Balancing work and personal life can be challenging in today’s fast-paced world. However, Attorney Assistant’s CEO, Ethen Ostroff, and COO, James DiBitetto, have shown us that achieving work-life balance through effective delegation is possible.
Ethen and James recently took parental leave, which could be a daunting decision for many business owners. However, they have always been strong advocates of delegation, which allowed them to confidently step away from their roles and trust that their business would continue to thrive. For them, taking parental leave was rooted in their commitment to family values and setting an example as leaders. They believed in balancing professional responsibilities with personal life and wanted to be present for significant family milestones. They also trusted their skillful team to manage operations in their absence.
Ethen and James established a capable and skilled team at Attorney Assistant. They recognized that their employees possessed the necessary knowledge and expertise to run the business efficiently. By granting their team members the required autonomy and empowering them, Ethen and James could confidently take time off their roles. The company’s performance and culture were not negatively impacted even when they both went on paternity leave. James Dibitetto acknowledged that the team’s ownership resulted in the acceleration of the company’s growth. “When Ethen and I were both out of the office on paternity leave, our sales department really started to step up. The whole team taking ownership has accelerated our development of a collaborative and non-hierarchical structure.”
Effective delegation requires clear communication. Before Ethen and James went on paternity leave, they communicated their expectations, priorities, and responsibilities to their team members. This ensured that everyone was on the same page and understood their role during their absence. James mentioned that he remained available via email and Teams, but only for emergencies or anything he was truly needed for. When he started to return to work, he held “office hours” with the team for an hour per week. During those office hours, the team could mention topics for discussion and decision-making. This helped streamline communication and avoid the need for constant involvement from James.
Having well-defined systems and processes for various tasks is critical, and it is precisely what Attorney Assistant had in place. This made it easier for team members to step in and continue operations smoothly. Documenting processes and creating a knowledge-sharing culture is essential for effective delegation.
Thanks to their commitment to delegation, Ethen and James could enjoy their paternity leave without worrying about their business. This allowed them to spend quality time bonding with their newborns, supporting their families, and recharging mentally and emotionally. Ethen learned an important lesson about work-life balance during his paternity leave. He realized that effective leadership is not just about being constantly available but also about empowering your team. Delegating tasks effectively and trusting the team’s capabilities are the keys to maintaining a work-life balance. Ethen’s experience taught him that a leader must create an environment of balanced personal and professional lives.
Their employees stepped up to the challenge, proving they could manage the company effectively in their absence. The business continued to thrive, and the trust and empowerment they had invested in their team paid off.
The Attorney Assistant leaders have achieved a work-life balance through delegation, empowering their team, clear communication, trust, systems, and check-ins. They realized the importance of spending time with family after taking paternity leave, and it transformed their views on work-life balance and leadership. James Dibitetto, COO, said, “It made me appreciate how important it is for business owners to step away from their business and spend time with family. When a child is born, so many milestones happen in a brief period. Your business will still be there tomorrow. Your child’s first smile or the first time they hold your hand only happens once.”
Congratulations to Attorney Assistant’s newest dads!