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The first “offline” holiday – How was it possible at all, and why so late?

After 10 years of running the company, this year for the first time I went for a real OFFLINE holiday, spent entirely in the “airplane mode”. Although, to be honest, this was not a traditional holiday but: The Kravmaga Max Power 2022 Camp on Hel, organised by #KravmagaSAGOT, which was exhaustive as hell, but it was exactly what I needed to rest. Recently, in my interview for Forbes, I mentioned meditation and finding your specific “vent”, as protecting you against going mad in consequence of facing challenges all the time. Especially, when you fulfil them at 130%, you need to catch your breath, each of us in their own specific but true way. In my case, it means extreme efforts, as an opposite to conceptual and mental work.

A year ago, it would not be possible to remain in the airplane mode for eight days. What has changed? And allowed me to disappear from the company for eight days, and it still functioned, fulfilling its operational tasks, and even managed to win a new customer? Why was I not needed? It may seem that eight days is not that much… but how many businessmen take a holiday and truly have no contact at all with what is going on at their company? Without making even one phone call, opening any emails, or reading any messages. Getting away completely. Looking at it from a point of view of a person in charge – it is not easy.

But, after all, it is possible! Answering straight and substantively – I started to truly implement what I have learnt and am still learning with #IncreasinglyBetterCompany. What does it mean? First, some seven months ago I changed my weekly work plan. I introduced “offline Thursdays” to it, dedicated to conceptual work, and this demonstrated that I could think over or devise many things just because my phone was not ringing.

Then, according to what I truly learnt, I introduced One-to-One talks with my “Team of Leaders” every Monday – as it happens, I see each of my leaders once a month for one hour – it is not much, but it results in an enormous value to both parties, and the regularity brings effects. These meetings are planned as “fixed”. No “nuclear event” can move them, and we have them planned until 28/04/2027. Mondays, 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. – Leaders – Always!

Another “life changing” thing was a cyclic “Leaders  ’ assembling” once a month, for a meeting. Every first Friday of a month, 12 people switch their phones off and during designated hours, from 8:00 a.m. to 2.00 p.m. we train, talk, and exchange opinions and remarks. We implement action learning between departments. And at the end, we always have lunch together – this creates real bonds between people, especially those with a common objective, vision, and mission.

Each month we have a different book to read concerning a widely understood development of Leaders. We have read positions such as: “Ekstremalne przywództwo”, “Potęga checklisty”, “Zjedz tą Żabę”, or “7 nawyków skutecznego działania”. We still have about 60 books to read… by May 2027.

The last and the crucial thing was to understand, in practice (because theoretically I knew this, as I participate in training sessions and learn), that in many cases I am a factor limiting my Leaders. I and my “magic”, like a “legend” limits development of my personnel. How well is it said: “a bottleneck” is at a top of a bottle, and for a long time I, my character, my “craving for attention”, and foreseeing movements of my Leaders, had been a bottleneck in the company.

It is very difficult to truly leave “this” to your people and really trust that they are ready to pick the gauntlet up. But I had a good feeling about this. I am proud of my Leaders and would like to use also this opportunity to officially thank them.

Summing it up in brief. You must really choose appropriate people for “your wagon”, specify where and when it is supposed to arrive, set off on your journey, and do not turn back when it is hard and uphill! You must trust and develop your people. It is them who build the brand of the company and us as entrepreneurs.

Dariusz Tylka, CEO Storm Gray Unit Ltd.

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