Fall is coming quickly and that means the school year will be starting very soon. This has gotten me thinking about Howard Tech team members that have kids at home, and how they will navigate distance learning. Balancing work and caring for our children is tough enough in the best of times. With online school and if both parents are working, it seems the difficult circumstances will be that much tougher for them and their kids.
A friend recently shared this article from the Harvard Business Review, and I found it very compelling. The author speaks of the challenge that work from home staff members have in properly separating their personal and work responsibilities. She offers excellent advice targeting working parents. The author suggests that these parents build a “personal board of directors”, where you intentionally leverage a group of people who care about your family. It’s very practical advice and I’ve encouraged many working parents to see if/how this concept could be helpful to them.
This concept of a ‘personal board of directors’ applies both at home and at work. As your business considers employee training and development, the same article can be applied to a company. For example, Howard Tech can be much more intentional with our mentoring efforts. If you’re an individual seeking to advance your career, it makes sense to establish a “team of advisors”. These are people you can turn to regularly to get advice and feedback regarding your work and career.
At Howard Tech, we tend to focus on team development and have established a great culture among the staff. One area that we can improve upon is being more intentional about investing in and mentoring the future leaders of our company. It’s hard to miss those that go above and beyond, those team members that you never want to leave the business. Have we identified these rock stars at HTA and are we intentionally investing in them? Have we established a leadership team approach to provide various levels of coaching, encouragement, and growth opportunities for them? The Harvard Business Review article has motivated me to be more intentional about this than ever before.
The same thought process should apply to each person who wants to grow his or her career. Are you seeking to connect with people who have achieved those things that you’d like to one day? Do you have a person that you can go to that knows the technical details of your work? How about someone that is more business or leadership oriented? If you would like to get to a particular destination one day, it will be very helpful to leverage the experience of those who have gone before you.
This reminds me of the Chinese Proverb: “the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second-best time is now.”
Growing business leaders or yourself takes time, and today is the best time to get started.