Lessons from Leadership: What Have You Learned?

I think we can all agree that there are types of leadership and leadership styles that stick with us for a long time, be they good or bad.

Today I read: “Lessons from Leadership is Language on Feedback”

and it got me thinking about the lessons that different people have learned while in leadership positions.

I thought it would be useful for people to share what they have learned here to help others who are learning on their own leadership journey.

So, over to you, what have you learned?

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I learned that I need to learn a lot more about how to do it.

I discovered that I tend to treat those I’m leading as fully independent and capable, and to assume that if they have problems they’ll ask me. This doesn’t work well with someone who’s used to being told what to do and how to do it.

It doesn’t help that I’m about as introverted as it’s possible to get or that I’m also about as conflict-averse as it’s possible to get. Asserting myself is hard.

Given the choice I’d avoid leadership roles completely, but that’s not likely - my future is likely to involve expanding my team to be more than just me (and me not being the only tester in the building - woo!), I would be beyond lucky if someone with better qualifications was hired (they’d be looking for a junior, and my 15-ish years testing isn’t likely to be found in a junior). So I’m likely to wind up being effectively the lead/mentor sooner or later.


This is a great topic - the blog post has some good points!

my input today would be something like: No one likes to be told what to do. Telling someone else is a power move (even when done by parents). Don’t tell - ask, motivate & read the room/person. What is their motivation to help you in your project?

(my bias: trusting people to have integrity. )

more about motivation here:

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I was struggling with all the conflicting messages and ideas about what good leadership is. For me the thing that help me navigate that was the Host Leadership http://hostleadership.com/ . Basically what you need to do and what style that suite different situations and different people are different. The analogy is that you are the host, where you need to invite people, you need to create the environment suited for the activity, you need let others entertain, you need to entertain, you need to reject people that will crash the party and so on. And in a day you will need to swap between these things. But the goal is that all your guests are enjoying themselves.

And also the Five Dysfunctions of a Team, specifically with the parts of what behaviors do I have that causes these dysfunctions and what can I do about it. Very humbling and educational.

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One key learning for me is knowing when to micromanage and when to step-away. Another is that mentoring / coaching is difficult, and it takes “two to tango”. Some times difficult decisions will have to be made, but is it important to have provided support from the beginning and assure transparency.

Saying all this, the most important aspect of leadership is gaining your team’s trust. You do that by helping the team develop an identity and a vision they can rally to.

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