Apparently I have cost a lot of people some money with my vacation: Apparently there was a bet out there that my vacation wouldn’t last a week with a lower payout if it didn’t last two weeks. Sorry folks
I haven’t stepped foot into the office since March 31st and I don’t intend to either. My staff has handled everything in my absence: promotions, marketing, dealing with system maintenance, new hardware and software rollouts, fantastic progress on the ExchangeDefender 7 and Shockey Monkey, getting rid of a toxic employee, training, collateral – really, everything has gone flawlessly so far.
Or they have just been great about not sharing the stories of carnage with me.
Look, I’ve worked pretty much non-stop for a decade to build Own Web Now and make it what it is today. I was dead serious about taking a month off to relax, refocus and reenergize.
How I Do It
My wife knows me best and she correctly characterized me as a binger. Like Charlie Sheen I only have one gear: Go! It partially explains how we’ve been so successful through the years: Not only do I work hard but I also beat the shit out of everyone around me to get their absolute best. That type of schedule and intensity doesn’t allow for relaxing vacations because I’m always thinking about what’s next.
For the fellow bingers and workaholics who don’t buy into the life balance bull, here is how I did it, step by step:
1. Before I went on my vacation I made sure to wrap up all my outstanding projects and reassign anything that I did not finish.
2. I delegated my mailbox management to a VP on my team. They have full access to my mailbox and delegate issues as neccessary.
3. My management team discussed every possible weird scenario that could happen that is not in the blueprint. For example, what do we do if the agents show up and put a big lock on our door.
4. I made sure that our core partner base knew that I was away and was going to stay away no matter the emergency.
5. I committed to no strategy discussions during my leave. This means any HR decisions, any product decisions, any marketing decisions, anything else that had to get done would get done by my team without penalty.
6. The hardest part: I was not to work on my computers. I was locked out of my work desktop. I was locked out of our beta environment. I was locked out of our test servers. Even if I had a brilliant idea, I could not call people up and try to make them work.
It has worked for the past 18 days. I had a few phone calls with quick questions, a few text messages and some IMs, nothing drastic.
Why? When I come back I am not coming back to the same role I’ve had for the past 13 years as the CEO of Own Web Now. Sure, the title will be the same but I will not be doing what I’ve been doing so far. There is something new called Project Blueprint, I hope to fill you in on the details over the summer. If you look at the “Final Vladville Post” there are some hints in there about the future of our industry not being similar to the past. No, it won’t happen overnight, but it’s going in a new direction and that’s the key to a successful business: you change with the times.
I needed to take time off so I could adjust myself so I can lead us through the next decade.