Three Ideas For Leaders to Recharge Their BatteriesRunning a business is a lot of work and some days feel like one more thing will push you over the edge. We rarely take time for ourselves in this hectic, always-on world.

“Even with an insatiable drive to be the best, successful entrepreneurs know that they too must take breaks and recharge their batteries to continue to grow their businesses,” says Matthew Swyers, contributor to Inc.

You can't continue at breakneck speed and expect to stay happy and productive.

We’ve seen the studies that show people are more productive at work when they don't eat at their desks, and the same logic applies to  longer times away from the office. Sometimes our best ideas or moments of clarity come when we are disconnected.

But how do you get away from it all? Swyers shares his thoughts.

How to Recharge Your Batteries

There isn't a one-size-fits-all when leaders need to recharge their battery. “For some personality types, mine included, the stress of being completely out of touch with the office would diminish any benefit from stepping away,” says Swyers. This doesn't mean you should check or respond to email, but just the ability to be in contact can be beneficial for those types of personalities. Other types might find it more beneficial to completely disconnect and take time away from the office.

The most difficult thing is to actually take a break. Take the time to sit down and schedule the time off. Swyers says the best option is to book a trip where you have to purchase airfare or some other means of transportation. It “requires an affirmative act to get on a plane, train, or boat on someone else’s schedule,” he says. If you take a “staycation” you’re more likely to pop in the office, so eliminate that possibility.

Do it again, and again. You have something to look forward to when you plan things in advance. “So even when you are in the midst of a vacation recharging your batteries there is nothing wrong with thinking about your next vacation,” says Swyers. Schedule yearly vacations to make sure your batteries don’t wear out.

“Every so often even the most driven of us need to step away to relax. In turn, when we come back we are more focused and ready to tend to the tasks at hand,” says Swyers. It’s natural for a leader’s battery to be drained, but we can do the things necessary to recharge our lives and leadership.

What helps you recharge your batteries?

Five Business Growth MythsWe all know business growth is a prerequisite for success. But the prospect of growth is daunting; it’s hard work, expensive, and sometimes even scary. However if you put the right thought and effort into it, growth is attainable.

Many myths and misconceptions masquerade as truths in the business world. People who want to start or expand a business are often misled by them. Dispelling popular myths about business growth is key to starting the process and transforming your business.

Keary Crawford and Wayne Simmons, authors of “Growth Thinking,” shared some common business growth myths to overcome on VentureBeat.

Businesses Can Buy Growth

“Growth-focused companies don’t buy growth,” says Crawford and Simmons. They focus on emerging technologies and complementary offers that set them apart from their competition.  Value ensures customer satisfaction and repeat sales.

Business Growth Equals Automatic Revenue Increases

Over time, growth does enable businesses to bring in more revenue and increase profits. “Growth-focused companies view their health and viability, first and foremost, through the ultimate metric of top-line revenue growth and their ability to sustain that growth,” says Crawford and Simmons. Top-line revenue growth determines the rate at which companies create value for customers.

Business Growth Means More Jobs

In a lot of industries, growth means expansion in hiring, however be careful what you wish for. More hands can make work lighter, but the more staff you have, the more headaches you can have too.

According to Crawford and Simmons, growth-focused companies concentrate on productivity relative to revenue growth to determine their long-term sustainability. They don’t look at their headcount.

Business Growth is Tactical

Your marketing and sales mix are tactical and designed to deliver short-term results. To increase long-term growth, create a highly differentiated customer value proposition. “This approach takes companies from tactically fulfilling demand to strategically creating the new demand that leads to high growth,” says Crawford and Simmons.

Stick with What Already Works

The cautious guide to business growth is to stick with what has worked. But the marketplace is constantly changing so you need to anticipate new developments and adapt your business strategies to take advantage of them.

Realistic expectations are crucial to business success. Get real, separate fact from fiction and take preemptive action to achieve and sustain business growth.

What other myths would you add to the list?

Photo-on-2013-07-04-at-1.49-PM-230x300When businesses fail, is it always because they run out of money? Or does failure more likely come about because certain precautions were ignored long before funds started to dry up?

The reasons behind the decline of many companies can be attributed to what Brian Moran, CEO of Brian Moran & Associates, calls the Five Poors. In a post for Open Forum, Moran offers a diagnosis and treatment for each of these common business shortfalls: (more…)

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