Author Topic: Becoming Focused/Rising to Leadership Challenges  (Read 725 times)

RedWhite&Who

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Becoming Focused/Rising to Leadership Challenges
« on: April 18, 2017, 07:33:55 AM »
So before I can get to what my problems are, a little bit about me:

This year has been a lot of big changes, one right after the other. I got an associates, took a job in a new rural city, became debt free, found my own apartment (for less than 30% of my monthly income), purged most of my belongings, got my car all fixed up. I've scored a 2.5 mile commute, finally bought a bike and start riding to work next week! I've started automatic withdrawals each week to be put in to savings, which isn't much, but it's something. Got two promotions and a raise and seem for all intents and purposes, seem to be doing really well.

Now here's what I need help with:

Riding this oddly elevator like path to the top of my company, has left me searching for the next challenges. I experience post-achievement depression pretty hardcore so I try to keep busy and find something new to work on.

As a very baby Mustachian with a very baby income, I'm not super sure what my next financial goal should be once I get my savings up to 1k. I'd like to start something for retirement...I think? The goal is to be FIRE, with a paid off house, a paid off bachelors, and two dogs by the time I'm 36. So I've got 13 years to get there, but there's no time like the present.

I have, for better or for worse, also set my sights on improving my leadership skills. I'm a fairly shy and fairly eccentric individual so the thought of working out the social aspects makes my stomach swoop a loop-de-loop. I'm essentially running the company and am having some trouble connecting with my entire team as the youngest (by a lot) and as a female (in blue collar, rural, Americana).

Any advice is always appreciated!

chasesfish

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Re: Becoming Focused/Rising to Leadership Challenges
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2017, 06:56:53 PM »
#1  Enjoy the journey.  You're describing a lot of me 10 years ago, I really wish I would have enjoyed every day more instead of being intensely focused on the next promotion.  I missed a number of opportunities to build relationships with people.

#2:  Go find Dale Carnegie's book "How to Win Friends and Influence People".  You should be able to find it used, at a thrift store, or at a library.  Its a timeless classic when it comes to connecting with people. 
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Gone_Hiking

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Re: Becoming Focused/Rising to Leadership Challenges
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2017, 10:29:37 PM »
Congratulations on your promotions!  well done and at a young age!

I would recommend finding a Toastmasters club in addition to taking to heart Dale Carnegie's timeless lessons in handling people. If there is one in your area and you like it when you visit, please consider joining.  It has made a big difference to me and I know several people who received promotions and negotiated salaries thanks to knowing how to speak.

Above all, go with your gut - and best of luck!


swick

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Re: Becoming Focused/Rising to Leadership Challenges
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2017, 01:02:00 AM »
It's all about communication. "Crucial conversations - tools for talking when stakes are high" is one of the best books on communication I have ever read, it is a classic for a reason and everyone should read it. http://amzn.to/2oNfmeK

"Conversations that get results and inspire collaboration" is also a good one, it is less about having the critical conversations but identifying primary communication styles and by how recognizing yours and others you will be able to adapt and present your information tailored to who you are speaking to in order to get the results from them.  As a woman working with a bunch of blue collar men, this is pretty key.http://amzn.to/2ou3viu

As far as the social stuff, no one is better than Vanessa Van Edwards. http://www.scienceofpeople.com/

You got this :)

Dee18

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Re: Becoming Focused/Rising to Leadership Challenges
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2017, 05:41:50 AM »
Join the nearest Toastmasters club to develop your verbal skills.  It's a great investment of your time at the beginning of a career.

FLBiker

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Re: Becoming Focused/Rising to Leadership Challenges
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2017, 06:29:37 AM »
Thanks for posting this.  I'm definitely going to check out the crucial conversations book.

I spent my early career as a teacher, mostly overseas, meaning I was very independent and largely unsupervised.  I'm now back in the US, working as a full-time administrator.  Like you, I've been promoted fairly quickly -- I'm good at much of what I do.  The piece that has always been the hardest for me is the management of others.  That said, it has gotten easier over time.

One big realization for me was that when people came to me about an issue with someone I supervised, they didn't expect me to fix that person.  They just expected me to help them get what they needed.  There's one guy I supervise who is challenging for a lot of people.  He has good intentions, but his communication skills aren't great and he frequently overcomplicates things / gives people way too much info.  At first, I used to feel bad that I couldn't "fix" this.  But then I realized that, it's just who he is.  And so, when necessary, I attend meetings with him and "translate" things / cut through the unnecessary stuff.  It's not always comfortable, but it has worked much better.

swick

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Re: Becoming Focused/Rising to Leadership Challenges
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2017, 08:45:32 AM »
There's one guy I supervise who is challenging for a lot of people.  He has good intentions, but his communication skills aren't great and he frequently overcomplicates things / gives people way too much info.  At first, I used to feel bad that I couldn't "fix" this.  But then I realized that, it's just who he is.  And so, when necessary, I attend meetings with him and "translate" things / cut through the unnecessary stuff.  It's not always comfortable, but it has worked much better.

FL, what you are describing is classic "Compliant-to-standards" communication style (from the second book I mentioned) The handy thing about the book is it goes into what each style needs, what behaviours are typical, how they add value to their team, what they want in the workplace, types of projects they are well suited for, how they act, what their main limitations are, who they have the most trouble communicating with, what you can do when interacting with them for best results...

There is no "fixing" because every communication style brings value to the table, it is about helping people realize their strengths and weaknesses (and yours) But if you can help your team learn about all the variables going on in any interaction the whole team will be more successful. Also handy if you are in charge of any growth and development plans and need to identify skills to work on. The more people with good communication skills, the more successful your organization will be.