Sunday, January 25, 2009

Learning to lead

I have been hearing a lot about leadership lately. The latest edition of the HBR talks about reinventing leadership, I downloaded a few podcasts on leadership, and of course the nation is changing “leaders”. If that were not enough, I seem to have become a leader myself.

After working on the same team (my first job out of college) for a few years and steadily gaining recognition, experience and influence, I have reached a position where I am responsible for the performance of two great analysts. One of them has been working with me for a few months and I have acted as a mentor for him as he navigates the fresh waters of a new job. The other analyst has some great experience on areas very different than my own and the only business interaction I have had with him has been very positive.

While I’m trilled about this challenge, I have been somewhat slow to fully embrace my new role. It is easy to do analysis and produce great results when all you have to do is stimulate yourself, but now I need to figure out ways to motivate OTHERS to perform, and do my own work at the same time. I am looking forward to learning about how to accomplish tasks successfully by means of other people (or insert your own definition of leadership here).

I’ll keep you posted on my progress, but in the meantime I would like to hear your thought on the subject. Tell me some anecdotes about your first people management experience. What do you think about ‘friending’ your directs on Facebook? What works for you to keep your team energized and engaged? I respect the available literature on the subject, but I know you have a lot of knowledge to share and to complement the established schools of thought. Don’t be shy.

Hope to hear from you soon.