Finding Your Balance
September 19, 2018 | 1469 Views
At the conclusion of our 96th Hospitality Training Conference in Boca Raton, with the new board of directors in place and a full agenda of projects on our plate, my first official act as CHART president was to ... take a vacation. My family and I boarded a plane at the Fort Lauderdale airport and soon landed in Key West, where we spent 5 wonderfully peaceful days enjoying each other's company.
Now if I had been elected president 5 years ago, this vacation probably wouldn't have happened. I'm sure I would have been too concerned that the time off would make me seem weak, disconnected, or worse: unnecessary. I was not confident enough in my leadership abilities to delegate responsibility and assumed that without my presence, or at least my stamp of approval, chaos would ensue. I was the living embodiment of this quote from John Isbell, one of CHART's past presidents: "If you brag that your workplace falls apart when you aren't there watching over it, you are doing something terribly wrong!"
It is a trap that so many of us in training and leadership fall into, unfortunately. Because we partner with so many different teams and on so many different projects, we see ourselves as the glue holding everything together. We begin to believe that unless we are present every minute, the next limited-time offer rollout or system installation or new restaurant opening just won't be successful. So we stay late each evening, never turn off our phones, constantly check our texts, and consider our own needs to be much less important than those of our bosses, co-workers and employees.
But here's the thing: as caretakers of the workplace and stewards of the company culture, it is crucial that we take care of ourselves so that we can take better care of others. If we show up each day exhausted, stressed, and not at the top of our game, then we are not going to be able to deliver at a high level for very long. Details will start getting overlooked, deadlines will be missed, and the quality of our work will suffer. If our efforts as trainers and leaders are diminished, those employees counting on us to help with their career development will also suffer.
So please, work on your delegation skills and take those vacations. Leave work before 8:00 pm (heck, how about 6:00 pm?) and make dinner with your family. Go to hot yoga. Watch some Netflix. Do whatever you find enjoyable to help reclaim your inner peace and find some balance between your professional and personal lives so that you can be refreshed and ready to meet each new day. If it's a struggle for you to start, I highly recommend reading Lagom, The Swedish Art of Balanced Living, which provides excellent advice on enjoying your downtime.
I wish you all happiness, contentment, and a relaxing end to your summer.