I would need to work on my German skills and fast!
I'd just been offered a Technical Test Lead role for a team in Munich. I'd just quit a contract without having another role lined up. It wasn't a great gig, so I was happy when this role found its way to me!
I knew this role would stretch me in all kinds of ways. I would spend the majority of my time here in Leicester, while the rest of the team were spread around Germany. How would that work? And what about the language? Did I know more than one or two words of German? Nein 🇩🇪 !
Undeterred, I plunged right in!
Leadership isn't barking orders and disrespecting people.
Having worked at several different companies over the years, I had a clear idea of what kind of leader I wanted to be. Even clearer was the picture of who I didn't want to be! I saw myself as a mini-CEO, building a company within a company. My hope was to leave my teammates feeling the same way I did after working with great bosses: listened to, supported, included, challenged and respected.
Looking back, I think I mostly pulled it off!
Understanding the goal makes it easy to make decisions.
I got many things right. Some things could've gone better though, like operating as a company within a company. I misunderstood exactly what was being asked of me and us, which led to energy being wasted. It worked out in the end though!
I also made friends for life! I managed to navigate very really tricky situations and managed to maintain close ties with my teammates (despite the language and distance barriers!). I learned that I love amplifying peoples inner awesomeness and I've carried that mission with me ever since.
I'm proud of myself for taking the challenge!
I rose to the occasion and it paid off in spades! I grew as a person and it was the first time I started to deliberately flex my coaching muscles!