If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself. Henry Ford

A Leader’s Reflection Log – Week 10

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Intro – what is this and why?

I strongly believe that to improve as a leader or at anything in this life you need to reflect on yourself. You need to be willing to dig up those failures and put them up on a wall to analyse what you did wrong, why you did it and what you could do better. This is what I plan on doing using this blog. Every week I am going to dive into my work as a leader and identify where I can improve. I will be honest in order to learn and to hopefully inspire others to learn and grow as well.

To read more about how you can have a healthy mindset about failure and make it a learning experience that propels you to success – check this post out!

The quote good

“If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.” – Henry Ford

Great Henry Ford quote. Moving forward together is about facing challenges as a team, coming up with solutions as a team, communicating well as a team, growing and learning as a team, reflecting as a team, which will all ultimately, lead to succeeding as a team. Focus on your team first and success will follow.

The good

After a little bit of a break, I am back in action! I have just moved roles and am now working as a Compliance Relationship Manager in a very large business and technology change programme. I thought it would be best to wait until I settle in before resuming my reflections and so here we are! Why the new role? Well, I was at a point where there wasn’t much more I could learn – I knew my domain very well, I was an SME, I was comfortable. I needed to seek out discomfort and push myself to grow. I needed a new challenge to help develop myself as a leader. It is so easy to stay where you are comfortable, but doing so often means you stagnate, you aren’t learning, you aren’t growing and I have found when people are too comfortable they don’t love their jobs.

In my new role, there isn’t anyone telling me what to do, I have a brief outline of deliverables and things that I should get involved with but other than that, it’s up to me to drive things forward and carve my own path. Those I report to have given me a lot of autonomy and empowered me to do my job – this has allowed me to learn a lot and develop in a very short amount of time. I think this autonomy and empowerment was something I took hold of for myself – the offer for support was there and help was there if I needed it but otherwise, I was free to say support wasn’t needed for meetings and work and I could go it alone. Sometimes we can be afraid to take a leap and worry we might drown – especially in a new role. I believe it is important to be cautious you don’t bite off more than you can chew, to start small and build up but you should definitely get stuck in, immerse yourself and seek discomfort – that is where real growth happens.

The bad

Where to start? As with any new role, project or job, there can be a learning curve – which means many mistakes and many learning opportunities. Probably one of my biggest mistakes was made today. One of my responsibilities in my new role is to run a Data Governance bi-weekly meeting. Today was my very first time running it. I hadn’t met many of those attending – it was to be the very first impression of me that they had. I was super proud of myself to start with. Got to the office early, arranged the projector, updated the agenda based on various changes, got the PowerPoint presentations ready, prepared the action list from the previous session – we were good to go! Wrong. Firstly I had forgotten that there were people dialling to the call so I was late dialling them into the meeting. However, I also didn’t have the meeting organiser code and so was unable to start it. Eventually, someone dug it out and shared it to dial people in. Late start but no problems. Then as we started and began referring to the presentation the people on the phone noted that they could not see the materials… I hadn’t sent them the presentations for them to follow (this wasn’t a web…) – my bad. So I caused another delay in pausing the meeting, sending them the presentations and waiting until they had them open to follow along. It was a terrible first impression and one I can’t take back – I can only hope I will run more effective meetings in the future, proving I am actually capable and organised. This was a failure in preparation – I should have followed my learnings from this post on running effective meetings more closely – I will do going forward! Over-preparation is never a bad thing – in fact… can you ever over-prepare?

The ugly

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