This week I’m walking in the shoes of the ‘swami-mami’. If you know her, you get it. The nickname fits. If you don’t, think of hippy-spirited, yoga instructor, curious, determined, marathon runner, and mommy of 5 all rolled into one.
This has been one of the smoothest stand-in assignments I’ve ever taken on. Many a corporate manager could take a lesson from my amazing ‘swami-mami’ sister-in-law. How do I know?
o The team continues to function without the leader — they are not standing around waiting for instruction. They know what to do, and they get on with it. From getting themselves up in the morning, to making lunches, to doing homework and making birthday presents for their dad when he returns.
o Everyone is trained on how the organization runs and takes initiative to train the temporary boss — they keep me on task with: it’s Monday, don’t forget to take out the garbage; please sign these papers for school; text the coach to confirm the practice time change; call my friend’s mom to let her know if I can go to the sleepover.
o There is a visible plan in place, that drives the operation — everyone knows to refer to the massive door-sized calendar on the fridge and update it, when things slide around — as they inevitably do.
o I’ve been empowered to do things my way — the handover instructions focused on the bigger mission and purpose, rather than overwhelming details on how to handle the minutia. There has been no micro-managing via text messages from afar – just daily check-ins and offers of help. As a result, we’ve all had some new experiences.
o There’s a wider safety net in place — this unit is well connected to the broader community. Layers of backups are in place, in case of need. The network is ready to jump in and assist.
It’s an amazing operation. They say you “never really know someone until you walk a mile in their shoes”. I’m getting a real sense of the wonderful woman my brother has married this week. It’s very impressive!