A Finger on the Pulse of Life's Blender

She's ba-ack!

Not that I've really been anywhere, but let's just say that the last several months have been a series of someone pressing the "Pulse" button on life's blender with the lid decidedly off. Messy. Very messy.

The Man o' the House has been travelling extensively for work, I've suddenly had more speaking engagements than usual, Beads started public school and Bunny is ready to climb Mt. Everest at age 20 months. There is no rest for the wicked, or at least no rest for the mildly snarky. But That. Is. Life.

We shall call this the "New Normal" and figure out how to keep the sanity in tact. 

At work, my team has been charged with creating new revenue streams, which (as a Home Officer) requires a new level of open communication and leadership. In the past, we've done really well with laying out a general plan together, each grabbing our pieces of the project and making it all happen. I've been fortunate because my counterpart has many of the talents I lack, and so projects are easily divided up into each of our strengths.

With this new directive, however, I'm having to put more strategy and long-range thinking into everything we do. I'm having to step into my role as a boss-lady and ensure - not just believe - we're all rowing in the same direction.

Which leads to meetings. *Groan*

Meetings can be such a time suck, and yet they do have their place. Especially when every team member is remote. The key is to keep them to an absolute minimum and have a plan. And stick to it.

My team has a half hour call each Friday morning where we review all active clients that have any projects starting or wrapping up, and sharing any insider information that might come up in any interactions with those clients. I then review a check list of general projects that are in the works and request questions, concerns, ideas. Then I assign sections of the project as needed and schedule any follow up meetings with individual team members as needed. We move quickly, we hit on the highlights, we get out.

I'll admit this up front: My team is incredibly on top of it. Each person works hard, takes pride in her work, and gets things done. We have built a level of trust that everyone will do what they say they will do. And if anyone needs help, we speak up. And we use Google Talk liberally. Questions get answered immediately so that progress isn't held up.

As a Home Officer, you can't afford to keep your head in the sand. Engage with your team. Ask for (brief) updates. Share important data or interactions with the people it may impact. Out of sight doesn't have to mean out of mind. And while the Pulse button may still be pressed more often than we like, we can at least try to keep the lid on.

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