Leadership is a daily challenge. I walk into the door every day knowing that it probably won’t go as planned. I wake up ready to deal with anything business, staff or kids throw at me. Every time things get comfortable, I know something is just waiting to rock my boat!
I know our company is different than most. Not only do we have a very particular business culture, but our leaders are a certain breed of people. As a Director in my company a lot of responsibility is placed on us as the leader of the business, not just leading the program. We are expected to know the ins and outs of the business, budget, HR, payroll…It’s extremely extensive and often times at trainings, other Directors look at us like we’re nuts when they hear what our job entails. I feel more a businesswoman than a Director some days, and that’s 100% okay. In many cases, the same level of responsibility is placed on the Assistant Directors.
It is for this reason that most of our leadership in our company comes from carefully thought out internal promotions. They understand the expectations, work ethic, culture and responsibilities from the get go and it gives us time to test their worth, see their performance and see if they can walk the walk.
Sometimes…a person we put all our money on in the race ends up being a sprinter…not the long-distance runner you need to win the race. The past few days have been challenging for me. We brought on a leader to our team from outside the company – a former Director at another local site who we expected to be able to train in our company culture and expectations. Out of the gate, she was impressive – so I jumped at the chance to select her for my Assistant Director at our new site. Halfway through the race, she lost steam. Friday, I was posed with the concerns from other leaders and owners in our company had with betting on her to support me and have a successful business out the gate.
It’s been a stressful and reflective past few days – but today we settled on a suitable replacement for my partner in crime. A long-term employee, but new to leadership…and just a few short months away from our projected opening date. A comfortable, long-term training situation just was thrown out the window and I now have a mere 2 months to not only do everything needed to open the business in the first place, but also intensely train our newest leader. My criteria was “young and hungry.” I needed someone ready to eat up information, tasks, come at me with a positive can-do attitude and ready to crush it. I think I have that and am feeling good about where we land in this.
Sometimes the best things are the ones that shake you up.