“Do you believe in vacations?” my head of customer service asked me.
It was a little after 7 pm, and Mike and I were walking to our cars together to head home. We talked about how overwhelmed he was given the torrid pace of our sales organization.
Our software company had the timing just right, and the business really took off. Lots of sales meant lots of new customers which meant an insatiable need for installation, training and support.
“Of course I believe in vacations. Why do you ask?” I said.
“You work seven days a week. You call management planning meetings on Saturdays. I never see you take time off. I have a wife and two young kids, and I want to spend time with them at the beach,” he said.
“You should go on vacation with your family. That’s the right thing to do,” I said.
And then I asked, “Why haven’t you already taken the vacation?”
“I thought I would get fired,” he said.
I was speechless. What kind of leader had I become?
Success blinded me to the needs of my people in the business. I was so driven and so excited about what we were doing, I was compromising time with my own family as well as my employees’ time with their families. Right priorities start at the top.