I am on a quest to become a leader. I have given it more thought this year than all years before. Even though I have spent years as a software test manager, I believe that I have only scratched the surface. I appreciate your comments.
Imagine yourself working at a company that is facing a challenge. The market is not growing while the competitors are taking market share and reducing their costs. People are worried about their jobs. Your friends are worried. You are worried. If you get laid off, what is going to happen?
There is a key project that is important for the company’s survival. The project manager suddenly takes a job somewhere else leaving a void in leadership. Then the head of R&D comes to you and says “We need your leadership. Please guide this project so that it is successful.”
Of course you are flattered by the request. You wonder if you really are the best person for the job. Can you get it done and keep balance in your life? Can you bring up the morale of people so they can do their best? Can you keep management from interfering with the project and resources? Or will you fail?
Then your mind goes back to the things that you did to prepare for this role. You remember the time spent listening to others to understand the problems from their point of view. You recall the times you shared your vision of how things could be on another team, allowing everybody to see what could be. And you feel some pride when you think about how everybody worked together to get it done. You realize that whether intentional or not, you have become a leader. You accept the offer and build on your experiences from the past.
We are all on some path of leadership. Some of us want to be leaders. Others are tired of being led by dictators or phonies. Some of us want to have an impact. And some just want to keep following. There is nothing wrong with any of those desires. In fact, we have a little of each in our hearts. However, if you want a little or lot of success, which I think you are by the fact that you are reading this blog, you can prepare yourself to be a good leader.
Note: I would like to get feedback on what you think a leader is and is not. I welcome your comments.