🌴 Embrace the Power of Extended Time Off: 5 Benefits to Enhance Your Work-Life Balance 🌴

🌴 Embrace the Power of Extended Time Off: 5 Benefits to Enhance Your Work-Life Balance 🌴

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When was the last time you stepped away from your job for more than two weeks? Not a working trip when you’re available by phone and email, but a true, unplugged vacation? Jan recently did just that — a four-week trip to her native Wales to reorder her priorities and recharge her soul.

For most leaders in the automotive industry, a four-week vacation sounds like a fantasy. Or if it’s possible, it sounds irresponsible. Who would lead the company? How would work get done? Yet Jan found that time off was not only an opportunity to refill her tank but also a chance to trust and empower her team.

“I don't care if you're gone for a day, for a week, or for a month, you empower somebody else to make decisions,” Jan says. “Allow others to step up and lead.”

Join the adventure on this special episode of the Automotive Leaders Podcast as Jan recounts long walks by the sea, watching sheep from a coffee shop, and the inspiration she took from some of the most exciting and innovative Welsh automotive companies.

Work culture in America too often sees vacation as a sign of weakness or a lack of commitment to a job, but current executives have an opportunity to break the stigma and celebrate authentic rest. Through a deeply personal journey through her homeland, Jan gives a blueprint for other leaders to follow.

Themes discussed on this episode: 

  • A contrast of American and European work cultures
  • The new perspective found on vacation
  • Creating Space for Creativity
  • How to rewire your brain with new habits
  • Finding projects that fuel your soul
  • The team leadership benefits of extended time off

Featured Expert: Jan Griffiths (Host)

What she does: Jan is the founder and president of Gravitas Detroit, an organization dedicated to cultivating authentic leadership in the automotive industry by providing courses, workshops, speaking events, and more. She is also the host of The Automotive Leaders Podcast.

On leadership: “Leadership is identifying somebody to take your place. I don't care if you're gone for a day, for a week, or for a month. You empower somebody else to make those decisions.”

Episode Highlights

Timestamped inflection points from the show

[1:42] Back to her roots: Jan shares why she left her corporate job in the auto industry and, more recently, how that same motivation led her back to her native Wales for four weeks.

[3:36] Breaking the habit: Jan lists her priorities for her trip and the daily routines she wanted to change. More than a personal challenge, this was a battle against American work culture. Unlike many European nations, America does not guarantee paid vacation.

[5:24] West Farm: Jan’s favorite place in South Wales helped her hit the reset button on her life. Check out her coastal retreat at West Farm.

[7:12] Data behind the break: Taking more vacation days increases the likelihood of receiving a raise or bonus within three years. Jan explains why the work-first culture in automotive may be harmful in the long term.

[9:56] Into the whitespace: Leaders should be busy all the time — or should they? Jan reflects on what it takes for leaders to be effective and creative in their roles.

[11:10] Rewiring for new habits: It’s tricky to unplug completely. Jan shares her experience with adding a new rhythm to the start of her day.

[12:26] Fuel your soul: Jan recounts her journey to leading the US hub of GlobalWelsh and the unexpected inspiration she drew from delivering a keynote, including meeting Tom Gullick of Pixel Valley.

[14:46] Hiraeth: A tour of Welsh businesses brought Jan to hydrogen-powered Riversimple, consultative agency Spindogs, and the Welsh Automotive Forum. Jan describes the Welsh automotive leaders who impressed her most during her visit.

[20:09] Passing the torch: Strong leadership is the ability to empower others in your organization to step up while you’re away. Jan explains what happened when she tried this for her business.

[22:40] The girl with the dragon tattoo: Jan reveals some personal updates from her trip to Wales and gives her advice to auto industry leaders.

Mentioned in this episode:

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