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Bob Schoultz
Naval/Academic leader

Bob Schoultz

Captain Bob Schoultz (U.S. Navy, Ret.) directs the Master of Science in Global Leadership at the University of San Diego's School of Business Administration.

Relax or Else

Obviously many leaders go on vacation and stay plugged in - very plugged in. This allows some relaxing, some engagement with work, but doesn't do either well. Not only does the leader need to unplug and unwind, but the rest of the organization needs to know it can function well without the leader's constant presence, virtual or otherwise. Sometimes leaders must guard against letting the need to feel indispensable take priority over the need to develop subordinates.

The leader's vacation is an opportunity to develop individual subordinates and the team. If the boss doesn't trust the team to manage the organization well and make decisions in pursuit of the boss's vision while the boss is away and perhaps out of touch, then, I would argue, either the boss needs a new team, or needs to change his/her approach to team development.

Subordinates don't truly develop their ability to make decisions for the organization until they feel they have the trust and confidence of the leader. On a ship, a junior officer who is the designated Officer-of-the-Deck, doesn't feel trusted until the Captain and/or Executive Officer are willing to go to their staterooms to sleep, and leave the junior officer running the ship. If leaders are insisting that they remain fully engaged, providing direction, oversight and the 'right' answers 24/7, the team will never fully develop, subordinates will feel stifled and afraid to make decisions, and the boss will feel tied to his or her job like a ball and chain, and miss out on the joys of letting a well-oiled machine run smoothly, while the boss is de-stressing in the wine country of Tuscany or on the slopes of Vail.

By Bob Schoultz

 |  August 11, 2009; 7:10 AM ET
Category:  Leadership personalities Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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