Lead by Leaving: How Vacation Time Can Enhance Your Leadership

Jun 27, 2023

🏖️ Imagine soaking up the sun on a tropical beach, or exploring the charming streets of a historic city. For many business leaders, this is an elusive dream twinkling in their eyes. The balance between work responsibilities and the allure of vacation is a constant struggle. If you've ever wondered how you can manage to take that much-needed time off, you're in the right place.

The Business Leader's Dilemma

The world of business is relentless. The fear of missing out on crucial meetings, overlooking emerging opportunities, or the business falling apart in your absence can make the concept of vacation seem daunting. However, contrary to these worries, research reveals that taking a vacation can actually increase the likelihood of getting a raise or a promotion​1.

The Importance of Taking Time Off

Burnout is an all too common issue among business leaders. There's too much at stake and too many people counting on you. To continue serving the employees and clients who rely on you, you have to consider your own well-being. Being a good manager means leading by example. By not taking regular vacations, leaders demonstrate how little they value time spent away from work — and employees will take note. When both managers and employees fail to take time off, the company suffers​2​.

The Case for Vacation

Organizations like Kronos have recognized this and launched open vacation policies, which have proven successful. Employees are able to balance their work and personal lives more effectively, leading to increased productivity and employee satisfaction​3​.

Making the Most of Your Vacation

However, just going on vacation isn't enough. It's essential to truly unplug during your time off. That means keeping your technology turned off and setting clear boundaries between work and leisure. Plan your vacation in advance and communicate clearly with your team about their responsibilities during your absence. This allows you to completely relax, recharge your creativity, and return to work with a fresh perspective and renewed energ​y2​.

The Return on Investment

Vacations are not just about relaxation. They also provide a unique opportunity for reflection and goal setting. Returning to work after a refreshing break often leads to the implementation of new and better ways to achieve important business goals. Furthermore, your absence might lead to employees stepping out of their comfort zones, stretching their skills, growing in confidence, and uncovering new potential​2​.


In conclusion, taking time off is not a luxury but a necessity for business leaders. It's an investment in personal well-being, employee development, and business success. So, start planning that vacation you've been dreaming about. You owe it to yourself, your team, and your business.

📢 Your thoughts matter! Share your vacation experiences or challenges in the comments section. How do you balance work and time off? Have you noticed any positive changes after taking a vacation? Let's start a conversation!


  1. "Are the People Who Take Vacations the Ones Who Get Promoted?" Harvard Business Review, 2015 source
  2. "The CEO of Kronos on Launching an Unlimited Vacation Policy." Harvard Business Review, 2017 source
  3. "Why It's Vital for Business Managers to Take Vacation Days." InnovationManagement, 2023 source