Anthea Stratigos – July 27, 2016
Meet Nell the office dog, aka my dog. Nell knows her place in the sun and knows how to have fun. She comes to work a few days a week and on others she goes for a romp with a pack that has full access to a huge amount of acreage a service that I subscribe too. See, we all have services we subscribe too and they all deliver value or we wouldn’t have them. But I digress about Nell and her love of sun and fun.
When Nell enters the office she makes the rounds. She’ll say hello, look around for food, get a little lov’in and then flomp in her various spots. Spot one is under my desk. Spot two is looking outside my office window at the downtown below and the various people that roam hither and yon. Spot three is near the desk of our office manager who takes her for walks and has the treat jar at her desk. Spot four is the afternoon sun in the office far away from mine. You see, Nell knows when to take in a little Vitamin D and she gets her daily dose about twice a day as she follows the sun through the office.
At times she’ll greet the postman, Alhambra man, or the UPS man. In our town they are, for whatever reason, men. She’ll sniff, or ignore them, or on a bad day grumble. But she comes to the office and has her routine. Nell makes people smile, and makes the office a little lighter and more ‘real.’ She is the office dog. Anyone can walk her at any time and she knows she can meet and greet like any leader doing their rounds. She is the real deal.
Once a year Nell goes on her vacay, her holiday away from me and away from the office. Her time for R&R where she runs collar free and gets in touch with her inner dog and hightails it (no pun intended) to the Sierra about 7,000 feet lakeside where California streams are running, lakes are full, stars are bright and campfires are burning. She sniffs and swims, digs and runs. Nell is offline, certainly not texting, chilling and definitely no longer patrolling. Quite simply she worries about nothing except fun in the sun. She comes home tuckered having been such a dog.
I often say it’s essential for CEOs to shut down, unplug, and be the alpha that sets an example by not thinking everything is an emergency and letting go at least once a year for a two week stint – or three – and letting their team run the show while leaders rejuvenate, run in streams, and have their own fun in the sun. Whether you want to walk the Great Wall, scuba dive a hundred feet under, go to the Galapagos or to the top of The Eiffel Tower, our world is full of experiences that broaden us when we unplug, and trust our teams to run the show so we don’t have to.
Each year I unplug after our Signature Event. The iPhone goes into the hotel safe, Nell stays home, and my husband and I tour with paper maps, off the grid. We are ever more connected so we have to make our own way offline or fake it even while wifi is around but we turn it off. We make the rounds, flomp in our various spots, get a little exercise and vitamin D. We go where streams are running in order to ensure our proverbial lakes are full. We quite simply no longer worry about anything else except fun in the sun. We come home tuckered or invigorated knowing we are better leaders because we are not always on but rather in touch with our inner alpha or relaxed and more beta.
Every year leaders take their own vacations. They also make time for themselves by attending Outsell’s Signature Event. We say it’s a place to unplug, meet new people, learn new things, reflect and make plans for the coming year. Because if we don’t stop, slow down to speed up, and make time for ourselves and our business we are not setting the example our colleagues yearn for. Once a year we do it on vacation and get a good solid break with family, friends, ourselves in whatever vista we choose and wherever our hearts take us. The other time of the year, we step back for just two days and gift ourselves Outsell’s Signature Event. The only event guaranteed to provide new ideas, key takeaways and the essential’s to fuel you, your organization and the coming year.
We look forward to seeing you there and know you’ll love it. Because at the end of the day it’s not the margin you deliver, the deal you close, or your signature on a contract. It’s the legacy left of a life well lived and a company well led. And like Nell, one can’t do either optimally unless you take a little time for you.
We look forward to seeing you in London. Register here for Outsell’s Signature Event.