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All work and no rest is a recipe for a meltdown. You owe it to yourself and your business to take some time off now and then to recharge, renew and rebuild your store of resources. That might entail taking care of your physical, mental, emotional, and/or spiritual health.
In this podcast, Gail talks with Erin about the sabbatical she took at the end of last year and how it has contributed to her personal and professional growth.
Gail explained that her decision to take a sabbatical was the result of a couple of years of thinking and planning. She had been working really hard on the business and needed some time to rest, reflect and process. As the business matures, her role is changing, and she felt this would be a good opportunity to see how the team performed without her daily input. She also wanted some space to work on some areas of personal growth she had identified.
After a short vacation, Gail recounted, she devoted herself to improving her self-care and working on aspects of herself she wanted to change. She did a lot of reading and took time to think about things, meditate, journal and write. She also engaged the services of a coach. Her goal was not only self-development, but also to improve how she interacts with others.
“In order to show up differently,” said Gail, “I needed to feel differently. Our energy is what other people feel. You get back what you put out.”
Erin asked Gail how she decided on what things she would work on during her time away. Gail said she wanted to address those areas where she had identified she had the biggest gap, areas where she felt she needed to learn more. In some cases, that required gaining new knowledge or awareness, in others gaining new skills.
Gail also spent time thinking about the business. It’s something she always does at the end of the year, looking back at what went well and what did not. This time, she particularly wanted to focus on areas where they needed to improve and things they needed to stop doing. Those are the two areas, said Gail, where you need to work on your business to get the most meaningful results.
As their conversation came to an end, Gail asked Erin what she learned from Gail’s sabbatical. Erin said it was a good experience for the team. They were ready for the challenge to carry on without Gail’s daily involvement and really came together to help each other out. It meant a lot, said Erin, that they could see that Gail really believes in them.
Gail went into great depth about the personal and business goals she set for herself during her sabbatical and how it has made a big difference for her. Listen to the entire podcast to get the details.
Mentioned in This Podcast
In talking about burnout and the need to take occasional breaks from work, Erin described a graphic she had seen recently seen called “Pick Your Path,” created by the team Liz and Mollie, who create simple cartoons illustrating aspects related to work and office life. You can find them on Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest.
Gail referred to several books she read during her sabbatical that she found especially helpful. They were:
— Atlas of the Heart: Mapping Meaningful Connection and the Language of Human Experience by Brené Brown (for more information, go to her website at brenebrown.com/book/atlas-of-the-heart/
— What Got You Here Won’t Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful by Marshall Goldsmith (for more information, go to his website at marshallgoldsmith.com
— Think Like a Monk: Train Your Mind for Peace and Purpose Every Day by Jay Shetty (for more information, go to his website at thinklikeamonkbook.com)
One of the areas for development Gail spoke about was the servant heart and servant leadership. For some background, you might want to read this article from the SHRM website: The Art of Servant Leadership
In their discussion about business planning and strategy, Gail and Erin mentioned some useful analytical tools:
— 5 Whys: a method for digging down to get to the root cause of a problem (for an explanation and some samples of how it works, go to the Mind Tools website at https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newTMC_5W.htm
— SWOT Analysis: identifying business Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (for how to conduct a SWOT analysis and some examples, go to the Mind Tools website at https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newTMC_05.htm
— 360 Feedback: a method for collecting performance feedback from a variety of individuals and perspectives, such as employees, supervisors, clients, product and service providers, colleagues and peers, competitors, etc. (for a more in-depth explanation and some examples, go to https://virtualspeech.com/blog/360-degree-feedback