So what if you’re great at your job. It doesn’t automatically qualify you to lead others doing that same job.
Here’s why you need leadership training…
As I mentioned in this post, I started leading when I was a kid, playing rugby and waiting tables.
It was later on in life when I learnt the hard way why we all need leadership training at some point.
I wanted to improve my leadership skills in 2014, just before I started hiring team
It’s not a pleasant place to be at all.
At the very end my modern apprenticeship, I was asked to go from working on the shop floor into quality engineering.
A meeting was arranged with my manager and someone from HR on a Thursday afternoon.
There had been some internal movements and it left the Quality Engineering department with no one in it.
An oversight I’m sure you’ll agree.
As part of my apprenticeship I’d spent some time in the department and showed some aptitude, so they asked me to go in on a 6 month secondment.
Starting the very next day!
I’d spent the previous 3 years learning my skills from 30 -40 guys and overnight I was responsible for inspecting their work.
The transition wasn’t managed very well.
Inspecting components inevitably
I could do the role, the actual measuring bit, but I had no support in how to change that relationship, the dynamic between learning from to then critically inspecting the work of my mentors, friends and peers.
It all came to a head, when took a whole tray of components back to a friend, to tell them that he needed to redo them…
He didn’t take it very well.
It ruined our friendship.
At the time, that’s how the organisation promoted people. If you were good at what you did, you got given a more senior role.
Unfortunately there was never any support through that transition.
A Brilliant Mind
The second time was when I’d gone to work for a small engineering firm.
A company owned by an amazingly brilliant engineer.
I cannot stress how clever this guy was
His understanding of mechanical engineering practices, machining techniques
He was unbelievable, but he couldn’t lead people.
He micromanages everything. Every email proofread by him.
To the point he should have just written them all.
I wasn’t free to make decisions when working on projects or when dealing with subcontractors.
Everything had to be run through him, almost to the point he might as well have done everything himself.
Then one day he’d question why you were running something past him.
Armed with this new found confidence, the next day you’d think okay he’s prepared to give me a bit more freedom.
Let me take ownership.
You’d make a decision and he’d erupt.
“Why haven’t you told me about that?”
“I should be hearing about this kind of thing!”
It was horrible
It was a small team of 8 and during the 9 months I was working there we turned over 5 team members.
Give Me Leadership Training
I was not going to repeat those experiences!
Adamant I was going to develop my leadership skills, I enrolled in the LEAD Wales program, run out of Bangor Uni.
2 days a month for 10 months out of the business, learning about good leadership practices, from experienced leaders with a group of other leaders.
The teaching was very good.
Talking through our experiences.
Helping and challenging each other made a huge difference.
What About You?
What are your experiences?
Good and bad?
As a leader and as someone being lead?
What can I learn form you?