Lead Like You're On Vacation


There's an extra bounce in everyone's step. The office air is filled with a buzz of conversation. There's a lunch that takes a little longer to unfold. A happy hour scheduled at 3:30 instead of 5:00.

This is how teams behave when their leader is on vacation.

Slackers? Maybe. But what if teams are better when they're behaving more like golfers and less like brokers on the floor of the Stock Exchange? In almost every sport, loose and relaxed is the prerequisite for peak performance.

When researchers studied employee attitudes throughout a workday, they found noticeable peaks and troughs, bouncing between happiness and stress. So what moment consistently decreased happiness and increased stress?

Every time the boss was around.

There's no way to get rid of all boss stress, but as a leader you can ask yourself:

Am I a stress creator or a stress minimizer?
How different would they behave if I was gone? Why?
What do I gain with trust that I don't with control?

Bill might still wear the wrinkled shirt when you're gone, but if you can integrate a few more vacation vibes into your team, they'll thank you for it.


Adam Allred