Forton Coaching Academy

Your Summer Break: Four Top Tips for Leaders and Managers


Are you looking forward to your summer break?
Relaxed and know everything will go well in your absence?
Or are you worried about what will happen to the work while you’re away?
You might want to read this note if:

  • You’re the kind of person who works until late night on the days of the week before you take your summer break.
  • Your work always piles up, and remains untouched in your absence.
  • Your team thinks ‘business continuity’ is about as likely as flying to the moon…

You may also want to share these tips with your colleagues.

Now’s the time to change your approach.

So you can pack your bucket and spade, relax and truly enjoy your hard-earned break.

Success is up to how you delegate the duties. When you successfully delegate, business continuity, and a stress-free holiday are guaranteed. If you get it wrong, nightmare starts again.
So, here are four steps for delegating.

Step One: Identify a Deputy

Do it now! Think about what needs to be continued in your absence:

  • The day-to-day tasks
  • The capital projects, or major items
  • The meetings in which your team really needs to be represented

The key factor in delegation is trust.  Surely, as a leader, you’ve been building trust between yourself and your team members through all year.  So, it should be straightforward to identify one person who can step up to this role.

And it may be someone you’d like to develop and stretch their capabilities.  So now’s the time to brief them on their temporary role.

And this person is not, necessarily, your PA.  There’s a difference between taking messages and saving up the tasks, and actually clearing and completing tasks in your absence.

Give them a few days before you go, to support and ease into the role.  And of course, they may want to delegate in their turn…

Step Two: Inform Your Stakeholders

Let your stakeholders know there’s a single point of contact for this timeframe.  Be specific about what having a deputy means and what ‘business continuity’ looks like for the next few weeks.

Step Three: Introduce Your Deputy to Stakeholders

If you have time before you go, introduce your deputy to people and hand-over the role publicly.  Showing your confidence in your deputy will give confidence to others, too.

Step Four: Explain Your Method to Your Boss

When line managers understand what’s happening and why, they are less likely to step in and ‘take over’ control in your absence. Certainly, managers are present to support your deputy and having a three-way meeting together will ensure that business is run as usual.

When organisations create a culture of successful business continuity over the summer break, more gets achieved, and there’s a successful workflow. This is satisfying for the team, as well as being a more effective way of working.

Yes, it requires an investment of time to create a culture of business continuity, but returns are greater productivity and improved team cohesion. Oh yes, and here are tips number five and six:

Tip #5

Turn on your ‘out of office’ message, with your deputy’s contact details.  Turn it on now. And while you’re away, switch off your office e-mails on your mobile devices for the duration.

Tip #6

Start packing your summer reading. Get out your bucket and spade.  And check the use-by date on your sun-cream…

If delegation isn’t your strength or you need support to stop micro-managing, we run a 2-day ‘leadership essentials’ programme called ignite.  Contacts us at kocluk@dbe.com.tr for more details.

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