“What do I have to do to successfully lead this team?”
this is the phrase that’s been going through my head the past week.
Work wise, it’s been one of the most challenging things I’ve had to do. I guess everyone is different but when it comes to my personal life, I don’t really like being in the spotlight and more than happy to do my thing and just sheep along. There’s been times when I have naturally fallen into the leader role when I’m climbing but it’s not something I enjoy all the time. I feel a sense of burden and a need to look out for everyone, sometimes at the sacrifice of my own enjoyment and fun times.
When I have to lead on climbing trips or adventures, that’s fine cause its within my comfort zone and I’m confident in my abilities. However when I start going beyond my comfort zone, I struggle. And this is what has happened to me in the past week at work.
Long story short, I went offshore with the intention to be a leach and learn however I got requested to be the leader of our start up team by the Offshore Installation Manager … A team with really strong personalities, intelligent and varied experiences. Here I am feeling like I don’t deserve to be up on mantle, I feel that they should be the ones to get the glory. I feel like a puppet…empty. Plus I’m terrible at public speaking.
Slowly with guidance and support from the start up and the leadership team offshore, I’m beginning to understand what it is to be a effective leader.
My job is to:
- Protect the team from their main priorities
- Provide direction on priorities
- Provide a channel for communication
- With their input, make informed decisions
- Look ahead for them to ensure all bases are covered
- Do what it takes to ensure the success of the team to complete their objective
Things never went to plan and things changed so many times that we’d rejig the plan a few hours after we jigged it in the morning. We’d be fending off queries from town, supporting issues offshore and at the same time trying be remain mentally sane whilst doing 5am-9pm workdays….
3 and a half weeks later… We finally made it and it’s over. I just want some peace and quiet to myself and not think about work. I’ve been fortunate to have worked with such a supportive crew but I think another week and we would’ve killed one another.
When we finally made it to Karratha airport… Boy did those beers taste good! The mood instantly changed and we got a chance to reflect on our journey together. It was the most challenging gig each of us had offshore but looking back, we achieved so much in the 3 and half weeks, learned to make decisions on the fly and stick it out.
Adrian asked me if we’d to do it all again would I have rather him lead the team as per the original plan. I said hell yes! I’m not cut out for being a team lead… Maybe one day but not now by choice. Nevertheless the experience that I gained was invaluable and was so fortunate. Without the management team supporting me every step along the way, coaching me and guiding me, I could’ve been a lot worse =)