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Day in the life Sharon Johnson

Sharon Johnson

Chief Legal and People Officer

MODE Transportation 

Dallas, TX 

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6:00 am

Alarm sounds and the workday begins.

6:15 am

I (attempt) to slip out of the house without waking anyone. My husband home schools both of our boys, ages six and seven, so he takes care of the morning routine.

6:30 am

It’s a Tuesday, so I’m headed to the construction site in a borrowed pick-up truck. I unload three chairs, two lamps, and several other industrial items I purchased the night before and carry them into the building’s storage facility. We’re moving into a new 25,000 sq. ft space, and I’ve been tasked with leading the project. If it were any other day, I would be at a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) class with MODE’s marketing director.

8:00 am

Provide coffee and donuts for the construction folks. It’s important to have a great relationship with your construction company, building management, project management, furniture vendors, and design architect. (Thank you to Hyland Builders, JLL, ACP, Workplace Solutions, The Franco Company, Erving Construction, and Morgan Designs!)

8:15 am

Tour the latest improvements. I’ve learned more about power and low voltage wiring, architectural maps, and commercial light fixtures during this project than I would have ever imagined (or wanted). For example, never choose glass whiteboards that are glued to a wall. Why? Because if they’re installed in the wrong place, you have to break them to move them.

9:00 am

Check in with my team that includes legal, HR, compliance, and most recently, office and facility management. We discuss everything from employee coaching, dealing with double-brokering compliance issues, budgeting/legal invoices, litigation, board updates, agreements, hiring a moving company, to reviewing recent revisions to our legal forms and policies.

10:00 am

Have a separate meeting with the HR manager to review employee engagement surveys and predictive index modeling and to plan some fun staff activities. MODE’s CEO charged me with guiding and articulating MODE’s culture and values — and I’m chair of the fun committee. Whether we’re hosting an Oktoberfest event, scavenger hunts, blindfolding execs for gingerbread house competitions, enjoying 80s-90s throw-back cereal breakfasts, or cheering each other on for chili-cook offs, we’re committed to providing enjoyment to MODE employees.

11:00 am

Lots of conference calls with colleagues, customers, carriers, agents, outside counsel, etc.

12:30 am

Sighing happily that I have 15 unscheduled minutes to eat lunch and peruse ACC educational links and magazines, as well as trade journals.

12:45 pm

Sighing not-so-happily when we have to figure out how to get lights imported from Canada at lightning speed for our new office building. Thankfully, as a 3PL, we’re in the business! We’re able to get them onsite ahead of schedule.

2:00 pm

Catching up on M&A matters (we’re growing!) and policy management — privacy, security, etc. I read through interrogatories and work hand-in-hand with HR regarding an employment matter. Five people stop by my office with an impromptu issue, and I make sure all of them feel heard and valued.

3:00 pm

Going through hundreds (seriously) of emails. Shooting out some quick revisions to the Terms of Service I reviewed the night before. I work with our marketing director to assist with décor and branding decisions for the new facility.

4:00 pm

I take a break to walk through the office and ask folks how things are going. I believe executives should be accessible, and when planning the new office layout, we purposely added extra couches and desks where execs and others can camp out and interact.

4:30 pm

Back to my office to answer emails and return calls. Drafting a “short” blog (I can’t help it that lawyers are verbose at times) about MODE values to post on our intranet. Check in with our CEO and provide him with updates on important departmental matters.

6:30 pm

Leave the office and pick up my kids. I’ve been taking them shopping for office décor for the new facility, but tonight we’re going to Obstacle Warrior Kids gym.

8:00 pm

Limping into my home well aware that being a ninja-mom warrior is tough business — those courses are harder than they look on TV!

8:30 pm

Check out the progress on the custom lighted MODE logo and tables from Erving Construction. I’m very thankful that the owner Kris doesn’t mind me stopping by at crazy hours dragging my kids, and sometimes my dog, along.

9:00 pm

Helping my sons Pierce and Knox with homework. With my husband homeschooling, we don’t adhere to traditional bedtimes — which means extra time with my family!

11:00 pm

Lights out.