When was the last time something disastrous happened in your business? I don’t mean like losing a big client or a crappy email being sent to the wrong list, I mean really freaking bad. Like someone dying. My guess is probably never.
I used to think that I needed to be in the office every single day. I thought I needed to be there earlier than everyone else and I thought I needed to stay later. I was the leader. I needed to be there. My team needed me to be there, just in case something went wrong.
There are three fundamental flaws with my old approach:
1. Disastrous problems almost never happen
2. Small, bad things will happen whether I’m there or not
3. If I need to be at work all the time, I have the wrong people
Ever since I figured this out in 2009, I’ve been taking regular breaks. There is so much more to our lives than being at the office. Time to think, time to relax, time to learn new things and time to dream are some of the things that happen when I’m not at work.
Right now I’m drinking jasmine tea in the courtyard of a little guesthouse in Chengdu, China. KW and I have just finished a lesson on our very basic Mandarin (she’s better than me!). We‘re in the middle of a short Chinese adventure while, back in South Melbourne, it’s business as usual.
If you want to be an effective leader, start leading the way with regular breaks.