A friend forwarded this email to me.
It’s from the CEO of his wife’s company.
Wouldn’t you love to work for a CEO like this?
I’ve gotten to know my SET (Senior Executive Team) members rather well now. One individual – who shall not be named — was on vacation last week. During that week, I did not receive a single email from this person. I am a huge fan of this individual who carries a great deal of responsibility for our organization. Our working relationship and these responsibilities usually result in us having several conversations and multiple emails during the course of a week. And last week, there were no conversations and no emails. Best I can tell, project executions continued, support went on, decisions were made, issues were addressed and the work got done. The organization was quite capable of carrying on for a week without its leader. And, it would carry on for a week without me. And it will carry on for a week without you. The organization would feel our mutual absences if we were gone for many weeks. But one week – no problem. At times folks time take time off but they don’t really take time off. They check their email. They return phone calls. They might go to a meeting. They keep their Blackberry on their person. Why? It’s clear to me that the work is not requiring this (OK, sometimes it does.). It seems to me that we can’t let go. We do this for ourselves rather than for our work colleagues. We decide to take precious and fleeting time that we have with our family, our friends, and ourselves and we decide to spend part of that time with work colleagues who probably don’t need us. And, we divert time away from those who probably do need us. We take time that could be spent swimming in a lake or playing mini-golf or reading a racy spy novel or riding a bike and divert it to worrying about a project or an issue or a budget. We take time that could have been spent holding hands with a child or hugging a spouse or watching the sunset and divert it to work stuff. We have decided that work is more important. We are wrong. Your body needs down time. Your heart and soul need time with friends and family. Your psyche needs time to enjoy the world and spend time on activities that you find fun. Family and friends need you. We need you. But for one week or two weeks, we don’t need you. If you don’t take vacation time, I am ordering you to do so. And when you do take vacation time, you have my permission and encouragement to not check email or voice mail and to leave your cell phone and Blackberry in the bottom drawer of your bedroom dresser. I’ll write to your boss if that helps. Enjoy the summer. Do send us a postcard if you take a trip to a neat place.