Transition into leadership…

A colleague of mine asked if they could interview me for their dissertation on feedback culture… and whilst I hope I helped them, it also helped me to reflect on just how far I’ve come in my journey over the past four years… 
Leadership is a strange thing and to truly be a leader is not only hard to define but also hard to become.

The interview today was on feedback, both giving and receiving. It made me realise that giving feedback isn’t easy… It isn’t something you can just do… To do it well you need to observe, do, tweak, practice and then do it again! Working with people and managing emotions is a minefield… Jumbled together with your own feelings and who knows what happens…
It was only today I realised the transition I have gone through over the past couple of years… One of self discovery and realisation. I blogged previously on perception being reality and back then as a naive recently qualified teacher I thought it was ok to say how I really felt, that talking about what went on was the way to gain friends and be part of the crowd and I guess, back then, sat in the pub ranting, it was…
But something that dawned on me today is that I now distance myself from this, I think before I speak, I wonder what my words will do to my integrity and whether my words will seem truthful and honest out of the pub and back in the workplace. I carefully think over what I would think if I was listening to myself as my colleagues do and what effect that has in my professional world. 

Being a leader makes it difficult to let go in front of colleagues, and yes I am a massive control freak, but there is a balance. I now know that I won’t be liked all the time as a leader, sometimes it is my job to make difficult decisions that people won’t like. Yet in those moments where I see others develop from the feedback I gave, the moments where something in their thinking clicks because of a question I asked and the moments where a colleague says how far they have seen me develop I realise it’s worth that hard work! And yes I’m not there yet, and to be honest I’m not sure anyone is ever completely there, but I’m on my way…
So what does this mean for me… Of course I still go to the pub on a Friday night but I always remind myself of the moment I felt judged for something I didn’t even really feel because of course… Perception is reality!

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