This is the first post of a new 2-part summer series “What a great boss does differently during the holidays”. Today, let’s explore how to cultivate inspiration (while lying on the beach).
Half a year down, half to go. Feeling drained?
I bet you are! The first semester is often a rat race, as it shapes the results for rest of the year.
You know your talented staff are the core of your business performance (by the way, if you don’t, you should read this). And you know all too well that promoting positivity in the workplace commands a great deal of your energy. This is what happens when you’re a great boss!
So when summer comes, taking a break is a must. Pushing too hard depletes your energy levels, clouds your mind and impairs your decisions. It’s very important to relieve that stress.
Holidays are – first and foremost – a way to rest, be grounded and reconnect to your family. But have you thought about using your holidays to become the great boss your team deserve, and will forever admire?
1. A great boss has no limit to their imagination
What was the last bit of quality reading you did?
Put your smartphone down. Leave e-mails aside for a few days (don’t worry, they won’t go anywhere).
Pick up a book, check those 8 TED Talks to nurture your inspiration and put originality on your holiday agenda.
A great boss is one who can reinvent her relationship with her team. This is leadership at its core; if your team dynamics do not evolve, you fall into routine. Eventually, your employees get “bored”. Performance and motivation will drop. And, in the blink of an eye, they’re gone.
Fostering an atmosphere of creativity and innovation in the office will make a huge difference to how your employees go about their corporate life. Creativity can come in many forms, but using books to fire up your imagination is a good place to start!
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Here’s my ideal mix for inspiration:
- a good novel to clear your mind (I’m a big fan of the Ibis Trilogy by A. Gosh)
- a non-fiction book to reflect on new leadership values (try Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek)
- a book on a topic you’re passionate about (you’re on your holidays after all!)
Clear your mind and introduce new thoughts. They’ll come in handy when you need to motivate your troops on a grey winter day!
2. A great boss protects her quality time
When was the last time you had more than 30 minutes of uninterrupted time for yourself?
A challenge for all committed team leaders is to “get the monkey off their back” and reclaim the time they need to think strategically.
When the reality of “business as usual” takes over, it’s a wave of tiny little things to prioritise, at the expense of our own time.
Preserving your time as a leader is also a good way to reset, particularly when you’ve been a busy bee for months on end! During your holidays, revisit your priorities and set clear boundaries, so that you’ll be comfortable to introduce a new pattern in the office.
Block off some time during your favourite part of the day and use it to do one thing for yourself. It could be as easy as completing a short workbook, playing to help you relax, or setting time aside to clear your thoughts and write down your best ideas.
Even though being a great boss relies on embracing people, you need time to execute your own role in the business. You should have prepared your team for the holiday season, and here are a few ideas to consider for when you’re back in the office:
- Having specific “no meeting” times blocked off in your agenda.
- Communicating a list of priorities, and encouraging your team to interrupt you only if they need you to make a decision.
- Implementing a clear escalation path, so that the team does not rely on you to fix mundane problems.
It’s not easy to say no to interruptions. Having clear rules makes a huge difference to how your team develops their autonomy and ups their game, so that, in return, you can focus on high value activities.
The summer break is a necessary pause for you to relax and recharge your batteries before the next sprint. But the way you spend your time can surely accommodate a little bit of self-development! Our brain absorbs information better when we’re relaxed, so make the most of it and use your time for a dose of inspiration and wisdom.
Check the second part of this summer series: The mindful leader. In the meantime, don’t forget to tell me in the comments below what you do to be a better boss when you’re on vacay!