Sunday, November 04, 2007

KOOKY: Six months later...

So it's been about six months since I've been put in a Team Lead role. In the six months:
  • I've made mistakes and still do so
  • I've had to deal with conflict
  • I had to learn about office furniture
  • I had to learn how HR deals with things
  • I've hired 4 people
  • I have less time to do more work (and consequently take more work home)
  • I've taken leadership training
  • I've micro-managed
  • I've had to do a lot of mentoring
  • I've probably sent out mixed signals to my underlings
  • I've had to make executive decisions
  • In short, I've learned that being a leader is hard, hard work
It's been hard so far, but a good learning experience for me. I certainly don't want to be one of those supervisors who people complain about. I want to be the person who everyone says that I was a great supervisor -- what can I say, I want people to like me. I know that I won't ever be perfect, but my main goal is to do whatever it takes to help my team do their job well and efficiently, while having fun in the process. That's not always easy as I need to figure out how to get there, and I generally don't get a lot of feedback, even when I ask for it. And it's certainly weird treating people who used to be my peers as subordinates.

Here's what I have learned/come to realise so far:
  • Less is more.
  • I won't always make popular decisions
  • I sometimes have a too big of a mouth
  • I like, and I want everyone to feel like they are a part of the process, that I don't always need to make the decisions, and have someone else take the initiative (with my blessings of course)
  • I'm learning to not only juggle my time, but everyone whom I supervise
  • I hate micro-managing, but sometimes it has to be done
  • I can't be everyone's friend
  • I don't like to deal with unpleasant things (who really does), but I have realized that I need to, and as much help as I may get from others, the buck does stop with me and I need to do something about it.
  • That it's okay to say no.
  • That it's okay to make executive decisions and not consult the team.
  • That this is my area, and my people, and (within certain confines), I can pretty much do anything I want.
But there is so much more that I need to learn.

I've taken to reading leadership blogs, and I've just bought a few books on leadership; I'll put up reviews once I've had a chance to read them. I do feel like I'm struggling as I don't always feel like I know what I'm doing, and there are days when I feel a sense of impending doom (or that could be my PMS making me moody). So I'm training myself by reading what other people who have been in my position say. I'm also thinking about taking another course.

Of course, I may be over-preparing, over-thinking, over-doing it. After all, very few of us become good at what we do overnight. That's why they call it experience. I can't look for a silver bullet solution with detailed step-by-step instructions on what to do, that doesn't exist.

Man, this is hard.

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