In This Episode:
Sometimes a Little Flexibility is All You Need
Balancing work and life as a parent can be challenging. But having the best of both worlds was something Executive Director of Service Management, Lori Johnson, had always dreamed of. She was determined to have both – professional success and a family. She was well on her way to achieving the goals she’d set for herself when she started to feel guilty. Lori had a nagging feeling that she wasn’t enough to her kids and sometimes wasn’t enough for her job.
Although she found her work to be very rewarding, she was also painfully aware that her kids wouldn’t stay young forever. She didn’t want to look back some day and regret missing out on moments in their lives. She wanted to have really strong relationships with her children and be there to help prepare them for life. It would’ve been easy to find another job that allowed for more flexibility. Maybe something less challenging that required less work. But that’s not what Lori wanted. So, she drafted a proposal for the owners of Simantel that outlined a plan for balancing work and life as a mom. While that may not sound so out-of-the-box today, this was before seeking work-life balance was as common-place as it is today. It was at a time when many women felt they had to choose between their career and having a family. Lori wasn’t sure how her leaders would react, but she had to give it a shot.
In this interview you’ll hear how the flexibility Lori negotiated impacted her productivity – at work and at home. She even found her true passion training employees how to approach client services and focus on workflow and financial management that fits both client and agency needs. And continued to work her way up to a seat on the agency’s executive team today. You’ll also learn about Lori’s philosophies as a leader, how coaching helped her discover the value she brings and the role she plays in setting the vision for Simantel.
“I didn’t want [my kids] to feel like they missed anything because I wasn’t there. But I also wanted them to have pride in me and the fact that I was…out there…killing it, having a career.”
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About Lori Johnson
Lori joined Simantel in 2008 as an account manager, and brings 23 years of marketing experience to her current role as Executive Director of Service Management. A member of our executive team, she oversees all things related to project planning and resource management including scoping, estimating and keeping projects moving on task and on time. Through her agency work, Lori has worked with clients in diverse industries, including agriculture, healthcare, energy, city government and public works.
Lori grew up on a farm and even showed livestock as a child. Her farm roots stayed with her after high school – she received her bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Communications at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign before starting her career in the agricultural equipment industry. Her family still farms today. Connect with Lori on LinkedIn.