Episode 40: What I Didn't Do on my Summer Vacation

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Remember when you were kids and anticipated summer vacation? The feeling of sheer joy, being “free” to do whatever and having the time to do! That kid is still very much alive and well, although with years of work – life conditioning, may need a refresher on how to really unplug. This means managing what we will not do on our summer family vacations and planning well to hold to that. Easier said than done? Should I take calls? Should I beavailable by email or Text? The challenge is to “Manage Out!” This means planning what we will NOT do on our summer vacation. Please join us as Voltage CEO Jeff Smith and Principal Consultant Lee Hubert will share some tips and practical guidance on how to make this summer’s vacation the best and most memorable for everybody.


Lee Hubert is a Leadership Coach, Trainer, Facilitator and Keynote Speaker with Voltage Leadership in Roanoke, Virginia. He brings energy and enthusiasm to grow leaders at all levels, help managers reduce conflict and build teams that produce results. Lee has served in various human resources and leadership development roles at Fortune 500 companies including: MCI, Wisconsin Energy, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, Wake Forest University Hospital, and the Hospital Corporation of America. As a public speaker, he has presented leadership development topics at management retreats and strategic planning sessions throughout the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern USA. Lee brings over 20 years’ experience in Management Training, Employee Engagement, Performance Management, Succession Planning, Employee Relations and Conflict Resolution to bear for clients of Voltage Leadership.


Jeff: Welcome to VoltCast we're so glad you could be here today. I’ve got Lee Hubert with me today.

Lee so happy to have you. Lee all I can say is that whenever we have a show it is a beautiful day.

It is awesome so thanks for joining us and for all of the folks that reach out during the week please know that you can reach us at VoltageLeadership.com at our website. You can email me at Jeff@ VoltageLeadership or Lee@VoltageLeadership. You can also find us on Facebook at Voltage Leadership as well as on Twitter @VoltageLeaders. Lots of great notes, really appreciate it. I’d be remiss if I didn't tell you the most exciting thing that's going on is June 15th the book is launching.

Lee: That's been a long journey and to you and John and the other authors that's all cool.

Jeff: I appreciate that so you know if you want some more information go to our website go to John Hagmaier or VoltageLeadership.com. You can order the book, they'll be live and ready to be ordered.

The name of the book is From Aha to All In: The Leadership Lessons of an Unexpected Entrepreneur and so it really talks about you know a lot of the stuff that we talk about on our show quite honestly. I was with John yesterday and we're going to have John back on the show in July so that we can sort of say you know what did we even learn about writing the book together, but also be able to share some of his lessons and things that he learned being a first-time CEO, what it takes to go from an entrepreneur to growing a company.

Lee: When I spoke to him some time ago he was mentioning the chapter about his dad.

Which was really cool so looking forward to seeing that.

Jeff: It'll be great. Today Lee has this great top of the day came in to talk about in the studio and what I didn't do on my summer vacation.

Lee: Emphasis on what I didn't do. Did not do.

Jeff: I'm intrigued. You know so what Lee and I know is that you guys are busy and what we want to be able to do is give you some tools and tips on how do you disengage and how do you be successful and what are your plans for summer vacation? Literally I had a coaching session yesterday and I asked him you know, what are your plans this summer? He goes I haven't made any.

He's accountable to say you know by an email, by later this week when is he actually going to get us, you know the dates scheduled. The clock's ticking, you know who you are. The clock’s ticking, alright so Lee you know what made you think of this topic though.

Lee: Well you think about it you're in this time of the year. People are working hard they got their head down, you know people achieving right. You know you're getting after it. That's all good right? That's all meritorious, you know people want to get results. Then there comes a time what I'm calling harmonic convergence. It's a term called harmonic convergence synonymous with vacation right.

It's harmonic convergence. Well think about it, it's a Chevy Chase, you're going down the road, cue Lindsey Buckingham Holiday Road. All that stuff right so go to that place okay you are unplugged and on the road and on vacation. I wanted to introduce the topic of managing.

Going across the country, I'll tell you about my wife's kid's vacation when she was a kid going across the country in the Woody, you remember?

For all you bloomers we had the Woodies, you understand what I'm talking about. I wanted to introduce the concept of managing out and what that means is kind of what you were just talking about it. You got somebody who says, “Okay what is out?”

Define what is out and you know at Voltage Leadership we do some things with different tools, you know the five years. We talked being in first gear, being unplugged. What does that mean? You know drill on that just a little bit, but I wanted tee this up today with and just an experience story.

You know when we are kids all my siblings are going to freak out when they hear this if you listen to this. You know John and Bill and Mary and Dawn, if you listen to this this is all good right? We would go from our place in Brewerton across Oneida Lake. It's 30 miles long in Upstate New York and it took you about 45 minutes to get around you know 30 miles across the lake.

We run the boat up on the dock or the shore of a place called Sylvan Beach. Sylvan Beach was this kind of quaint you had to be there kind of thing and we spent our summers there. It was awesome. It was a turn of the century theme park and it had all of the essentials.

Jeff: What century are we talking, I’m just sorry Lee.

Lee: Well actually I am talking about the turn of the 20th century.

Because all that stuff was vintage. You could sell this stuff on eBay or Amazon for a mint if that hasn't been done so already.

This is a boomer thing so you know he was getting us so. They had all the essentials right? They had you know the hammer okay.

They had the Tilt-A-Hurl excuse me, the Tilt-A-Whirl and they had the mother of all carousels. This an ornate thing right. We would drive our parents absolutely crazy, “Can I have some money? Can I have some money? Can I have some money?”

It's like sure just give us some peace right, which kind of ties in to what we're talking about here today. It's like we want you all to be come back recharged not just be stuck in domestic mode okay.

The hours that we spent doing this done and fishing off the pier and then going out on to the lake. It was just awesome so you know I'm hoping in your mind's eye that you can go back to some of these places and remember what that felt like because when you were kids you had some fun. Okay that kid is still there. We want you to have them come out this summer and make your vacation plans and really let it hang out, really enjoy yourself.

Jeff: Well you know the interesting part is my daughter has just graduated from high school and off on a mission trip. It's all great you know it's just I can hear some of the people in the background being like, “Oh my gosh you don't know my life we’re you're so busy and you know I've got a boss that makes me stay connected.” There is all these kind of things and so you know I think we've got to be realistic too about how do we help folks. You know so as we.

You know wander through this conversation, you know on the other hand I do think that it starts from what's the ideal state? Lee’s ideal state, his just you know he just described that. The first thing I want two guys to think about is what is your ideal state? What is the ideal vacation?

Where is it? What do you hope to do and really be intentional about that and not the current reality, not it's chaos there's 17 things on the desk.

All that kind of stuff, but if you really Lee likes to use this phrase and I really enjoy it as well is you know you're creating great memories and so what are those great memories that you're going to.

Going to create. Just at Memorial Day weekend I took my family and we went on a hike on the Appalachian Trail up to McAfee’s Knob.

Lee: Now the interesting part was it was actually a pretty hard hike. It was a little bit more than eight miles total. Folks you know there was minimal whining.

This is the marathon runner guy talking now, so to understand the context here.

Jeff: Yes, but do you know not everyone in the family runs marathons.

You know some of these, it was pretty hard thing, but what I felt good about was the smiles and the laughter.

Each member of the family at some point paired off and had conversation. So for those that don't know I have four kids and so there was my daughter who dropped back, “So Dad what's going on?”

Then the two brothers for a while chased each other, throwing sticks and doing things.

The two sisters for a little while went together and then Beth and I you know had a little time. It was perfect you know and you know we still had a phone, but we chose not to use it. You know it was there just for safety.

Lee: But you know it was so much fun just to unplug and so as I get ready for a big summer vacation part of what I want to do is yes, I know the phone is going with us, but the phone's got time out. The reason I talked about this mission trip that my daughter is going on is our pastor will keep her phone, the rest of the teenage phones get taken out for the week.

Jeff: Awesome and so they text us to say they’re there. They're going to in this case they're going to that Appalachian Service Project in Kentucky this year, but they’ve gone to Philadelphia. They have gone to Florida.

You put the phones away and now it's a week of working and so it's fabulous for them to be able to say, “Hey they are able to just connect.” Part of it is that's the ideal state. Would you think the teenagers could normally get there? No, but I promise you, you haven't been on those trips, they can get there.

You must dream at first well yes there is some pre-thought to that and you know I hope your time away is everything you hoped it wouldn't and less.

Truly and less. You mentioned family memories and you know my daughter Elizabeth who lives in Waukesha in suburban Milwaukee, we are talking about a trip we made out west. We were out in Arizona. We were at Slide Rock near Sedona. You know the long story short with that is the water was freezing cold. It's a natural water slide for you folks who have been you know what it is that I'm talking about. If you haven't please go, it's just beautiful and there were people all around, but they're watching us. We're the only people in the water. We got one other people and they looked at the license plates we had at the time Wisconsin license plates.

Other people were from like Montreal or something and they looked at us like we were crazy like the water was too cold. We're like compared to what okay and my daughter still talks about it.

Elizabeth here I'm sure you're listening. This is just an absolute riot you start at the top. It's about 15 feet and it dumps you into this natural pool.

Jeff: What I think we should start doing is okay let's start on some of the tools and tips right. Pretty good framework we dreamed a little right.

Lee: I’m going to be a dreamer.

Jeff: You know what's the ideal vacation? What's the way to get out of office?

Lee: Well the first step is planning and doing planning well. Remember I want to introduce the concept of managing.

First, give yourself enough lead time. Don't get into the short mode like you were just talking about with your coaching.

Situation. You got to have it. Treat this as important as any other piece of business you're going to treat and you'll give it its diligence. If you haven't done the planning well you're going to run into trouble and there's nothing worse than a vacation that's a bummer that you know doesn't live up to your expectations. There's something to that if you plan early you know give yourself anticipation because that builds excitement.

You look at your kids or you look at people who are going to be on vacation and hey you've got three more weeks we're going to go and we're like yes we can't wait to get to wherever we're going Cabo Wabo whatever it is you know. It let it build and when you get there you want to make sure it delivers right.

Jeff: A couple of quick notes on that just in our family often on the big vacations like when we go to Disney World, we're going to Europe here soon. Beth and the kids put together a chain link that counts down the days when we're about 25 to 30 days out.

Each morning you know, and she might make one for each kid or you know we really wants to and they start peeling it off and so there's this real sense of anticipation for the whole family and when it's out 30 you don't think about it that much, but I'll tell you what when we get inside of like 10.

You're like holy crap there's a couple of things to do like you know.

Lee: Yes and I love that sort of visual reminder of like.

It's hey you know for me sometimes it's like we have Verizon phones, oh I just need to you know confirm we got the right plan you know go on for the credit card let them know we're out of the country so expect some things to come in from Norway or Sweden. Just having that little things really gets the whole family into it so small little thing, but it even helps in the family.

Jeff: Well can you imagine if you were out of the country and you didn't call your bank to say, “Oh by the way I'm going to Stockholm.”

Lee: Well you know the as we talk about tips and takeaways for this, planning is first and what does planning entail? You know I was talking about the getting to domestic by driving you know parents crazy because they would feed us you know pure sugar diabetic cotton candy.

Jeff: I think the you know what I want folks to know is that we're talking about what I didn't do in my summer vacation and how do you get really prepared to disconnect and be able to you're so great at your jobs, but to be able to take a moment away and recharge those batteries. When we come back we're going to give you some more suggestions tools and tips throughout the program. We’ll talk to you in two minutes.


Jeff: Welcome back to VoltCast I got Lee Hubert in here today.

Lee, I'm glad you're here we are talking about what I didn't do on my summer vacation and.

You know and I'm going to talk about some things that I did do in my summer vacation I'm going to break the rules.

Exactly right so when we were before the break Lee is going to be with us for the whole show and we're going to be taking you through you know just ideas and suggestions of how do you unplug and how do you make sure that the vacation is as optimal as possible? Right so we've been talking about planning. Planning builds anticipation. It builds excitement. It helps you plan your vacation so that it will go really well. You know and I think having one of the things you said here in your blog that's coming up is you know there's no bigger bummer than vacation that fails to deliver.

I’ve got to tell you that a lot of my clients they don't do this very well. It’s kind of like, oh gosh we’re midway through the summer and I don't have anything planned so I just slapped something together.

Kind of think they're going to go to beach and they end up yelling at each other the whole way down and frustrated.

She is a great planner. She has many gifts and that's one of them so Beth big shout-out thanks for all of that. You've moved on to this next topic called Domestic Outsourcing what in the heck is that?

Lee: Domestic Outsourcing so you mentioned it I mean especially for you folks that have children or you know family duties, daughter duty, son duty whatever that is, holiday duty. You've got things to do domestically you know and if you travel with a gaggle okay of kids four or five, six kids I mean you already know that that takes an effort. Be smart about it I mean if you're going to manage out remember that concept managing out what you are, what is out on vacation, what I really don't want to do. I don't want to get stuck feeling like I’ve just moved my domestic situation to the shore of a beach.

Jeff: Yes we you know some practical tips on that from our own experience of the beach.

Beth and her mom are fantastic at providing support, doing the grocery shopping, and therefore a few years, it really just felt all they had done was move from Roanoke down to, we go to the beach, Holden Beach, North Carolina every year. It just felt like they just said shifted that's all. They're making all the dinners. They did all of the grocery shopping.

What we have done is now we compile this. We started, gosh a good ten years ago, one big grocery list it gets sent out a six weeks ahead of time to make sure with that we meet everyone's needs.

Make sure none of that food gets in the house is helpful, but then there's also you know we've got five nephews between ages of like three and seven and so what are their needs? You know they have some dietary needs.

Lee: Absolutely.

Jeff: Well then we do the grocery shopping before we actually get to the beach. We get down there early.

We can't get in the beach house until normally one, two o’clock in the afternoon. We get down, we buy it all together, but it's kind of fun too to do it as a family.

And then we kind of drift off. We start to get lunch so that it is all pre-planned. We take it a step further though. Each family takes a night where they're in charge of the dinner.

Someone else so we've got kids that they're in charge of getting the dinner set up, but each family then you know Beth and I will probably have to two nights. We're in charge of those other nights that means we can stay on the beach longer.

Then there's also even to the point of who's on trash duty, you know we've evolved it. Who's on trash duty? Who undoes the dishwashers and we put it up there. The reason we do that is then it's clear. It could sound like it's over organized, we are actually Lee knows this well enough he comes to the house to do some of the shows and stuff. We are not outrageously like organized and that kind of stuff, but for vacation that way there's no hard feelings. You look and say, “Oh Tuesday night is our night that we do the dishwashing. I got it.”

Lee: You've communicated in planning mode.

You don't have that thing that I’ve seen you know people, couples we've been on vacation with in the back of their mind there’s a little you know not gobs, but a little resentment taking place. Well you get to go whack golf balls with the boys.

Jeff: Sure.

Lee: I get to sit here and scrub down the other kitchen.

Jeff: Then he was talking about the impact that that had on his family and his absence of doing exactly what we're talking about creating memories, right.

Lee: He goes I don't know how many of you out there listening are going to want to say when you get to the finish line I wish I spent more time at the office away from my family because to that point your kids are going to be up and gone.

To work or not that is the question. Well you mentioned it earlier if your boss situation is you know where you're required to you know to stay connected I mean you know let's get real I mean you see people in the radio hall.

I mean, and we see it all the time. In our world right so what's the logical guardrails and boundaries? You know here's a practical tip and take away to do that. What they part? When can you do it when it's least obtrusive?

Then you know, you know, and I know that if you get sucked in to that email trail it's like drinking from the fire hose and before you know it you've got a you know a three-alarm fire you got to put out.

You got to put some boundaries around that.

Jeff: Yes and you know one of the things that I talk about is which vacation is this? Right, sometimes it's just a three-day weekend right? Yes, probably don't want to check out on a 3-day weekend right? Okay if you're gone for a week at the beach, okay for some of you you're like oh my gosh I've got to check in. Do you?

One of us things I talk about in the planning is a delegate you know so if you're not there who can handle what for you?

Maybe you can't one delegate, but maybe per-project you can say hey I'm gone for this week or I'm gone for you know five days. Who is going to be the person that can do that? Again, that require some planning ahead of time.

Lee: Who are the people that you were before you put your out-of-office thing on.

You’ve run around the office including your reporting relationships and all of that and say look here's who is doing what. Understand we all have agreement and clarity on this before I'm out the door. Don't come to me after the fact and say, “Oh you didn't do.” I would say, “What?” Because I'll go back and point to the email that I wrote beforehand.

You got to pay attention.

Jeff: Yes and so have a delegate. On the other hand for some of the folks you know they just feel better if they can check in so what I would say is.

Lee: You mean those addicted to work and to ease as far as I understand.

Jeff: Yes is be intentional is what I talk to folks about. You know so they are the types that will actually feel more relaxed if they don't go the whole week without touching in, that will stress them out.

I will push them and say really let's check on that, but then they're like no. Hey in my case small business when I'm at the beach you know I’m probably going to check in twice.

You know because there are some people that they're going to expect a proposal from me or they're going to.

Have placed a phone call so what I do is that it’s a half an hour. I time-bound it. I literally do this. I will go and put my phone for 30 minutes. The clock starts ticking and so then I try to do it about 7:30 in the morning when everyone else is still kind of resting or maybe they're up. They're just watching cartoons or they're you know they're not ready to go out to the beach anyway. I time-bound it so that when that half an hour goes off I also try to do 7:30 so I don't—I’m not interacting with the office and we're getting back in a dialogue. I’m just pushing stuff back saying I've answered a few things or hey Lee such-and-such called can you follow up with them?

Lee: I think that's really wise and so if you do have to check in.

You set the parameters.

If you do it at 7:30 morning the chances are you know if your family is not up yet if you're on vacation mode, they might be sleeping in, whatever the case is.

You have achieved your desire and want and goals to stay connected.

It's not really getting in the way of the rhythm of your family's vacation.

Jeff: Yes and you know another thing I would do is Lee and I were talking about this coming into the show. On the trip down, Beth I will often drive. Beth will read me my emails and let her sort of you no respond back to a couple and then I let her drive for an hour or so she'll do driving for an hour or so on the way out of town on Saturday. Well that means that other people aren't back. I’ll finish up so that I get the rest of the weekend too. It's not hanging over my head so that when I come in on Monday I'm in pretty decent shape. One of the things I would encourage is this planning too of before you get out of the office know that last day is going to be crazy.

Right so try to leave yourself a couple of hours of good planning time to wrap up that last delegate, to tell the person that’s representing you, “Hey here's where the status is” and return that last phone call or two. I’d also encourage it if at all possible especially if it's a Monday or whatever give yourself a couple of hours of runway so even if you touched a few emails you probably didn't respond fully to a few. Give yourself a couple of hours so that you can get back and by the way walk around say hi to the people, reconnect. They want to hear did you have fun. Tell them a couple of stories.

Plan for that instead of it being like you're right back into task mode and everyone is like wow you didn't even get a vacation.

Lee: Yes we're going to talk five gears in just a second, but that very thing. Yes, it is I mean you know we do something here you know five years that's the Kubicek book. You know we talk about getting into first gear, which is completely unplugged.

As you get back to the office second and third gear. Third gear being the swing gear of the social mode how is your vacation?

You've been gone for whatever x amount of time how was it? Well it was aghast. Let me tell you about it.

There’s something to that where you were connecting with people was just not going back to drinking from the fire hose.

Jeff: Yes.

Lee: Gee Jeff that's great now you've got 17 things to do ready go.

Jeff: I’ve gotten better at that I admit that at first I'm really good at managing my time. I didn't factor that in and I’ve really I learned that people care.

They and that and so I got better at understanding just spend the time. Bring a couple of pictures. Laugh.

It's perfectly okay to do and you know it actually made me more productive because some of the emails and stuff while we're laughing over a few pictures they're like, “Oh by the way that one's covered. That one’s covered. That one’s covered.

We connected, but it was over relationship and not just a bunch of tasks.

Lee: Well you're sharing your relationship you're sharing your personhood like the picture of the boys on the Knob on the rock up at the knob.

Jeff: That's great so you know Lee we we've got a couple more tools and tips to go through, probably a couple more stories to go through and you know this is probably a good place to break. I love these ideas and suggestions. Please folks you know during the week if there's something you've got. You've got an idea on that share some email you know we'll be happy to correspond and know that a blog is coming out on this and we’ll also be sending out the transcripts from this so if you're missing a couple of these ideas know that's coming. Right now it's time for a two-minute break so we’ll rejoin you in two minutes.

Lee: Well-planned.


Jeff: Welcome back to VoltCast. Lee Hubert is in the studio with me today.

This is Jeff Smith. We are having a heck of a time so we are hoping you are having as much fun as we are.

I mean we really are we're having a good time just laughing and you know reliving some of our summer vacation memories. We're about halfway through a conversation around tools and tips about how do you do less on your summer vacation. What is it that you didn't do? You know and we really are intentional about this title so Lee you know why don't you pick up here with.

We've been doing to work or not to work you know I don't know if there's anything else that you want to cover.

Lee: That is the question, yes.

What I did not do. What I didn't do on my summer vacation and it has equity it has family equity. It has relational equity. I love it.

If you miss this point you're paying—you are paying a price you really are so you mentioned before about email, I just want to make the point that email, that little device does not have a place with its own lounge chair next to you on the beach.

Jeff: What!

Lee: It doesn't. I’m sorry. It doesn't if you've been on vacation or even been out on the road with people.

They’ve sucked. They are digital zombies okay. You’d forget the word you’re using or you call them zombie something.

Frank Zappa, you get to point where it's like, “Dad, dad, dad I’m really excited, dad, dad, dad, dad, dad.” Like when my daughter was a tot, she would say, “Dad, dad, dad, dad, dad, dad, dad.” Trying to get your attention and well she should get my attention she was very persistent or some kid in the grocery store yells, “Hey dad.” Fifteen guys turn around it's just so ingrained you're not there to do that if you’re sucked in to this email monster on the lounge chair so just be understand that.

You know if there's any one thing that would zero out the distractions I’m going to use the business formula for this and apply this in planning mode and parameter mode for your vacation. Your ability to P perform meaning be excellent on vacation equals your potential meaning that your plan, your P potential planning times innovation times oh let's think of someplace new to go, something new adventuresome for my family minus D distraction. The distractions are distractions. Remember my Exxon story I mean I don't want to get to the finish line and say, “Gee I wish I ignored my family more.”

Tell me how that will work out for you.

Jeff: Yes, exactly. There won't be anybody in the hospital room with you. A quick tip with you on that. Be very intentional. Like what is your plan are you—do you have an out office or not? You know some do. Some don't. I don't really care. Just have a plan right? Is someone checking your email for you or not? You know it's talking with a group of recruiters this morning. They can't not have somebody checking it.

I’m out of office. You know I’ve got one client I’ve been thinking about specifically right now whose son is graduating and they're taking a two week trip. They're heading off to Africa. Amazing trip, she's already been telling for the last couple weeks.

I’m out you know said person is going to be covering for me.

I’ll hopefully this job will be filled by the time I get back and I'll check in on you. If not I'll pick up where I left off, but has set the criteria earlier right.

Lee: There's some personalities too that for whatever reason just have a more difficult time than others letting go.

You're reminding me of a coaching relationship I had with a person. Person’s brilliant, much smarter than I'll ever be. You know advanced degrees, medical, all of this stuff and it was I had to. I say, “Here's your homework on Thanksgiving Day I do not want you to go into the office. I do not want you to work. I want you to sit at home, watch TV, and eat too much turkey and fall asleep watching football.” Now this person wasn't going to do that in those terms, but it was like they had to be reminded that they weren't you know in that intense mode. You were like an alligator latched a hold of this thing and then you're going to wrestle with it and drag it under the water and kill it. I was like no no. Take a little bit of time.

Get to the other side. Manage it out. Okay, take this out.

Jeff: Well and back to the email thing. You know figure out your rules of engagement before you go. You know and if talked about different vacations. This three-day week you know maybe you don't check at all. If it's for the weekend and you feel like you got to or you're gone for two weeks. Figure that out. Be intentional because if not it creeps and I love this analogy. It's a great picture that you've drawn is it does not get its own lounge chair on vacation.

If you're not careful, it really can so you know Lee has laughed about this, but when I go to Disney World, I walk around with a pink phone.

Beth’s case is pink.

Lee: It's a fashion statement.

Jeff: It is a fashion statement. I look good. The reason I do this is that I can't stop myself.

This is a true story from about I don't know 5 years ago. I’m with Olivia we're waiting for a ride and I just happened to look so Olivia may have been about 13 I guess at the time so I'm getting this valuable time with you know my daughter. You don't get you know that kind of thing.

We got on half an hour 40-minute wait for one of the rides you know. We're very excited. We're having a nice time. I checked the e-mail. Next thing you know I can't remember much about that next half an hour or 35 minutes of you know conversation that was there.

After that we needed a phone because I’m in one part of the park Beth is in a different part of a park right. We just switched phones.

She doesn't have my email and so we can still text each other.

We're still in contact.

Lee: That's a great point otherwise you'd be lost on people. If you do have two phones because you always do. You know you're in a store or something right where are you at? Swap phones.

Jeff: You know there was still that hand. It felt like it needed to reach out and check something every 30 seconds, but you know we really connected. I think just really cognizant. Additionally, we talked earlier on the show you know I try to do mine at like 7:30 in the morning or something where I know I'm not going to get many people that are going to be pinging me back and forth. I’m just trying to push it back out and say I’ll—and I’ll even tell people I’m not going to check in for 2 days and so if it's really urgent you know I generally give them Beth’s text phone number so that hey if you need, text Beth. You know you can get in contact with her and she can decide whether it's really that urgent or not.

Lee: Big gulp. Perfect. I mean if there's really something that needs to be escalated you've got the buffer built in.

Jeff: One last thought on that one and then we'll move on is if you find yourself in a back-and-forth conversation stop at two. Otherwise it needs to wait.

Lee: Stop at two.

Jeff: What your rules of engagement are, but I'm telling you, now you're in full-blown conversation and you've lost track of your vacation and you're no longer in you know a discussion with the people in the beach or.

Or in the mountains or you know Disney so.

Lee: To work or not to work that is the question and normally you can answer that Jeff. If you do have to work depending on your responsibilities put parameters around it.

Jeff: Alright so I know you didn't write this next one about me, but you know stop thinking that the world revolves around Jeff Smith. I mean what's wrong with that?

Stop thinking that the world revolves around you. What do you mean by that?

Lee: Well my wife says I have the youngest child syndrome. I’m the youngest of five and it's about me notice me notice me right. Hi hi and all that kind of stuff. That means when you’re out managing out don't forget that concept you know don't be perfect.

The world's not going to stop. The world still going to spin at 25,000 miles an hour. Your email is still going to fill up. The world will go on with or without you so understand and carve out that time.

A lot of people are just trying to be perfect. I can't miss something. I can't do this. It's like okay you need to lose that a little bit.

You need to ratchet down okay get out of fourth gear. Get into at least third gear and preferably you really what we're talking about is second gear. Just a brief refresh, you know fifth gear is strategic. It’s thinking time right.

Fourth gear is multitasking, spend about 85%-90% of our time there. That's what I'm talking about third gear is swing gear go you know swing up swing down, but you know don't talk all business. Second gear your present not business. First gear you are complete unplugged. So much for first gear and we're not going to achieve first gear. I don't even know if that's realistic anymore. You know it maybe and only you can answer that.

However you can certainly achieve second year okay so you can be present for family and if you need to flex up to third gear to a delegate whatever with parameters you can do that. By the way the world does not revolve around you. Another thing you know in terms of perfectionism people go on vacation. They have all of these worries in their head.

There's all of this anxiety. It's like oh my God how can you have such anxiety about going on that's something that's supposed to refresh you. You know save the drama for your mama you know leave the anxiety behind. That includes things like eating and all that kind of stuff.

Just accept the fact that you're going to eat a couple of wrong things and get back into your physical routine when your quote normal back in your normal space. Here's another tip I mean there's nothing preventing you from being physical while you're on vacation. Your legs aren't broken. Your arms aren’t broken. You know give yourself permission to go and get physical and if that takes the edge off of your perfectionism so be it. Then go enjoy a tea bon with a baked potato right or you know like the diabetic shock cotton candy we ate as kids I mean that's just or you go to the anaphylactic ice cream shop okay. It's going to happen so, but enjoy it and you may be doing it with one of your kids or your spouse.

Jeff: Yes and you know for us we try to multitask on that and what I mean by that is you know I go for my run in the morning you know so I love to run it's great for me it keeps me centered. Almost every night we try to go for a walk after dinner you know so you get a little of exercise and it also creates memories. You know because we find things. We talk about things. What made you laugh today and all that kind of stuff and so take a few walks during the day and make that you know. Go with someone you may be having to get to spend the week with you know as much time or that day off. It is amazing what can happen.

Lee: This really does well you know we were when we're on vacation we have a habit of taking pictures of sunsets and if you can make it there whether it's you know Clearwater Beach in Florida, whether it's Door County Wisconsin, North of Green Bay on Lake Michigan, sunsets are stunning. They're awesome and you go there and there's just something about it and you look at the sun hitting the water and it's just like ah okay and then look at the pictures afterwards okay. When somebody asks you in the office or wherever, “Hey how was your vacation?” You say, “Whoa check the sunset and then you know right and we would walk there as a family to get there right?” It's all good right it dovetails with what you were just talking about.

Jeff: Well and you know this last one here is just have fun, yes.

I mean I got Cindy Lauper in the back of my head, Girls Just Want to Have Fun. You know it's two guys talking, but dog-gone-it you know. I wrote a blog just recently it's like where has all the fun gone?

Lee: Where has all the fun gone?

Jeff: Yes or check it out on VoltageLeadership.com. You know if you're interested. It is a good discussion about we're just losing track of that fun thing.

Lee: Yes you know and so on vacation try to have some fun and you know what I would encourage gosh this is a quick tip, but I do this every summer my kids are going to roll their eyes. I asked them about right now what is it they want to accomplish over the summer and we normally come up with a list of about 10 to 12 things that's their fun things. We’ve been trying to accomplish it then as many as possible and so it will be things like playing putt-putt golf. It will be going on a hike. It will be doing these different things so that we can hopefully achieve those. Involve the family and don't have it just be what your fun is and be relaxed a little bit too.

If you don’t get to it all, it's okay if instead you had three really good memories.

Lee: You know that is a great point your fun is not a to-do list.

Jeff: We're coming up on our last two-minute break here so we're going to take a two-minute break and we'll come back with some tips and tools to wrap the show.


Jeff: Welcome back to VoltCast. We are so glad you could be here with us today Lee Hubert and I have been having just a grand old time.

Lee: Yes sir.

Jeff: Laughing and enjoying summer vacation and having a good conversation so to wrap up the show we're just going to go through some of our favorite tips and tools about you know what are the best practices we see both in our own families, with our clients, and maybe you’ve got some suggestions that you could share with us and we'll include those in a future blog.

Lee: Well I was just going to say you know the beach vacation has a planning stage, a beginning, a middle, and an end and near the end there's something called reentry.

If you were the kind of person that's going to cut everything so close to the bone okay, you're going to take the late flight and roll the dice and make sure you get out of that airport on time. Okay if you do, great you're here. If you don't you know okay that follows up maybe your next business day so give yourself a little space in between and plan some reentry time. What do I mean by that? This falls under that concept of managing out, what I didn't do on my summer vacation? What I didn't do was not a planned reentry time or what I did do was the kind reentry time. You know come back on Saturday. Make your first day in the office Tuesday if you can.

If you do come back on Sunday do it early. Understand you know the last thing in the world that you want to hear say people, “How was vacation?” “Oh I'm so tired I need a vacation from vacation.” “Really?”

You need a vacation from your vacation? Didn't plan well. Why is that? I mean ideally what should happen is that when you come back from that time away your brain has been you know offline. You've connected people I know you energize around getting to people.

You know everybody energy in their own way. Whatever that is you know make it last keep it, again remember what that feels like and you know don't let the people that vacation well you can tell on Monday they're not there.

How are you? I’m not here, right. Then you know about Tuesday, Wednesday or something like that. I’ll come by and look them in the eye balls and go okay I see you're back.

Jeff: Yes, quick point on that. I always remind myself of this. On Monday I have a note to myself and I write this down. You were gone for a week, this is especially after week, sometimes you know just after just two days, a four-day weekend. It doesn't all have to be done by Monday night.

You know because I often kind of leave the work on that Monday like ah. Well you know it will be caught up in a couple of days and so it's a little bit of a reminder. One of my tips from we go to the beach every year and so we've gotten really good at this. We leave at lunch time.

We go and we get lunch. We like to go to Chick-Fil-A on the way out of town. It's one of our favorite place to eat. We go to Chick-Fil-A so it has become a tradition. We leave at lunch time. Then that way we get there. We go to this little town in North Carolina. We go to the same pizza place. You know we get ice cream and they're like we have to go like get the same ice cream.

These little things that you don't know that matter and again we talked about this and the reason for doing that is that it gives us Saturday morning to get all of that shopping done.

For the grocery so that we're all connected. We then drive all the way back so we spend the night in a hotel on the way down. It feels like by the time we get to the beach we’ve already had a nice little vacation and we get beach time on that first day.

We go out and we play and we come back to pool. On to your point on Saturday we get up first thing. We go ahead and crack out of there so that we're home by about 5:00-5:30 by the way. We get the same pizza you know on that.

Lee: Ice cream.

Jeff: You know on that Saturday, the night back, but it gives us the chance to start doing the laundry all of that. I know for some people that means on Sunday night they go ahead and start doing their email that they haven't done all week. I don't care what it is, but this is very intentional so by the time I get on Monday, I had Sunday to also recover and relax. That's what worked for us.

You can hear it's really intentional, but it's funny. They expect us to stop at the same place for lunch, the same place for dinner.

Lee: Tradition.

Jeff: They love the tradition.

Lee: Well think about it you're creating family memories and traditions. My daughter when she was younger, when we were up in Door County in North of Green Bay in Wisconsin there was a place called The Yum Yum.

It just gobs of sugar and every time we drove by the place and to this day we still do it she goes, “It's open.” If you couldn't tell if it was open that they hung up the sign.

I mean it's open dad. It's open so she'll be whatever age. It's open right.

It's a tradition. You are creating traditions and you know I’m going to share tip that you use in a different application. That was the key word thing so when you're re-entering from vacation give yourself permission to hang on a keyword whatever that is.

Is it pace? Is it you know relaxation? Is it you know moderate? Whatever your keywords are.

Whatever your mental pegs are. You know kind of latch on to that and it takes the edge off drinking from the fire hose because you have people will flip a switch. It's like okay I'm back and all of the sudden you know that monster in the lounge chair that was sitting there smiling with the sunglasses on with its drink with the little umbrella with a sombrero on? That hasn't gone away okay. You've just correctly ignored him while he's sitting there in his lounge chair. Guess what he's back in your house waiting for you, but and that's okay so you have to have a strategy to re-enter as well.

This also falls under the planning one. Just don't go willy-nilly into this.

Jeff: Yes and for me it's—I’ve learned to do one less. Yes and what I mean by that is that whether it's a three day weekend it's a four day trip a lot of times with our family we will take our normal beach. We're doing a Europe vacation this year so everything is a little different, but our normal really year, yes.

Lee: The Smith’s European vacation. I can see it now.

Jeff: A lot of times we'll do a second trip this is like a four or five day just before school starts and we're only a week and a half-two weeks ahead of it. What I've learned is I like museums. I would read everything in them. A couple of the kids like it enough, but it's better to do one less museum than get to four in Chicago.

That's where we went last year and instead we spent a couple of hours just doing kind of random things we even saw movie even though we're in Chicago right. Lots of things to do, but that's what they want us to do and so just remember maybe one less and invite whoever is going with you, invite them to help plan you don't need to be in complete control.

Let them have some and it is a great vacation for everybody. They will still be talking about it years from now.

Lee: I love it a great vacation for everybody.

Don't forget that last time whatever length of time it is in re-entree mode you're still on vacation.

The kids who are usually thinking okay you know they've got this picture and their mind's eye about okay you know I'm flown back to Chicago, but I'm still on vacation.

I’m still in vacation mode. That means you know I can do these things and there's something to that so don't squash that you know.

You know let that run its full course and then one day x amount of time days, years later you'll say, “Remember when we went to such and such?”

Jeff: Lee it's been great.

Lee: Yes sir.

Jeff: A couple of tips just to wrap up you know so really think about your planning you know make sure that this Domestic Outsourcing don’t make it such that it's you know just home redone you know really chip in.

Lee: Bring your buddy. Bring the girlfriend buddy to babysit.

Jeff: Yes, to work or not to work, you know, really get that clear in your mind what are your goals and email does not have its own lounge chair on vacation. I love that you know it's not there. Something to the world revolves around you there at the people in the office, they can do these things.

Lee: Yes, you know get a delegate and then really have some fun you know send some of your creative ideas to us and we'll be sure to share later. Lee you're going to be hosting the next couple of weeks.

Jeff: We're going to figure out exactly what it is, not always stressed about that, but know that's coming up. We talked about the book you know so again.

You can go to VoltageLeadership.com. If you want buy a book, we would love to for you to do that. As we get into July we will be having some other topics from authors. We’ll be also hitting a lot of maybe things about strategic planning some conflict management.

Just some topics that you know. You might show up in the fall. Again, each and every week we appreciate you joining in from all around the world. If you want to reach out to us it's Jeff@VoltageLeadership.com or Lee@VoltageLeadership.com. You can find us on VoltageLeadershipConsulting.com. As well as on Facebook at Voltage Leadership. You can also find us on @VoltageLeaders for Twitter and please feel free to just reach out and send us any notes that you’d want throughout the course of the week. We'd love to hear from you.

Lee: Have some fun doing it.

Jeff: For each and everyone of you thanks for coming and joining us each and every week. Make it a great week and as Lee said go out and make it a great week and have some fun.

Lee: Yes, sir.

Jeff: Thanks, take care now.