed it is vacation time for many of us. If successful CEO’s can disconnect for two weeks then it should be within the realms of possibility for us to do the same.
At least try it. Leave the BlackBerry behind and spend quality time preparing yourself for what lies ahead.

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