All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. So goes a popular saying. What about all management and no break for a leader? The consequences will dull the leader in countless ways. During a leadership break, a leader takes some time away from his leadership duties. He may choose to go on vacation and travel to a different culture. While he is on the break, one of the employees will take his leadership responsibilities until he is back from the break. Taking a leadership break can accomplish much good for a leader in ways the hours spent on a job desk can’t. Let’s consider some of the ways taking a leadership break can benefit a leader.
Benefits of leadership breaks
Leadership breaks refreshes a leader
A leader is most of the time involved in giving oversight and directions in the affairs of his organization. Repeatedly going through the same way of doing things from days, to months, and even to years, may appear very monotonous and exhausting for a leader. Undergoing a management break helps the leader to take his mind off his day-to-day management routine. During this leadership break, a leader is able to focus on other fun activities that are alien to his management duties. Thus his brain will be able to relax and get refreshed. Such bodily and mental refreshment is fundamental in energizing the ideas and creativity of the leader. He will be able to see things from a clearer and better perspective. This will in turn boost his personal productivity as well as that of the team.
It will enhance the leadership growth of those under the leader’s team
When a leader goes on a leadership break, the vacuum he leaves behind has to be filled by someone else. Someone has to step into his shoes and get things done. The experiences gained by the employee during this period of stepping into the management shoes of his boss will make him gain useful skills that will ease his transition into a leadership position. During his period of filling the interim leadership position, he will understand what leadership is all about and the skills required of him to succeed in the position. Thus, a leader’s taking of a leadership break helps to create new leaders. Coaching and mentoring the leader’s team to handle any task in such situations is imperative for the smooth operation of the team. The team can either be trained by the leader or can undergo a training course to ensure streamlining of processes.
It increases employee’s sense of responsibility
It aids an employee’s ability to work without supervision. The ability for employees or an employee to work with little supervision in a workplace is highly valued. A manager’s break sends the signal that the manager trusts the people under his team enough to deliver some responsibilities to them. Such trust motivates members of the team to step up their performance in order not to disappoint.
It improves a manager’s horizon of thinking
The truth is that there is no single route to reaching a destination. An employee stepping in to deputize for a leader in a leadership break can choose to do things differently and achieve a successful result. When the leader is back from the break he can learn one extra skill his employee used in getting things done, and add it to his skills. This will improve his scope of thinking. It will help the leader to sharpen his creativity. Also, encouraging performance management training and development courses would sharpen the manager’s skills which he can use not only while taking over the leader’s role, but also in general while doing his daily tasks and managing the team.
When making decisions thereafter, he will be more open-minded and less myopic in his thinking. Also during the break, the leader may travel to different cultures and experience different ways people think and get things done. Such experience will make him more people-oriented in his leadership, and will thus enrich it.