After their daughter Annie was born, Gail McGovern and her husband established what came to be known as the “kitchen calendar rule.”

At the time, McGovern worked for AT&T overseeing 10,000 employees; her husband ran a large unit of Hewlett-Packard. They both needed to travel regularly for work, but one of them also needed to be home for Annie.

“We had two monster jobs,” recalls McGovern, who today is CEO of the American Red Cross. “In the beginning, we fought about who got to take a

[particular work] trip. Then we instituted the kitchen calendar rule: Whoever booked it first got to take the trip.”

During those years—ones where McGovern recalls her house as “always a mess” and her cooking as “a lot of take-out”—McG