To me there is one way to know if a leader is worth their salt. It is something I don’t recall seeing in leadership books, white papers, or in training sessions. To me the simplest way to see if a leader is doing their job is to ask team members one question:
“Did you use all your PTO last year?”
When a team member tells me they did not, my antennae go up. My follow up, of course, is “well, why not?”. Answers I get:
- I didn’t have time to take it
- I didn’t want to leave my team short-handed during that data conversion
- I forgot I even had PTO
- I have so much PTO I could never use it all
- I’d rather use our great benefit that allows me to “cash in” my PTO
Here is the deal. If you are a leader and you are OK with any of these reasons, you are not doing your job. I’ll take it a step further and say you should not be a leader. Quit. Be an incredible individual contributor. But you need to let go of your dreams of being a leader. Let that go. It’s over.
I’m emphatic about this.