School break, vacation week, vacations, do you really take advantage of these moments to rest and take a break? Are you able to completely cut yourself off from your business during this period? And, when you return, do you jump right into emails and emergencies or do you diagnose the state of your company? 

These moments of rest are a jewel for entrepreneurs: they allow you to pause, to completely unplug and recharge, to “clean your glasses” for a more accurate vision of reality. You know the expression: You can’t see the forest for the trees? The detail that prevents you from seeing the whole. Most entrepreneurs find it difficult to completely cut themselves off from their business. An email here, a text there, an approval, an urgent call, etc. Yet…it’s essential to step back and see the bigger picture. How can you, as an entrepreneur, get the big picture of your business if you don’t stop, you don’t take time for yourself? 

When there has been a complete rest, a real break, it is easy to assess without interference the reality, to see the gaps between what you wanted to implement and what is. It is necessary to seize this opportunity, to make a pause for added value. Since values are at the heart of personal and professional balance, evaluate the situation on your return before diving back into emails and daily life. Does your company reflect your image? Are your values at the center of your choices, decisions and actions? Do you observe the behaviors associated with your values in yourself and your employees? Is everything easy or, on the contrary, does everything seem complicated? 

A company’s values are the cornerstone of its identity and balance. To transpose your values into your company, it is essential to define them well and to put in place the activities and tools necessary to ensure their sustainability. Even if everything is well defined, sometimes, certain decisions taken have harmed the values by their contradiction and the company has difficulty evolving in balance. Taking the time to analyze them when you return from a break will allow you to identify these missteps and prevent the imbalance from taking hold in your company and in your life. 

When there is an imbalance, the expression that comes to mind is “appearances are often deceiving”. On the surface, everything looks good. To people on the inside, the situation is perceived as temporary. Because there is a refusal to believe that these conditions will last, the image projected is positive and true to the past. However, for individuals joining the organization, integration is difficult and they feel that they are on the wrong boat.

The prevailing climate is difficult to define. Employees seem both motivated and worried. The messages conveyed by most of the company’s staff are different from reality. There is a disconnect between what is being said and the experience of front-line managers and employees. When outsiders, working in consulting or in new internal positions, bring up the subject, they front a protective wall. The reception is negative and sometimes leads to conflict. Regardless of the facts, tone and approach, existing staff feel judged, attacked and become defensive. All of them take to heart this moral persona forged from scratch by their hard work. They are proud of the work the team has done and identify with what has been achieved to date. At first, outsiders are perceived as negative, incompatible with the culture and even incompetent. Then, following a few similar experiences with external collaborators, an unease sets in. This ambiguous contradiction unintentionally leads the company to a disempowerment. The prevailing impression is that everyone seems to be aware of the problem but avoids dwelling on it. No one wants to raise the issue or deal with it. This is not recklessness but rather denial.

Suddenly, everything seems more complicated: initiatives are disrupted, the speed of execution slows down and the quality of work deteriorates. The loss of synergy quietly surfaces. This is not perceived as alarming, because the financial impacts are not yet visible. The tendency is to attribute this phenomenon either to the growing number of employees and the time needed to stabilize teams or to the speed of cruising. Organizational motivation, while still present, is eroding at the expense of maintaining a good personal reputation. Getting it right or getting the right picture becomes more difficult and time consuming. There are more and more things left unsaid and omitted. Subtly, the behavior of some people changes. The political sense then takes off, causing upheavals in internal politics. Among the components of political sense, the balanced combination of authority and power, with the ability to influence or persuade, becomes more difficult to maintain.

It is unlikely that these symptoms do not raise organizational awareness of the imbalance. They should sound the alarm, trigger a reaction, create a movement of solidarity to regain harmony. 

Now that you have paused, took the time to look at your business with fresh eyes, you are able to see the changes that need to be made that will allow you, when implemented, to say: This is why my business could work without me!

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