A lot of things have changed in my work life recently. For confidentiality reasons, I will not share all the details, but a series of events have made me reflect and I have made a decision to take another job. I will still be working for the same company, which I love, but in a different team. More significantly, I will go from a position where I manage a team back to a single contributor position : my team will be me and I will manage only me !
It has been 6 years since I last was a single contributor, so this is a big change.
In the last few weeks, I have reflected a lot, about the way I manage and the way I am managed. And on what it means, for me, to be a leader. And from that, I have drawn a pledge, that I will make to myself and to all the people I will be fortunate to lead and support in the future. I want to share my pledge with you, to make it public and hold myself accountable.
My pledge to all my future teams :
- I will develop a caring and supportive environment for you to work in : I will not allow intimidation, bullying and aggressiveness. I will not allow negative gossiping and people going above people’s heads. I will make sure everyone can speak at meetings. I will do my best to identify and address manipulation and passive aggressiveness.
- I will not micromanage you : I will set the direction and will give you objectives but I will not tell you in details how to hit them. I will sometimes share my opinion and will always be available for questions and advice, but will not prescribe rigid ways of accomplishing goals. Sometimes, I will want things accomplished a certain way, and if that’s the case, I will make it very clear to you and I will explain why.
- I will own my mistakes, we will own your mistakes : As your manager, I will make mistakes. When I am conscious of it, I will apologize and will tell you what I will do to stop repeating the mistake. If you point out my mistakes to me, I will discuss it with you and will listen to your point of view to find a solution together. When you make a mistake, it will be our shared responsibility. I will not throw you under the bus to the higher-ups. If I change my mind, I will admit it to you and will explain why.
- I will give you honest feedback and help you improve : When there are things you need to improve, I will let you know. I will endeavor to remove all ambiguity in my feedback to you, be it positive or negative. I will answer all of your questions and take all the time we need. I will provide details and examples. If there is an area of under-performance, I will propose specific ways that I could help you. I will give you time to improve.
- I will nurture your growth : I will sign-off purchase orders for training courses. I will buy subscription to magazines to foster your growth. I will help you gain exposure to senior management and will support you all the way. I will help you learn new things. If there is a job opening somewhere that I think would be very suited to you, I will not hold you back. I will put your development before mine.
- I will thank you for helping me honor this pledge : I will share it with you and will thank you when you point out that I haven’t fulfilled it. I will correct myself to make sure I am true to my word.