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Why Sales Leaders Need Vacation—and Why They Don’t Take It

sales leadersWhat does it say about you and your team if you can’t unplug?

During the upcoming winter holidays, most of the business world will shut down. It’s vacation time, family time, rejuvenation time. If you’re planning to work through the “most wonderful time of the year,” or if you haven’t taken at least most of your vacation time this year, ask yourself why.

Why can’t you take a vacation and actually unplug? Are you concerned that your team can’t do without you? That business will come to a screaming halt if you take some much-earned time off?

Sales leaders often think they’re indispensable. But if you have the right sales team in place, it’s amazing how much gets accomplished even when you can’t be reached.

Vacation is good for the soul, and for both creativity productivity. If you can’t tear yourself away from work, then you either have an overinflated ego, a subpar sales team, or a technology addiction.

Technology is a double-edged sword. The technology that was supposed to make our lives easier is suddenly running our lives. We can’t sleep without our smartphones within reach. Even on vacation, we bring work with us (or at the very least, clients can reach us).

You need a digital detox. Everyone does. The world will get on just fine without you. And you’ll return refreshed, with a renewed sense of creativity.

What It Means if You “Can’t” Take a Vacation

If you really think you’re indispensable, read this post by sales thought leader Kelly Riggs: “When You Cannot Take a Vacation.” He explains:

The truth is, when the troops can’t do without you—when you cannot take a vacation because the place will fall apart—both your work and personal life can get ugly. You never seem to have enough time to get to the truly important things, and team performance is necessarily going to suffer. It will suffer now because you’re the bottleneck in a system that limits the team’s output, and it will suffer later because you fail to develop the talent underneath. That failure will inevitably result in long-term employee disengagement, mediocre performance, and—no joke—health issues.

So, here is a simple test: Can you take a five-day vacation—a full nine days away from the office when you include the two weekends—without any contact whatsoever with the office?

No email. No telephone contact. No work whatsoever while you’re gone.

Do you trust that your team will perform well without you?

Riggs goes on to list three main reasons leaders feel they can’t take vacation, and offers suggestions for how to correct the underlying problems behind each of them. (Read the rest of his article for more.)

Sales Leaders: Give Yourself (and Your Inbox) a Break

When you’re celebrating the holidays with family and friends, disconnect from work and connect with them. And the next time you take vacation, actually take a vacation. If you are actually indispensable at work, you have a big problem, and some time off might help you figure out how to address it.

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