MetroCareers: Choose Three to Succeed
By Kathy Zucker
It’s been a really rough month. In the last few weeks, the Metro Moms management team has had one maternity leave, two grandmothers pass away, and a mother in an ICU three states away. All the stress and family demands really put our management structure to the test.
And you know what? We came through with flying colors. The site got updated regularly, we planned a Summer Celebration plus a fall Expo, and conducted our quarterly management meeting.
The real question is, how did we structure our organization so that nothing fell through the cracks but decisions got made efficiently? By working in teams of three.
Three is the perfect number to staff a department. Why? Because that way you have one person who is the lead; this person functions as the primary point of contact or the “face” of the committee. The other two people are sounding boards for decisions while conducting research, scouting out potential issues and sourcing leads.
The lead person shifts depending on which team member has availability for each project. For example, the three people who manage Metro Moms Magazine are me, PJ Kaiser and Debra Marrs. While I was on pregnancy bedrest and maternity leave, PJ had the lead, managing incoming articles with Debra and only reaching out to me for major decisions.
With the arrival of summer and kids home from school, PJ and I have switched roles. Debra has provided stability throughout the transition; we had a couple of rough periods when Florida storms disrupted internet service, but article editing, approval and uploading to the site continue at a steady pace. I update the overall Metro Moms team on the magazine status every three months at our quarterly meetings; that reminds me, I need to type up minutes from the June meeting.
This structure is reflected in all of the Metro Moms departments, as seen in our table of organization. Once a year, after the Metro Mom Expo, we have an annual meeting where we recap what went right and wrong with the Expo and establish strategy plus departmental budgets for the coming year.
At any given time we have two people who are actively managing each department while the third is on hiatus dealing with life. We all have personal crises like sick relatives, household repairs and child educational challenges. By providing flexible team arrangements, I am able to attract and retain top quality employees.
Kathy Zucker, serial entrepreneur and mother of three, writes about juggling career and family in an urban setting. See what Kathy is up to at her blog and on Twitter @kathyzucker.
Tags: entrepreneurship, planning