This HR Director's Day: A Far Cry From Leading

I am not sure what you call what I have been doing lately but I am sure it's a far cry from leading.

When I look in the mirror and see Miss Office Shiva staring back at me, I know it's time for to regroup and take a close look at how I am managing, leading and working because this is an entirely inefficient and ineffective way to run a department 



The questions begin to flow.

What am I holding onto that I should delegate, what conversations need to be had and what expectations need to be set, and what am I doing that can be clearly be done better by someone else? Where am I building in unnecessary delays? Are we, as a department, setting priorities, focusing on what's important and all heading in the same direction?

The questions continue.

In the positive sense of shedding old habits, is it time for us to change direction or to toss decisions we've outlived or outgrown? How do I get out from behind the desk? Could we possibly need more staff? Do I have the right staff? Do I have effective feedback and communication loops in place?

The questions never end.

What should I be seeing and what should I be hearing that I am not? What assumptions are blocking progress or what problems am I avoiding? If you could write a message to me on the white board, what would it be?

Handling What Life Throws Your Way: A Day in the Life Sunday

They say life doesn't give you more than you can handle.  I don't know who "they" are but they obviously are not the dual-income parents of a 'tween.



I have been steadily losing ground to a sinus infection for over a month. Between the daily inner-battle of going to work versus staying home, there was that deer-Honda-insurance incident to address. This week, 'tween angst was on the agenda when a routine morning drop off was foiled by uncontrollable tears for a friend facing a personal challenge. The same afternoon brought a new development and we ended our day skipping swimming practice and reading The Period Blog. Calgon, take me away.

Overwhelmed and keenly aware I had not worked a full day yet that week, I quelled the doubts and did what needed to be done. And you can too.

When confronted with a multitude work-life challenges:

  1. Reach out to others. Be it a trusted teacher, a respected educator or a resourceful family friend, there are people with experiences, perspectives and a desire to help. Ask and you may be pleasantly surprised at what you receive.
  2. Let the work go.  You tell your staff that the work can wait, now show them. You hired the best so let them to do their jobs. People hear your words, but they remember your actions. What do your actions say about your values?
  3. Always chose the kid. There are touch points in a child's life that requires the love and attention of their parents. They are not predictable or planned and, when they occur, nothing can replace the family.

Finally, if you haven't done so lately, let the husband know that his girls are strengthened by his presence and support. He doesn't even have to say a word.

What do you do to keep an over-zealous life from getting the best of you?