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shutterstock_302341913I am on vacation – back in the office Tuesday, 1 September. Meanwhile incoming email is being discarded. Please refer business critical issues to my deputy, Richard.


I am out of the office until 1 September but remain contactable via email.


Both Clare and Philip are outstandingly good project managers, highly regarded by colleagues and managers alike and operating at the very top of their game in their respective industries. Their styles may be markedly different but both deliver outstanding results.

Clare is brilliant at delegation and, in particular, has a knack for developing the people within her team. She is also a mum to three demanding kids and regards her holidays as sacrosanct family time; disturb her at your peril. That said, she will always take calls from her deputy (in this case, Richard), even on the beach. And don’t you just love the audacity of discarding her emails. Tell ‘em, Clare!

Philip is more old school, with an outwardly relaxed style that belies a sharp mind and a penchant for identifying project risks that others have overlooked or ignored. His kids have long left home and he likes to keep abreast of work issues while on vacation. He has a little place in Brittany and – I am guessing here – sets aside an hour or so between croissant and déjeuner to catch up on email and make calls.

Too many project managers, on returning from holiday, hide behind their screens for the first couple of days, trawling through the detritus that accumulates daily in our inboxes. What a waste of time and what poor management that is. No so Clare and Philip. They are back in control straightaway, showing their teams and managers just who is in charge around here. Normal service has been resumed – and very reassuring it is too.

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