Let me start this article by thanking Katie Anderson for “covering for me” during maternity leave.
My wife and I welcomed a healthy Lucia Margaret (four weeks early), and I’m excited to be back. As many business owners know, there really isn’t any such thing as time off! As much as I thought I had prepared for our baby’s arrival, something always comes up. Here are the #10things I learned about my business while on maternity leave.
1. Preparation. Our team had suggestions for what needed to be completed and sorted it out before the baby came. Their solutions were great. This preparation helped everyone feel prepared and calm.
2. Delegation. I reached out to my team with specific “asks.” They were things I needed covered while I was out of the office. They were all open to the challenge. Remember, sharing responsibilities also allows others to be trained and grow.
3. Leadership. My management team understands the “why” behind what we do and were able to problem solve unforeseen challenges. The leaders really stepped up! I was reminded of the importance of releasing power.
4. Systemization. We all work more efficiently when there is a plan. The systems we created kept us organized. It’s not necessary to micromanage if a clear system is in place.
5. Acknowledgement. Instead of worrying about what is NOT getting accomplished, look at what’s working. It was important for me to recognize the good things and the visionary employees that allowed me to take a leave. Notice the standouts.
6. Training. I’m the one that usually “fixes” everything. Without me on campus to talk to the electrician, plumber, towel service, etc., the facility challenges didn’t get resolved as quickly. I have an opportunity to empower someone else on managing these projects.
7. Prioritization. I was working from home during my maternity leave but couldn’t obviously do everything I had done while in my office. I decided to focus on the “what matters.” If I only had a couple of hours to dedicate to my business, what was the priority? It was refreshing to not sweat the small stuff.
8. Financial access. I’m always available for my team with my credit card when something needs to be purchased. I learned we need a better system for them to make necessary purchases when I’m not around and created a more streamlined access to funds.
9. Transformation. Change is good. Some processes and systems were adjusted while I was on leave and the re-invention was good for the company. Leadership made decisions in the moment without me, and that was good for the whole team.
10. Resilience. I realized the worry I had about being out wasn’t necessary. I’m not that important. By preparing the team, delegating, and empowering them to make decision, the business not only survived, it thrived!