Years ago, I watched what I thought would be my “happily ever after” very suddenly fall apart after 17 years of marriage.
When it did, I was concerned how it would impact my kids and my ability to do my job.
Because I had a connected leader, one who had built trust with me over several years by routinely and respectfully communicating, I was able to talk to him about the situation.
I needed him to know that my kids had to come first, and for a while, I might be distracted.
At the time, I was embarrassed and overwhelmed to even share the story and I was afraid my transparency might hurt my career.
When I finished explaining what I was dealing with, he very genuinely asked “How can I help?”
I remained single for the next 11 years and because his response told me that regardless of the challenges I might face, I was cared for and supported, I remained with the company for 20.
I ended my tenure as the head of HR and Communications.
I think as leaders, we can get so busy with the tasks at hand, we fail to do our most important role — genuinely connect with and lead our team. If there’s anything I’ve learned in the experiences I’ve dealt with, it’s this:
When you care about the details of people’s lives, they care about the success of your company.