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What does it take to be a leadercommunicator?

The Grossman Group CEO and communications expert David Grossman shares his insights on the importance of meaningful leadership communication in today’s business climate. With high level tips on engagement and connection, insights into employee motivations and behavior, and firsthand stories from the frontlines of America’s leading companies.

The leadercommunicator blog is instructive, entertaining, and a must-read for leaders, communicators, and leadercommunicators.

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Starting Thought: A Real Vacation


describe the imageTwo weeks ago I tried something new.  I took a vacation. And not just any vacation, but one during which I completely disconnected from email.  I didn’t check my computer, I disabled incoming emails on my phone, and I didn’t read or answer anything.  It was an email blackout.  It was hugely liberating. 

How did it happen?  

I gave myself permission—and set myself up—to step away from work, knowing if an issue arose, my team knew how to get in touch with me.  And here’s the amazing thing: they never called and there were no emergencies.

What does it take to truly disconnect?  Consider the following tips:

  1. Set an example.  The most effective leaders plan ahead and set their team up for success, so they can disconnect and recharge.  Plus, they know they’re modeling the importance of taking a true vacation for their entire staff.
  2. Adjust your mindset.  Going into your vacation, plan not to access to email, and not engage with work.  Let’s face it: If your vacation spot didn’t have email access, you’d not only survive, but you’d pretty quickly adapt and embrace your badly-needed vacation.
  3. Prepare clients and employees. Before you leave, tell people that you won’t be available (and give them alternative contacts) and that you are looking forward to a vacation to recharge.  We teach others how to treat us, and setting expectations up front will help you unplug guilt-free.
  4. Be “present” for the right people. Being present in person and through technology is important for our colleagues when we’re at work.  It’s just as important to be present for ourselves and our families when we’re on vacation. Work can wait a week.
  5. Most problems work themselves out.  Think about those times when you’re not available during working hours.  Most often, work problems get figured out without your intervention.
  6. Everyone needs time off.  It’s how we recharge, reconnect with what matters, and feel re-energized to be our best.  Don’t waste precious time by turning your vacation into a “workcation.”

If you’re thinking of the reasons why the above suggestions won’t work for you, I’d suggest you ask yourself what steps might fit that you could try.  Think about what could work for you, and would help you step away and enjoy a well-deserved vacation.

What do you need to do to ensure you get some much-needed R&R this summer?

--David Grossman




Well said, and I applaud you for taking a true "vacation" by putting electronic communications aside for a while. Must say, I've tried to just "tune out," but still feel compelled to check emails "just for a few minutes."  
One benefit of leaders tuning out is this: Those left to run the business will find ways to get the job done, and some may realize talents and skills they never knew they had.
Posted @ Wednesday, July 18, 2012 3:11 PM by Edward M. Bury, APR
I agree, Edward. Allowing yourself to take some well-earned vacation days definitely allows others in the organization to rise to the occasion and demonstrate their leadership skills. Thanks for sharing.
Posted @ Thursday, July 19, 2012 4:46 PM by David Grossman
Absolutely, David. And I've found the biggest factor in being able to unplug is to identify back-up and assign all open responsibilities before leaving; and then those select few have my number in case they need it. 
The addiction to our own importance is far more our issue than that of our business or colleagues. 
Of course, this gave me extra time and leisure to sit on the boat dock and spend more time with my son . . . as he texted his friends and surfed videos all week.
Posted @ Friday, July 20, 2012 3:01 PM by Bruce Campbell
I love Bruce's comment about our "addiction to our own importance." How liberating and terrifying to discover they CAN get along without you. My sad excuse for not disconnecting? If I at least keep up on emails, then I won't have this overload waiting for me upon my return. But I'm inspired by this post. I have a 10-day vacation coming in August and I will make it my goal to disconnect.
Posted @ Monday, July 23, 2012 1:58 PM by Kathie Martin
Great comments, Bruce and Kathie. Thanks for sharing.
Posted @ Monday, July 23, 2012 4:20 PM by David Grossman
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