How I recently failed as a Leader

Interesting perspective shared with me today by a colleague. This person I really haven’t given a chance over the time I’ve been peers with her. I admit that. She’s, what I would say the polar opposite of me. Let me also say, she is one of the kindest people I’ve met. She’s a good leader because she genuinely enjoys the people part of leadership. Where we are so different is overall personality. She’s highly analytical. I am as well but after today’s conversation I realized we are analytical in completely different ways. She’s very focused on the process and technical aspects of our job and I am analytically focused on people and situations.

Why have I let these differences aggregate me for so long? Why have I, who has tested out to be versatile when it comes to the different social styles, struggled with this person for so long? I literally would avoid interaction with her. I’m an ass. I an ass because I am a so-called leader, not just by title, resorting to a juvenile approach to somebody because they’re so different then me.

Anyway, so our interaction brought other perspective to me. She gave me what feels like very sound career advice. She looked me square in the eye and told me what I don’t think any other leader in IT has said…that if I want to achieve my goal to be at the highest level as a leader in the organization, I need to become technical. It’s something that I feel like I’ve always known but have avoided hearing for some time. I so appreciated her approach. It was direct and factual and heart-felt. I could tell her intent was to help me. Before that conversation I wasn’t sure how she felt about me. I believe somebody who takes the time to share that blunt feedback genuinely cares about the person they’re delivering it to.

I am rambling but bottom line…I need to be a better peer, a better leader. I need to give her the time and stop avoiding her. I need to appreciate her strengths and be more open to working with and spending quality time with people NOT LIKE ME. I only wish I could have been that towards her without her being so good to me first.