|I hope that a T-Rex would be this friendly IRL.|
(That's in real life for those just joining us.)
When I first accepted a team lead position at my company, I was excited to try something new and grow my skill set. Okay fine, I was nervous, too -- I like to be the best of the best (winner) and uncharted territory meant no established standards and quotas. How can I raise the bar if I don't know where it is?
At first the uncertainty brought me an incredible amount of stress and worry. I was so focused on proving that I could do this that I forgot to actually lead. Once my perspective was shifted I settled into my new responsibilities and defined my leadership role for myself; I set my own bar.
What Being a Leader Means to Me
- Helping everyone on my team realize and reach their potential
- Being available for problem and solution discussions, both professionally and personally
- Encouraging my team to push themselves to be better (for themselves, not just for me)
- Communicating frequently and being honest in that communication
- Being my team's greatest advocate
When I was young and a fresh college grad (n00b) I was under the impression that getting a job in the career field of my choice was going to be a cakewalk. What a laugh.
It took me years to not only figure out WHAT I wanted to do but WHO I wanted to be. As if figuring that out wasn't hard enough, I then had to find an environment where that wanted me accomplish both things. Needless to say, my quest for career bliss has been full of more ups and downs. I could have really used a mentor to show me the ropes. Rug burn sucks.
In the end I'm happy to have overcome so many obstacles when defining myself and my career goals: I am capable of being the mentor I never had. I'm going to push myself to offer more than just assignments and tasks to my team: I'm also going to offer encouragement, guidance, support, and concern.
I leave you with a final thought from one of my favorite Tweeps, Suzanne Zaleski (@MsSwank):
Are you pushing yourself to be your personal and professional best? Why not?