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Nobody is indispensable – are they?

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FTdynamo comments on our reluctance to take holidays or time off work, especially as there is now a role-model to show us how!


We all know the script. It’s a 24/7, 365 days a year world. The markets never sleep. Holidays are for wimps. Well, think again.

The Leader of the Free World is taking a month off. That’s right, a month. President George W. Bush is heading back to his ranch in Crawford, Texas, where he will be enjoying, according to his press spokesperson, “a little downtime, a little running and a little cedar clearing.”

Sure, he’ll be looking at policy matters too of course. The President will also be dropping in on citizens a couple of days a week on what is now being labelled a “home-to-heartlands tour”. And he will still receive his daily intelligence briefing – that’s to do with foreign affairs and security matters, not a belated attempt to raise the Presidential IQ.

Critics will sneer that Washington D.C. and the rest of the world will hardly notice that President Bush is away. Dick Cheney’s holiday plans, the sneering will run, are far more important – as are his coronary arteries. But this August it’s time for the sneering to stop, if only temporarily.

In fact George W. is doing us all a big favour. The message is clear. If even the President can take a few weeks off in the summer, then surely the rest of us can. No-one is, or should be, indispensable. Indeed, the business that stands or falls on the continuing existence of one individual is a very poorly structured business. When Jack Welch finally retires, life at GE will go on, thanks in part to some thoughtful succession planning. And that’s as it should be.

George W. Bush, never forget, is the first MBA President. His time management is meticulous, his leadership style relaxed and human. OK, so you may not like all the policies, but at least he has some idea about his personal priorities and how hard he really needs to work.

A happy holiday to the President and to all FTdynamo and HR Zone readers who are sensible enough to follow his example. And no more cheap jokes about the Bush ranch being only 18 miles away from Waco.



FTdynamo features writings and opinions by leading people in the the world of work and business.

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