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Leadership Confession: The Balancing Act I Couldn't Master

Leadership Confession: The Balancing Act I Couldn't Master

Hey, tech aficionados and future leaders. In the spirit of transparency and growth, let's talk about the road less celebrated but equally instructive: the path of setbacks and lessons learned. Trust me, navigating between the technical and the managerial has its challenges, and I've hit a few bumps along the way.

So let's jump in, shall we? Here are some tips gleaned from my own experiences on what not to do when balancing technical and leadership roles.

Tip #1: Delegate, But Don’t Disengage

I’ve always been a champ at delegation. In fact, perhaps too good. My oversight was in delegating to the point of disengagement, stepping so far back that I lost touch with the nitty-gritty of projects. Remember, delegation is not about washing your hands clean but about empowering your team while staying looped in.

Tip #2: Ignoring Your Technical Skills is a No-Go

Elevating to a leadership role doesn't mean your technical skills should collect dust. Neglecting this was my downfall. A disconnect from the technical world diluted both my team's respect and my decision-making. Keep your technical skills sharp; they're your credibility currency.

Tip #3: A Packed Calendar is Not a Trophy

Once, my jam-packed calendar was my badge of honor. But all it really did was leave me gasping for air, with no room for spontaneity or deep focus. Manage your calendar so you're available for what truly matters.

Tip #4: Even With a Great Team, Keep Your Eyes on the Ball

Now, don't get it twisted—I've always known my team was my best asset, and I invested in them accordingly. Where I stumbled was in taking that excellence for granted, assuming that because they were strong, I could shift my focus elsewhere. In leadership, your team may be self-sufficient, but they still require your strategic vision and active engagement to stay aligned and motivated.

Tip #5: Knowing When to Wear Which Hat is Key

I was forever bouncing between the trenches and the tower, without knowing when to stick where. The result? Misaligned priorities and a sense of perpetual overwhelm. Master the art of zooming in for details and zooming out for strategy.

Tip #6: Communication is a Tool, Not a Task

Yes, I was that person—always online, always reachable. But guess what? Being perpetually "available" didn't mean I was communicating effectively. Make sure your 'open-door policy' doesn’t become a revolving door of distractions.

Closing Thoughts

Falling short in striking a balance between my technical and leadership roles was humbling, to say the least. Yet, these experiences are as instructive as any success story. After all, we didn't join this field because it would be easy (queue Patti Labelle and Michael McDonald); we joined because we relish challenges and live for problem-solving.

Consider my journey a cautionary tale, one filled with pitfalls to sidestep as you blaze your trail. Here’s to leveraging our failures as stepping stones toward our future success stories.

To the trials that make us and the errors that shape us, cheers.  🥂

Wanna talk? I offer Mentorship Calls that address these challenges and more. Book a free consultation with me here.