The call ended at around 10 am. What was supposed to be a 30-minute meeting got extended for 60 minutes before the call finally ended. I was left flummoxed at the end of the conversation. Bewildered that my Project Director had to step in to support my team members and address their questions and give directions. I felt small.
This past one year, as a Senior Manager, I have been feeling small at many times. Maybe its an ego thingy, but more than that, I guess I feel frustrated that I can’t support my team members. The funny thing is I am doing all I can to support them, except providing them technical and more complex guidance on IT-related stuff. That’s where I need my Project Director to come in and step in.
Don’t get me wrong, I am eternally grateful for her presence. I know it comes at a price, but I also know it needs to be done. I am willing to step aside, put my ego in the drawer and let her give the right and necessary guidance where I can’t do so. And sometimes that hurts…the stepping aside. Its definitely a pride issue, but it also makes me wonder how others may perceive me – am I week? am I incapable?
For the last few months, I have been battling this personal struggle. Since leaving my comfort zone in the world of change management to do something different, there have been times I have wondered whether I made the right move. Whether all this would be worth it. Why did it even do it in the first place? I used to be great at what I do and I am still great at what I do, but there are times, I allow the self-doubt to creep in.
And that’s when it hits me. I am actually not weak at all. I do possess certain strengths and capabilities that have gotten me this far. Sure it has taken me a bit longer than usual, but only because I have prioritized more important things in life, like settling down, raising my young family, seeing to my family’s needs etc. But capable, I am so, at least I would like to believe so.
And so it’s really a matter of changing my perspective. I can’t change those around me, or my predicaments. I can work on my limitations to some degree, but more importantly, I can use this time, this opportunity to make good on myself. I can use these experiences I have gathered over the last 8-9 months to better equip myself to do better, to improve my performance. As I always tell my counselees – nothing is ever wasted – is also something I need to tell myself too.
I could choose to look at my circumstances, as I am not being good enough, or I could choose to look at it as “wow, what a great opportunity to learn and hear all this” and really understand and grow. The good thing I have going for me is my ability to learn. My teachability and humbleness are great assets that I could tap on to do better. To be a better, more truly authentic leader. And its not about knowing everything, but about using what you know to do everything you can. That takes practice which translates into performance. And a key pre-requisite is to always have a growth mindset and mental resiliency (something I want to talk about in a future post).
No one is perfect, but we can always use the challenges, difficulties, and setbacks that sometimes bring us down to also create opportunities to set us up for further success and growth. It’s really about how you look at things and how you change your perspective.