Get Away to Get Ahead
By: Randy Wolken, President & CEO

Do you ever feel like you are caught up?  Many I meet do not.  The treadmill seems to move faster and faster no matter how fast they run.  What do I recommend?  Get away!  Doing what you are doing to run your business is important.  Creating your future business is even more important.  Getting some time away from what you are doing each day is one of the best ways to begin to create the future.

In the middle of the daily grind, how creative do you feel?  Are you energized?  Do you feel like you can run through walls and achieve the impossible?  Probably not. You need to re-energize and give yourself the opportunity to be creative.  In a worldwide survey of leaders regarding skills required to lead in today’s world, the most important skill was identified as creativity. To be creative most of us need to leave the daily grind behind – even if only for a few hours.

The more we learn about the brain, the more we know that we need to slow down to go fast.  We need to relax to be creative.  To do this we need to work differently while we are at work and we need to get away from our daily grind to see our future.

When you read this, I will be on the last few days of a trip to visit my daughter in Scotland.  She is studying abroad this semester.  On the trip, I know I will enjoy myself – Scotland is a nice place to go.  My body and soul will get a break from the hectic schedule I keep while in Syracuse.  More importantly, to my teammates at MACNY and our members, my mind will also get a break.  It will open up a space for new thinking – and recommitting to creating a better MACNY.  How do I know these things?  Because they happen nearly every time I make the effort to get away.

When I am away, I am intentional about the type of vacation I have.  It is at a reduced pace from my work life.  I slow down.  I sleep more.  I sit and have coffee and enjoy time with others.  It truly is a vacation. When I get away like this, I come back rejuvenated and with fresh ideas and a renewed spirit.

Don’t get me wrong, I also go on “trips.”  During those times away I run at a pace that is as fast – or faster – than when I am at work.  They don’t give me much rest or spark creativity.  These days, I try to avoid such “trips.”  Why?  They do not add value to my work life or personal life.

Science tells us that we can be more creative and productive when we slow down.  My own experience and those of others I work with validate this. What is your experience?  Can you get away and slow down?  Will you allow yourself the opportunity to think about the future – so that you can create it? These are important questions to consider in a world of constant stress and change.  Getting away so I can get ahead is one way I have found to become a more effective leader. Could it work for you?