A not so popular Druckerism – “Accept the fact that we have to treat almost anybody as a volunteer”. I didn’t know it then, but I was fortunate to have my first experience with leading be with a group of volunteers. Volunteerism is born out of inspiration. The first lesson I learnt – my most important function was not to motivate them but to not demotivate them.
As a new manager, most of us feel that delegation is the biggest challenge. As an individual contributor, we are used to doing and are not used to asking. My experience, in retrospect has been that it is not as much a challenge when we understand the business and the people. I read a book, “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team” by Patrick Lencioni. The protogonist of this business novel, Kathryn Peterson spends the first few weeks on her job just observing. She would just sit in meetings and observe. There is always a temptation to make changes – make our presence felt. We gain a lot by curbing this instinct and just being an observer – for the initial part. If you have seen the movie “The Karate Kid” you would remember the quote – “Being still and doing nothing are two different things”. This is one of the most important skill that we hone as we grow.
In my future posts I will talk more about my growth to learn to understand the business, the people, the customers and most importantly myself.