GSD // Lisa Scroggins of Room & Board

GSD Interview with Lisa Scroggins Room & Board

New year, more GSD interviews! In my survey at the end of last year many of you asked me to feature more women in jobs versus female entrepreneurs, so I hear you! I will definitely be mixing all types of jobs into the GSD (get shit done) column this year! Know an awesome gal with a killer job or business that you think would be perfect to be featured in the GSD column? Please send your submission to


For the past 7 years Lisa has been the retail market manager at Room & Board in Washington, D.C. Previously she held regional and district director roles in retail apparel. Those roles ranged from well-known retailers based in New York and Los Angeles to a very small activewear company based in Portland, OR. For over 22 years Lisa las lead multi-unit teams all over the country in Denver, Dallas, Houston, Chicago, as well as the East Coast from Boston to Miami.

What does a typical day look like for you?

My day starts at 5:00 am. During this quiet time I have the opportunity to quickly glance at my email and calendar for the day, grab a piece of fruit or protein bar and head downstairs to spend 20 minutes on the treadmill. After getting ready for the work, I prepare my daughter’s lunch and snack for the day and take on the task of getting her up and ready for school. Once Julianna is off to school I head into the city.

My workday starts 8:30 am most days. The metro commute gives me an opportunity to prepare my thoughts for the day and review notes for any meetings I have scheduled that I may be presenting or participating in with my team. Each day in the showroom starts with a 10:30 am meeting that could cover a variety of topics from product education, technology enhancements, philosophical conversations, team building or open forum to name a few. The remainder of the day is spent engaging with my team on a number of topics from personal conversations to planning our next community event in our showroom. Oftentimes I am working with customers to furnish their home or help resolve an issue.

At Room & Board we work very collaboratively, so at times I am reaching out to my peers in other markets, meeting with my partners in our central office in Minneapolis or the delivery market manager in Elkridge, Maryland. The day and the business moves so quickly and before I know it my day ends at the showroom.

My train ride home is when I reflect on the day as I commute to Maryland to pick up my daughter from aftercare. We head home I prepare dinner while helping with homework and take the opportunity to have Julianna share her day with me. My day ends with Julianna in bed by 9:00 pm and I typically end my day by 10:30 pm.

What parts of your work do you love?  

I love working with my team. They are creative, talented, amazing at helping customers furnish homes they love, and are very passionate about their work. I learn from them every day! I also love when I have the opportunity to engage with customers and help them navigate the showroom and share our Room & Board story.  

What parts of your work do you dislike?

It can be challenging to have difficult conversations with a team member that is struggling with our philosophical approach to business or our company guiding principles. I want everyone to thrive in our business and love what they do, but this role is not for everyone.

What things do you have to do that you didn’t realize going into this job?

The one thing about my role that I didn’t realize is the many hats I wear throughout a day or week. One day I may be planning a huge party to introduce our outdoor collection, troubleshooting a computer problem, working with a customer with a design challenge, interviewing a potential design associate, mentoring a peer, finding a solution for a facility issue or doing a fun interview like this.  

What are some interesting things people probably don’t know behind the scenes of your work?  

Room & Board is a national company with a local point of view. We love the being active in our community. We support and partner with various organizations throughout the area in a various ways. We have utilized our 4th floor and rooftop deck for non-profit organizations to hold meetings and fundraising events, volunteered with our community partner SOME and worked with countless other like minded organizations that we support such as HRC. Additionally, we are committed to organizations dedicated to assisting those living with AIDS, organizations with a commitment to strengthening home and family and institutions with a passion for art and design.

What type of calendar do you keep?  

Outlook works for me and I’m able to access my calendar from my smartphone, iPad and desktop.  

How do you plan out your calendar?  

Because this is something that is used daily, everything that I am required to do will get posted in order to keep me on track and ahead of the game. It is also important for me to prioritize my calendar in order to meet all deadlines.

How do you organize and tackle your to-do list?  

For me it is most important to look at each task, project, meeting etc., then determine which items are time sensitive or need to take priority based on scope of work and partners involved. Agility is a characteristic that is relatively easy for me. In this business you can have the best plan for your day, week, or month and something or someone throws a curve ball and you need to be able to shift and change then redirect at a moments notice.

How do you attack your inbox? Do you have a certain strategy you use?  

I am able to access email multiple times throughout the day on all of my devices. As a best practice, any item that is a call-to-action I try my best to respond immediately. This ensures the deadline is met and I don’t have to give it another thought. Other actionable items may require research or collaborating with a team member and or a more thoughtful approach. In these instances I will add the item to my calendar with a reminder a couple of days prior to the deadline or use the follow-up option in Outlook. I also regularly opt out of random emails that find their way to my inbox to keep it as clean as possible.

GSD Interview with Lisa Scroggins Room & Board

What is your process and/or work strategy? Anything that you have found that works for you?  

It is important for me to document everything, so I have a journal where all of my conversations, notes from conference calls and meetings are written down. My role requires me to communicate with my team on a daily basis. It is my responsibility to create a communication cascade to ensure that all team members have the information they need to have a clear understanding of company initiatives and strategies and ultimately provide the best customer experience. My journal and calendar help me stay on task and ensure that all messages are communicated to my group in a timely manner.

Lastly, it is important to know your strengths and limitations and the same for your team. I am not the expert on everything in this business, but think it’s important to rely on the strengths of my leadership team as well as the Design Associates. In some scenarios it is better to delegate and/or take on a partner. Working in a collaborative environment supports reaching out to a peer, mentor, or my supervisor when needed for help.

Do you have any rituals or routines you do?

I always love the start of a new year, it is an opportunity to reflect on your life, your work, and make changes to become a better person or make a better life for yourself. I want to focus on being better than I was last year in my role as mother, friend, partner, and leader. One thing I’m committed to doing is getting back to focusing on me from a holistic point of view. This will enable me to be better all around. The only other ritual or routine would be starting my workday with caffeine!

How do you GSD at home?

I am looking to start a few projects at home. A few months ago I worked on my powder room, which I thought would be an easy place to start with little to change, but still very impactful. I changed the paint color, added a beautiful mirror, new hardware, solar shade and wall art. It looks great! Next up is repainting my dining room. I’m inspired by my first little project! It’s amazing what a fresh coat of paint will do for a room.

It is important for me to spend as much time with my daughter as I can, so the last thing I want to do is clean house when I could spend quality time with my daughter. I have someone in biweekly to clean the house and I do my best to maintain it until she returns. My daughter keeps me on-the-go with all of her activities, so it’s nice to have little help to keeps things neat and tidy. It is equally important to have time with your friends, just like everything else you must schedule the time or it will never happen.

GSD Interview with Lisa Scroggins Room & Board

What books or other resources have you found helpful or have changed your life?  

Bit Literacy was recommended to me. It a great book to help increase productivity by giving you simple systems to manage the flow of digital information.

StrengthsFinder has changed my life. This book measures the presence of 34 talent themes with a focus on your top 5. It is something that I reference often as I work with my team. It helps you understand behaviors, patterns of thought and feeling.

Emotional Intelligence 2.0 is another go-to for my work and personal life. This book using four core EQ skills (self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management) to increase your emotional intelligence and reach your full potential.

Nuggets of advice you’ve been given that have stuck?  

Never put off for tomorrow, what you can do today.

It’s so true — life moves so quickly — if you have the opportunity to get something done, do it. You never know what tomorrow brings.

What are your favorite apps, websites, program, gadgets etc. you use to organize yourself?  

+ The Skimm is a daily email newsletter I read.
+ iTrans DC Metro is an app with realtime train arrivals, schedules and service alerts I use for transportaion.
+ 1Password is an app I use to store all of your passwords and important information and only having to remember one password. + Prisma transforms your photos and videos into works of art using famous artists.
+ For music I really like Spotify.
+ Most of my shopping is done online. I frequently visit CUSP, Anthropologie, Shopbop, and J.Crew.


Read more GSD (get shit done) interviews here.