Everyone knows that having a child makes a business leader’s life more challenging, especially if she’s a woman. But now there is evidence that a pregnancy can be a smart business move. Mindy Mercaldo, the Illinois President and Chicago Market President for Citibank, was the speaker this morning at a breakfast for StepUp, a great organization that provides mentors for promising teenagers. Mindy reflected on her own decision to have a child in her late 30′s when she was already a senior executive.. Mindy had built her career by being a hard-driving, high-achieving leader who strove for perfection in everything she did.
But after the baby came along, Mindy realized she couldn’t do it all herself. She got better at delegating and fostering the talents of her team members. She discovered that talking about the baby helped to build warmer relationships with her employees. And to her delight, her business results sky-rocketed.
So there you have it. Far from being the career-derailer we hear so much about, having a child can be a career-enhancer – if, like Mindy, you pay attention to the lessons you can learn.