Leadership & “What I’m Currently Working On”

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It’s interesting how you can see things clearer once you are removed from them. I was not the optimal leader when I was on Staff Council. I was engaging and energetic, which are necessary components of strong leadership, but I did not have details, I did not have excellent execution, and I did not listen well.

In fact, I did not listen well the entire 5 years I’d been at AU. Wait no, it’s been my entire life.

You know how I know now?

I’m starting to listen. Really listen.

Those are the three things I’m working on in my new role at Accenture.

  • Detail orientation
  • Excellent Execution
  • Listen

I am so immature at these skills. The fascinating thing, though, is that two of those three things inspire me. As I’m doing Analyst level work, I’m forced to be in the details. Something as simple as moving data from Excel to Word and converting visually to PDFs. It sounds like three steps, but its really 10 (literally 10), and I’m doing it 125 times, so there is large room for error.

I get frustrated while doing it, because Adobe may be slow, or excel may crash because I’m taking it from Sharepoint, but in that same frustration, I’m energized at my new found ability to THINK CRITICALLY to the details. It inspires me to slow down and see things from different angles before acting.

Some of you reading may think this chick is an idiot, and how did she get to be 30 years old and not realize the detail involved in executing a task this size, but guess what? YOU may be a detail oriented person. I, on the other hand, have been large picture, and very inpatient with the details. Now, I can honestly say I have so much appreciation for the people who are in-love with the details. We need both large picture and details!

Secondly, I find myself inspired by execution. Why? Honestly, because I can articulate what has been done. I have deliverables almost every day, and it helps keep me on task and organize my work. Although right now we could say my role is “special projects” because there is no tying workstream to put them together, I am delivering products 10x more often than I ever did at AU, and that feels GOOD. I knew my role at AU was slow (which is why I filled it with so many other things) but this is a different ballgame!

Now, you may be wondering why I am not inspired by listening. The truth is listening allows you to learn so much more. I just read this out loud to my boyfriend just now, because this is where I stopped when he came up this morning, and he added something interesting. He said he believed that most people that write blogs are not inspired by listening, because writing is more like speaking, not listening. Thoughts anyone? Back to why I’m not inspired by it. This is scary to write, but here it goes. The more I listen, the more I realize its sad. A lot of people seem unhappy, and words spoken sound like attempts to find a random sunray in a swamp of quicksand. People going down, some slower because they’ve found a way to manage, others quicker because they have gone crazy knowing this is a muck.

And then here I am caught in the middle. The more I listen, the more I feel like I’m trying to stay above water. I have to take this one in small spurts, because its truly the most overwhelming of the three. As I mature and my energy lessens, this also comes into play, but that’s a story for another day.

So there you go, I’m working on details, execution, and listening.

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