Yeah, I know.
The world is 24/7 and we are all connected all the time, but that’s what makes this rule so awesome.
Last week I was interviewed in front of a live audience, and I was asked a simple question.
As you can imagine, I did not give them a simple answer.
The question was: How can leaders today get the most out of their team?
Simple I said, “leave them alone and stop sending them emails and text after 5:30pm.”
Then it happened. As the shock eased from their faces, everyone in the room began to feverishly write it down.
Then, almost every hand in the room shot frantically into the air. Funny enough, everyone had the exact same question.
“How in the world can we do that?”
That is when the movement was born.
Over two years ago, we created a policy within our leadership team that was hard at first, but the results were 10x!
The policy was simple.
Unless the building was on fire or life was in danger, absolutely no emails or text to anyone within our organization (up, down or sideways) after 5:30 pm eastern time.
Three Reasons Why
- Everyone, and I mean everyone, deserves their time off, and they especially deserve their weekends.
Imagine this. Is it possible that you (their leader) has a different set of hopes and dreams than those on your team?
Is it plausible that whatever gene defect drives you to work 24/7, might not be part of another person’s psychosis?
Just because it is important to you, does not mean you have the right to highjack someone’s evening… especially if it can wait (and it always can).
You are the boss, so people feel obligated to answer you. That means they will stop whatever they are doing and turn their attention to you. (Translated… you just took them away from something they were enjoying in order for you to be the focus of their attention.)
Kind of selfish if you ask me.
Everyone deserves their nights and weekends – let them have it (without you)
- If someone works for you, or is on your team, from 8:00am to 5:30pm, they are giving you 9 1/2 hours of their day. What more can you want?
Assuming they wake up around 6:30 and go to bed at 10:30, that leaves them 6 1/2 waking hours to be anywhere else – without you.
So, simple math.
9 1/2 hours with you during the day verses 6 1/2 away from you, means you get 50% more time than they give themselves (or their families).
If you cannot maximize that time together, it is not their fault, it is yours. So, please don’t follow them home in the form of digital communication. That’s creepy and just not right.
Here is what I believe is happening in the modern workforce.
Subconsciously, people are committing their “energy spend” to you for 9 1/2 hours a day. That’s a lot of time and a lot of energy. If you turn into a leader who requires them to respond to text and emails any time during a 24-hour day, then they simply spread out the 9 1/2 hours of allotted energy to match your needs. Rest assured, that’s all you get, the original 9 1/2.
Therefore, the time they spend at work is less focused because they have to save the energy for you later in the evening or during the weekend. You are not getting more out of them, you are getting less.
- If you respect them, they will respect you. Then, they will follow you to the end of the earth.
People love to follow great leaders, and the best leaders are built around respect. The respect they have for others, and the respect they earn for themselves.
The great strategist Dan Sullivan once said, “don’t try so hard to find great people. Build a great culture and great people will find you.”
Think about it. How will your team talk about you to their peers when they know you put them first?
How do you think they feel, when they know they can turn off and recharge for the night? How will they feel knowing you are not going to bother them? Best of all, becuase you respect their time, imagine the production they give you during the day. It will 10x what they were giving you before!
How many people will you attract, who long for a culture based on respect? The benefits are endless and exponentially out weigh the cost.
The truth is simple. Just because you can go 24/7 for your dreams, does not mean you should rob others of their life as they pursue their own dreams. If you want to reach your goals, you will need a fully charged team built on respect… and it starts with you.
If you want to stay up late and write emails, fine.
Just save them to your draft folder and send them the following morning.
If you want to work all weekend, fine.
Save your text and emails till Monday morning when your fully charged, happily rested, and respectful team runs to work.
Why will they run? Because they will love and respect you. In turn, they will be the best workforce you have ever had the pleasure to serve and lead.
Better yet… your goals will be met sooner than you thought.
Share with me your thoughts and lets start the movement #noemailsafter5:30 #notextafter5:30 #respecttheteam