Do you stay too plugged in?

I heard an NPR piece the other day about some towns in the MidWest who have turned their inability to get good cell reception into a selling point.  Bed and Breakfasts in the area are marketing the “Unplugged Getaway.”  They take your cell phones and laptops at the front desk and store them for you until you’re ready to check out.  I applaud their practice of taking a perceived negative and turning it into a positive.  But more than that, I found the story another sad reminder of how unable or unwilling we sometimes are to disconnect and wind down. 

Just because we CAN be connected to what’s going on in our business while we’re away from the office doesn’t mean we HAVE to be.  Do we stay connected because we’re interested, nosy, or because we think the world might fall apart if we aren’t there to hold it together?  I’m not trying to be overly harsh here, but I think we do hesitate to depend on others to handle things when it is so easy for us to stay plugged in and handle things ourselves.

What is this practice doing to our team members and up-and-comers who would like to be able to handle things from time to time?  Are we teaching them responsibility and giving them a chance to grow, or are we holding them back because we stay too connected?  I’ve always taught that one of the signs of a good manager was being able to leave town and know that his or her people were competent to handle things in his or her absence.  If we haven’t trained our folks well enough to do that, we’ve probably left out some really valuable lessons.

So, when was the last time you really unplugged and let someone else take the reins?  Is it time you did?

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One Comment on “Do you stay too plugged in?”

  1. Celia Klein Says:

    As for the cell phone, I am “unplugged” as soon as I pull into the garage of my house – what is it about being inside your house and losing your cell signal??? Maddening I tell you!

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