From a reluctant leader to an empowered leader

March 05, 2023 | 02 min read

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I led a team of five for six months when my manager was on maternity leave. I think I did an average job of keeping the team together, solving problems, getting projects done on time, attending inter-department meetings, being accountable to stakeholders etc. When my manager was back, I am not sure what made me reluctant to lead a team.

The day I got an email to register for the 10xer club, I didn’t even give it a second thought and registered for it. The sessions began and we were taught some concepts, did group activities, and learned things from other 10xers, so on and so forth.

In the first two months, I didn’t find any results in me. I told the club organizers that I am not the best fit for this club and no longer find the online sessions interesting. I might have wasted a seat which someone else could have got. The weeks went by and sessions kept happening.

Today, I am still figuring out if my reluctance to lead a team has gone, but I have learned a few things that have changed my perspective towards leadership.

  • You can still lead a team without being a manager. A leader is someone who doesn’t have any managerial designation but still feels responsible for giving direction to his team’s professional and personal goals.

 

I somehow feel responsible for my team for achieving their professional and personal goals. I make sure they have goal clarity, adequate resources, culture of collaboration, innovation, and a proper flow of communication within the team.

 

  • To maintain work quality, I was in a habit of doing everything on my own, with no work delegation. 10xer sessions taught me that a leader gives others a chance to lead and is not focused just on results.

 

I wasn’t much convinced by this session but when I slowly started following it, I learned a lot of new techniques to do the same task from my team. And now, I have some bandwidth to concentrate on newer tasks.

 

  • The best thing I learned from the club was the Chess Master and Gardner Approach. A chess master is someone who has a calculative mind and makes chess figures work according to predefined rules, whereas a gardener creates a suitable environment for his plants and they grow themselves, naturally.

 

After this session at 10xer, I started using the Gardner approach at my workplace. I started creating a suitable environment for my team members so that they learn and grow on their own with a little guidance. And a saw a lot of positive changes in them.

There were so many concepts taught to us, but these three have left a mark on my mind.

I have heard someone saying, a leader is not liked but respected. I don’t know if my team likes me or not, but if they don’t, that means I am climbing up the ladder of being a leader.

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