Leslie Cummings, EverCheck’s resident Leslie Knope, heads the Quality Control team here at EverCheck. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the television series Parks and Recreation, Leslie Knope is the strong-willed, hardworking protagonist that is the backbone of her team. The same is true for Leslie Cummings.With a bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration and years of experience working in healthcare HR and leadership positions, Leslie is uniquely qualified to lead EverCheck’s Quality Control team.
Between being a mom of three and leading a team of seven, Leslie somehow finds the time to paint abstract art and hunt for sharks’ teeth.
We sat down with Leslie to discuss the influence of female leadership, the balancing act of motherhood and work, and the importance of intentionality.
Q | Congratulations on becoming EverCheck’s designated Quality Control Manager after serving in a Specialist capacity. How did you end up parlaying your background in healthcare administration into a career in software?
A | I’ve always had the desire to be on the business side of healthcare, but I didn’t know that a career in healthcare software was even a possibility. It wasn’t ever presented as an option when I was in school, so my focus was geared toward healthcare HR before taking time off to raise my three girls.
When I decided to get back into the workforce, I found the open position of Quality Control Specialist at EverCheck through a friend on social media. I’m very lucky to have stumbled into my niche.
Q | What made you decide to go back into the workforce after being at home with your kids for several years?
A | I had to push back the mom guilt, but I felt like I had a lot to contribute by going back into the workforce. I could give my daughters options and be the kind of role model that showed them the choice is theirs. They see mom in the workforce and that shows them that they could be businesswomen one day, too, if they choose. The first week was a little tough, but it was also very exciting. I remember thinking to myself, “should I be this excited for work?”
I remember thinking to myself,
“should I be this excited for work?”
Q | Do you think that being a mother helped to prepare you for the demands of Quality Control?
A | Absolutely. Being a mom of three- dealing with, and having to resolve all sorts of unplanned issues has prepared me for everything that we deal with in Quality Control. I think that having kids puts things into perspective. It rightsizes the enormity of an issue or situation.
Q | As EverCheck’s first QC Manager, you stepped into a position that there was no prototype for. Do you have any role models that you looked to for guidance?
A | The first thing that comes to mind is the management styles that I didn’t like. I’ve learned the most from bad bosses. I would see a manager acting one way and I’d make a mental note of a better way to handle that situation.
At the end of the day, I fight for what I think is impactful and will move us in the right direction. My job is to advocate for my team and what I think is the best move based on the information we have at hand.
Q | You’re a part of a management team that’s over 70% female. What impact does that have on the company?
A | I think it influences our relationship with our clients. The majority of healthcare HR employees are female, so I think it helps us understand their needs better.
We have a sense of empathy with our customers that I think is unique, especially in software. It’s empowering to be in a primarily female-led company.
"It’s empowering to be in a primarily female-led company."
Q | Getting back to healthcare HR, you have a unique perspective coming from that background. How do you think it’s influenced how you operate at EverCheck?
A | I’m excited about the future of healthcare software because I saw and lived what it was like before. The amount of work that goes into preparing for a survey is crazy. I didn’t know anybody in the healthcare field that enjoyed filing papers and making copies, so thinking of that helps to keep things in perspective for me. Back when I was working in HR, I actually worked for a hospital that’s a client of EverCheck’s now. Times have definitely changed, and for the better.
Q | What’s the best part of your job?
A | The people. My team. I honestly feel like the quality team is one of the most tight-knit groups. When things go wrong, we’re the ones everyone comes to. It’s just the nature of quality control. But I think that’s helped our bond to grow - it’s like an initiation of sorts. My team is a very diverse group and we all approach problems a little differently. I like to think of us as a think-tank for problem-solving. We all work so well together and I’m very lucky to work with the group of people that I do.
"My team is a very diverse group
and we all approach problems a little differently.
I like to think of us as a think-tank for problem-solving."
Q | What tips/tricks do you have for other moms trying to balance family life and work?
A | Tip #1: Self-care is so important!
When I started working full-time again, I realized the importance of self-care. It’s so easy to get caught up in things and not take care of yourself the way you should.
I make sure that I get a pedicure every month, or a massage/facial here and there. I know that investing that hour in myself is going to make me a better mom and a better manager.
Tip #2: Be intentional with your time.
Being a mom and working full time was its own puzzle to solve. From picking out their clothes and lunches the night before to reducing the amount of time spent watching TV, I became more intentional about our time spent together and doing activities. Because the time I have with my family now is more limited than it was, we focus on making that time together quality. It’s made us even more connected.
Tip #3: Rightsize your expectations.
Working full-time forced me to adjust my expectations for things like how the house should be kept, and how a birthday party should look.
I stopped comparing our house to Pinterest boards and the homes of social media bloggers. Adjusting my expectations ended up being a huge weight off of my shoulders.
Q | What song is your go-to throughout the day?
A | Here Comes the Sun by the Beatles.
Q | What’s something that’s been on your mind lately?
A | I’m going to Boulder, Colorado soon to train our newest QC team members and I have no idea what to pack. One day it’s 75 and the next it’s snowing. I guess I’ll be checking a bag.