Sarah Taylor thrives on chaos. There’s no way to predict injuries, so she’s never able to plan a workday. She constantly has to move in a reactionary way by what walks through the door. “My days are a little chaotic, We don’t schedule our work, it arrives on our doorstep.” Nevertheless, as CEO of Gulf Coast Occupational Medicine, she’s led the company through some two decades of revenue and profit growth, expanding the business to become the largest chain of industrial medicine clinics in the Capitol Region. Here, the mother of three and one of Business Report‘s 2018 Influential Women in Business tells The Network what her hectic days look like and shares some of the managing hacks in her toolbox.
Mornings: Waking up at 6:30 a.m., Taylor begins every day with coffee and a little television news. She likes ending her workday with no chores waiting for her at home, so she skips breakfast and instead completes laundry, housework and grocery shopping. “I like to know that if I put in a hard day’s work,” she notes, “I’m coming home to relax.” She’s at work before 8:45 a.m.
Lunch: Albertsons salad bar on Highland Road
Evenings: As a self-described exercise addict, Taylor will hit the gym three to four times a week. She’s not “techie,” and prefers to spend time with family instead of on Facebook. She winds down by cooking and reading hardback novels from the East Baton Rouge Parish Library, and the Baton Rouge CEO is in bed for 11:30 p.m.
Group messaging with staff: GroupMe
Email: Microsoft Office
Social media management: Hootsuite
Tech support: Fixme.It
- Shared workspace. Taylor is a staunch believer that privacy is overrated, and prefers a shared workspace where ideas can bounce back and forth all day. “If it were up to me, we’d have no sheetrock walls—only glass. I’m a firm believer that walls and doors are counterproductive in relationships” With the constant flow of communication in the shared space, she finds she doesn’t need to hold as many staff meetings and she can make quicker decisions regarding staffing and company needs throughout the day.
- Lists. Taylor makes daily and long-term goal lists. Using a paper calendar, she’ll write reminders on future months to keep herself accountable for her long-term goals.
- Whiteboard. The Prairieville native is a big fan of white erase boards, especially those bigger than her. At her new corporate headquarters, she had a 6-by-12-foot white erase board installed, which requires a ladder to reach the top. On it, she keeps a running tab of ideas and a calendar that serves as a visual reminder the entire staff can see. “As far as I’m concerned, the Expo marker is the greatest technological advancement in the universe,” she insists. “That whiteboard is a work of art.”
- Third weekends. To help offset the chaos in her day-to-day work schedule, Taylor comes into office for six to eight hours every third weekend. Finally alone in her Airline Highway corporate headquarters, she takes care of the company’s accounting tasks and budgets. “During Monday through Friday, I’m hands-on with my staff,” she says. “Client relationships trumps administrative tasks always.”