2019 has been quite the year. When I last posted in March, I was sitting in a hospital room, taking care of my father. He was on bed rest after minor complications from surgery. I literally stayed with him at the hospital between 22-24 hours each day for a week. That wonderful Spring Forward nonsense robbed me of a precious hour of sleep, and a precious hour with my dad. I went on to spend the next 6-8 weeks organizing his home health and eventually hospice care. He died on a Saturday morning in early May, surrounded by my mom and my sisters. There was little that I could do from 1100 miles away, so I went to work.
Yes — you read that correctly. I went to work. I was completely emotionally overwhelmed for more than the obvious reasons. Let me explain. Two days prior to my father’s death, my cousin suffered a ruptured brain aneurysm. So not only did I go to work, before heading home I went to the sit in the Memorial Hermann Hospital Neuro ICU waiting room room with the rest of my Houston family to find out his prognosis. He fought for 3.5 long, hard weeks. He died on a Thursday morning in late May.
If you’ve read this far, you may be wondering what this has to do with leadership. I can explain. During what was likely the most difficult few months of my life, I witnessed the fruit of my labor, including the time spent focusing on developing leadership in others, cross training, and coaching. As a result, I learned the most important leadership lesson of my career, if not the most important lesson of them all. High functioning teams are built on trust & communication. That’s all I relied on the entire spring semester. Not training, not professional development, just trust and communication. I was open & transparent with my team, and I trusted them to get the job done.
Every day that I went to work, my team stepped up and led. I retained “ownership” of about 4 items, and I delegated the rest. Delegation in it’s truest sense means that others have full ownership over the task or project. And I couldn’t be more proud of the way things turned out. We finished this year stronger than ever, as a department and as a team.
As I sit here writing this post, I’m also trying not to acknowledge the fact that today is the 22nd anniversary of the day my brother was killed. But through it all, I smile because I know that I will be okay. Again, if you’ve made it this far thank you! If you believe in prayer, please keep me lifted. If you believe in positive vibes, please send them my way. I’ve finally taken some time off, so I’m going to go enjoy the next week with my husband and my boys before I return to work on the 8th.
The best is yet to come! Happy Summer Everyone!