I’ve just got back from my #homecation.
This was also my 1st true week off work since I entered entrepreneurial space. What makes this week so different from previous attempts to take a few days off, around holidays and other significant dates, is that I actually did manage to unplug and to finally, finally, truly relax my mind.
If you are an entrepreneur rookie, you know what I am talking about, and if you are already an experienced business owner, I am sure you can remember how hard it was to stop thinking and even acting upon different ideas that are coming to your mind. Not to mention thinking about what else could you or should you do…
The most interesting thing was that - not only that I didn’t go anywhere since in my country situation with Covid-19 is keep worsening, plus protests and riots (so, not ideal situation for unwinding the mind, we can say) - but I also didn’t even stay off social media and email, communication with my business partner, heck yeah, I even had one consulting meeting and add to that online calls with friends about current events.
So, what was so special about this #homecation ?
#1 Smart planning: Setting intention
I used the same planning system as I did while I was in corporate and there is only one smart way to do this - to have a strong and wisely built support system. Your support system is made of your network, your peers, your friends and family and your team. Smart planning means that all mentioned sides are in alignment with your intention. For me, this time it was simply having fun. Just that. I didn’t intend to recharge my energy, to have an active vacation, to relax, to catch up reading or sleeping, to do the housework or something else. It was just to have fun. I didn’t bother with the “how” part. Uncertainty of the moment is too big to plan even going to a nearby lake for a swim. So, just an intention to have fun.
All my friends and family, my network, my business partner and the team knew that this was what I needed. Transparent communication is the most effective tool one leader can develop.
Back in corporate, I truly mastered the art of delegation. My best advice is to 1. Recognize and name your successor early (even if you don’t see anyone as perfect or remotely perfect match, you still need one, trust me) and mentor her/him consistently and 2. to delegate to more than that one person (your successor). Your official successor is going to be SPOC person for your team/business, but internally, you can delegate according to expertise. The two aspects I mention are also the most common mistakes I see leaders make.
Side note: I consider succession planning important not only to formal leaders or business owners, but also for informal or solopreneurs. If your business, income and even career depend only on your personal physical presence, and it cannot operate by itself in some shape or form, you should consider reading one of my following blog posts that are going to be on this specific topic. For now, you can start considering setting multiple streams of income, as well as detecting multiple people from your network and team that can support your career or business in case of emergency (or other reason for your absence).
So, once you set your intention for your days off work (do this by asking yourself - What do I need now? What do I want now?), you communicate it to everybody around you. Simple as that.
If you have a strong support system, this really is going to be not only simple, but easy.
And, if not, if you end up spending your vacation in answering emails or just checking what is going to in team, if anyone needs any help, if you end up cleaning your mother’s kitchen or talking to your concerned friends and trying to break their negative loop, if you end up thinking about some of the unfinished tasks or worrying about the day you will come back to work, if you end up with any stress or anxiety...then you know that your support system needs some changes. You might need different people, or more mentoring, or just clear communication, setting strong boundaries… Whatever it is, it is worth your attention, because there is nothing better than experiencing that support you get from trusting those around you and giving them space to shine their light. You will get much more than you expect or you can even imagine.
#2 Calming the mind
I started bringing more regular meditative practices last summer and since the beginning of 2020 I really went fully into it. I consider this one of the main reasons why my mind responds generally well to setting intentions and why this time responded immediately to my command “to let all business ideas, concerns, plans, challenges aside and look for fun in everything”. Simple as that, again. And again, if you are into regular practicing then it can be easy as well, and if not, I would strongly recommend it.
We are facing great uncertainty now, world wide there are massive changes and life with pandemic hanging above physical and mental health, economy and physical interactions… It takes trained flexibility muscles. Even if you are economically good, you are existing in the world of those who are not, and also you are managing teams and have friends and family that are possibly facing some of the challenges. So, practice calming your mind on demand and you will be off service not only to yourself, but to those around you as well. Lead with an example.
...which brings me to the next point:
#3 Adopting Ubuntu philosophy
A quality that includes the essential human virtues; compassion and humanity.
You might have seen me mention this before, but when we talk about taking some time off and especially not in times of stay at home vacations, adopting Ubuntu philosophy is essential. Not only for leaders, but for everyone.
In leadership, this African philosophy is one of the imperatives for establishing a healthy and productive team dynamic. We are experiencing remote work as a new standard and when you have a world crisis that changes the way we work, radical solidarity is becoming a new state of being.
I am who I am because of who we all are.
During your vacation, no matter if it is at home or you are a lucky traveler, go within also and release all the judgement. We are all showing our best and our worst nowadays and there is only one way to be at peace with ourselves - Ubuntu way.
And, yes, you will experience fear, sadness, worry even if you set an intention to just have fun. Because it is all natural. Don’t be fooled by those who tell you that you must be positive in all times so as to stay in high vibration frequencies… It is not natural, be pissed, be angry, cry and laugh, experience everything that is coming to you… Only thing you truly need during your #homecation is that your core being, that you deep inside in your core, are at peace with yourself.
So, Ubuntu yourself!
Your Leadership Mentor,
Leadership is a lifestyle, not a job title.