Welcome to another edition of #3NoMoreThan5in5 from the very wild! I continue to record from Greece, but by the time this drops I’ll probably be back in Seattle. I wanted to be able to say thank you to the people who influence d how my leadership style developed, who contributed to my recipe and gave my components/ingredients. This is actually 1 of a 2 part segment because Ms. Chris Cummings taught me so much that I know I can’t put it into a #3NoMoreThan5in5 segment.
For this one I’m going to call it “Celebrating New Parents.” The lesson Ms. Chris taught me was how to be sensitive and value the challenges, elements and dynamics that are all part of being a new mom or parent. As a woman who chose not to have children, I was pretty clueless about what it meant to be supportive and how I could be helpful. Having Ms. Chris as my VP in Finance at Enterprise allowed me to see a mom of 2 with an astute business mind, strong leader who was much loved, and be able to take some lessons from her specifically around the needs of new moms and new parents in the workplace.
She taught me how to thoughtful about presence. Are they going to need a bunch of really cute clothes? Well, maybe, but practically speaking burp rags, diapers and bottles are what those new parents are going to need most. She taught me to listen for the cues that would lead to a need in flexibility. If babysitting fell through, child care was somehow disrupted, partner/spouse was sick or something else happened that would mess up the system for the family, what could I do to listen for those cues and be sensitive to them? How could I support?
I learned those lessons and used those lessons with my team, employees, new moms coming back into the workforce, dads who are adjusting to moms who are stay at home or working. What I found were the lessons from Chris came back tenfold through loyalty, work ethic and commitment to team. I am so grateful that Chris taught me to be sensitive to these new moms and new parents. Their world is changing, they will need your help, they will need your support. How can you offer that? Fairly. Still expect them to contribute and be productive in the work environment, but the little bits of kindness and awareness I was able to extend really built a sense of loyalty on my team.
So I want to thank Chris for teaching me that. That element of leadership is something I’ve used consistently through my career and I’m so grateful I had a wonderful leader teach me how to do that and the benefit of doing that.
There’s another episode with her coming up! Stay tuned! Thanks for being part of the conversation. Until next time, be well and take care. Cheers!