Leaders Need To Get Away

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By Chris Gasbarro

To every force, there's an equal and opposite force.  It's a law.  In a world becoming more digital, there is a need to be analog.  For every video conference, there should be a real-life face-to-face meeting. 

In leading a small business, you encounter days full of "forces" of go-to-meetings, balance sheets, more meetings, client calls, team huddles, and yet it's easy to de-prioritize opposing forces of thinking, reflection, and strategy.  The old adage of the best way to put out a fire, is to prevent one, is very true.

As Ember turned 10, I took 24 hours to runaway and do some reflection.  Finding a small cabin in the woods, with no wifi or cell service, within an hour drive (thanks Getaway) helped me do just that: Reflect.  

Arriving by 4:00pm and equipped with a comfy Ember sweatshirt, a Tivoli radio and some downloaded Spotify playlists, I stared out a giant 8x8 window at a stand of Eastern and Red Pines and typed.  I typed more, made camp coffee, walked around outside, typed, poured more coffee...and repeated until late in the night, and then repeated in the morning until I drove away at noon.

What resulted were a couple things:

  1. 26 pages of looking forward in what is called "the next 10 years of Ember."
  2. Disconnected - I stopped looking at my phone every 3 minutes, didn't watch a Youtube video, no "pings" and low buzzing-vibration of my iPhone 
  3. I got a great nights sleep - letting go of some buried thoughts in my head gave me peace for the night

The final thing that resulted: a smile.  When you reflect on a business of 10 years in a peaceful remote setting, there's a more vivid reflection of the great things, amazing learnings, incredible people and treasured moments made - those were some of the opposite "forces" I was missing of late and it helped to fuel an incredibly clear and positive outlook for future of this thing called Ember.

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Chris Gasbarro