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Michael Maccoby

Michael Maccoby

Michael Maccoby is an anthropologist and psychoanalyst globally recognized as an expert on leadership. He is the author of The Leaders We Need, And What Makes Us Follow.

Get a Real Vacation

For a vacation to recharge their batteries, leaders better make sure they delegate all but the most critical decisions and that they vacation in a place where they can fully relax. Otherwise, I can imagine the following cell phone conversation between the CEO on vacation and the COO who has been left in charge.

CEO calling COO: Hi Steve, how are things going?

COO: OK now Bill.

CEO: What do you mean by "now"?

COO: Well, the XYZ company canceled their order. So I had to cut production, lay off 500 workers, and cancel some of our order for supplies. Of course, the union is making threatening noises. And it looks like we're being sued by one of our suppliers who claims we can't get out of our contract with them. But legal says the suit has no merit.

CEO: Why didn't you call me? I know some of these people. I could be talking to them.

COO: You said you needed a real vacation, no stress, and I should call you in a crisis. We've taken care of these problems. How is your vacation going?

CEO: It was fine until my brother-in-law arrived with his two-year-old twins and a baby that never stops screaming. I've started sleeping on the boat. But with all these company problems, I think it's best that I cut this vacation short. I'll be back in the office Monday.

By Michael Maccoby

 |  August 11, 2009; 12:28 PM ET
Category:  Leadership personalities Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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