Why even the CEO needs a holiday

Bruce Leith

Blog by: Bruce Leith - 10 / Sep / 2019

Being a business leader is an all-encompassing job. When the buck stops with you – when you are ultimately responsible for every aspect of your organisation, from your financial bottom line to your employees’ wellbeing – it can be difficult to take time out. But, just as you sometimes need to turn off a piece of technology to update and reboot, so it is vital for CEOs to take time out from their organisations every now and again.

Yes, in this blog we’re making the case for why the CEO needs a holiday. Here are our top three reasons for taking some time out.


High-pressure jobs can generate high levels of stress. Hardly a surprise. But the risks of that stress for both individual wellbeing, and the organisation itself, can be substantial. Work-related stress is not an issue to be taken lightly.

CEO burnout can have an enormously detrimental effect on health, on personal and family life, and indeed, on the ability of that CEO to do their job to the best of their abilities. Which, in turn, can lead to poor business decisions, ill thought-out strategy and an ability to run the organisation effectively.

Many CEOs, particularly business founders, are understandably hugely attached to their organisations and their roles. Learning to let go for a temporary period of time is an important lesson to learn. It can teach CEOs that they do not need to constantly keep every plate spinning – that other people can step in and provide help and support. 


Taking a holiday can actually be a more productive and creative move than you think. A different environment, a different routine, time away from tedious or stressful tasks – all these things can open up the mind and enable you to problem-solve or invent with far more creativity than you can in day-to-day life.

Sure, not every CEO’s holiday results in a brand-new invention. But creativity can be about so much more than developing a new product or service. It can be about rethinking team structure and organisation, in ways that enable greater collaboration of efficiency. It can be about coming up with a new application for an existing product, or a new sector to sell into. Creativity is what keeps businesses fresh and energetic, and a CEO holiday and work wonders.


Perspective can mean many different things. It can mean a new awareness of what really matters and how best to balance work and personal life. It can mean fresh insights into how different organisations and cultures do things – insights which can be carried back into the business on your return home. It can mean rethinking your role, and understanding where particular operations and responsibilities might be best delegated to a different member of the team.

All of these renewed perspectives can be enormously valuable for individual CEOs, and for the companies that they run. After all, in today’s dynamic business landscape, few organisations can afford to remain still for long. Fresh points of view are essential for identifying when you are doing something because it is the status quo, rather than because it is the best choice for you and the organisation.

So have we convinced you yet? If you didn’t manage to take a proper break this summer, now is the time.


Topics: CEO

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