Willie Walsh, chief of British Airways, revealed that he hadn’t had a vacation in more than five years.
Walsh is known for his toughness, but it’s an open question whether anyone can continue to think straight or maintain a sense of perspective without a break from work in so long.
Leaders often argue that they don’t have time for down time. The cold fact is that they have to make time. Those who think they can’t are living in an illusion.
Or, as the philosopher Bertrand Russell once observed, “One of the symptoms of approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one’s work is terribly important, and that to take a holiday would bring all kinds of disaster.”
— Adapted from “What about ‘the rest’?” Alison Maitland, The Conference Board Review.