Apparently a theme for my blog will be, “Great advice I heard or read many (many) years ago, and I can’t give credit because I don’t actually remember where I heard or read it, yet it’s become an important part of my leadership style.” Because once again, I want to talk about a sentence that has had a powerful impact on me….
“When you die your job will replace you in a month or two. Your family never will.”
I think most (normal ;-)) folks would translate to, “Don’t prioritize work over family,” and there is a lot of that in there for me….But, as a leader, I also use it as a reminder that we spend a lot of time at work – did anyone see the Jellybean Video on Youtube?
As a business owner I believe we have a responsibility to create the healthiest work environment we can. We encourage our team members to prioritize their family events. We provide them with all the flexibility we can to attend kid events, spouse events, etc. We believe in mental health days. As the manager I know, when I give the best of me to my employees, they give the best of themselves back…funny how that works, isn’t it?
Maybe it’s not the smartest business decision Jayne and I have made, because there is a high level of risk in this. But we hire people who become our work family.
Our very first Full Time Employee (and for any other small business owner’s out there you know why I capitalized those letters!) just celebrated her 9th anniversary. By March, well over 1/2 of our staff will have been with us for 5 or more years. I’m proud to say that most have been hired for new positions as we grew the company.
Yes, over the 9+ years the Academy has been in business, we’ve had a few folks leave the team to pursue other opportunities. We still miss them, tell stories about them, show pictures of the fun we had together and the things we accomplished. But there have been very few who have left.
How cool is that? #ILoveMyJob
We wrote this our first week in business. Our Company Philosophy starts with…
We believe people are our greatest resource – and count on each member of our team to be a superstar who, collectively, creates a high performance team. We treat our people with respect and learners as guests in our home.
Read the rest of the ITSM Academy Philosophy.
Several years ago, one of my team gave me a plaque for Christmas that says, “We all believe in each other, and THAT’s what makes us family.” That plaque is on a coffee table right outside our flagship training room in Ft. Lauderdale. It serves as a reminder to me that each and every individual who works here at ITSM Academy are my second family.
Without them, I could not function. Without their intelligence, love, support, generosity, ideas and courage, we would not be what we are.
Many times, learners have commented about the sign. Usually, it’s along the lines of thanking us for the culture we’ve built. Our wish is that our Alumni feel they now are part of our extended family, because that’s how we feel about them.
So here’s my advice.
If you going to spend such a huge percentage of your life at work, do things you love, with people you love. And if that’s not what your work life is like, then have courage to make a change. Either go find something else, or fall in love with your job again. Spend some time figuring out what it is about your job that no longer makes you happy, and take steps to get back to your “happy place”.
As a leader of an incredible team, nothing makes me happier then when someone comes to me with ideas and suggestions of changes they would like to see take place. Without that kind of dialog, team member can become disgruntled and negativity can spread like the plague!
So my thanks and love to my business partner, our rocking teams and Alumni. You guys make my life so rewarding.
Until your next trip into LisaLand…#LoveYourTeam!