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What's it like to work with me as your leader?

A Leadership introduction with a twist

I’ve been inspired by the book ‘Lead it like Lasso’ by Marnie Stockman, Ed.d & Nick Coniglio, based on the Show Ted Lasso on Apple TV. If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend watching it. When I watched the show, I kept saying to Scott (my husband) that Ted Lasso is a brilliant leader! I was inspired and thought I could share my learning with people in my Growth Leadership Programs.

So… when I saw a book had been written about Leadership based on the character Ted, I bought it straight away and have devoured it over the school holidays.

One of the suggestions in the book was to write a piece about what it’s like to work with you as a leader, so your colleagues know what to expect and what not to expect.

With Hourglass Consultancy constantly growing with new team members, I reflected on what it would be like for my team to work with me.

Here goes…

 

Working with me – an introduction of sorts

The first thing to know about me is that I’m either working at 120% or 0% (I realise 120% isn’t accurate, but it’s painting a picture of the energy I bring to my work and my team).

I believe in getting stuff done during inspiration and then resting and resetting to gain inspiration and clarity again. I usually retreat when I feel overwhelmed, and I use that time to get back to 120%. Hang tight and keep going, I’ll be back with bells on and firing ideas in no time. I put wellbeing and family time very high on my priority list and will do that for you too. I know how important it is to have a life balance.


I rush things sometimes and have a ‘fly by the seat of my pants’ approach which has served me well so far but can unnerve team members at times. Let me know if I’m going too fast but you’ll also need to get used to the idea that ‘we don’t let perfection get in the way of good’. We have a message to share and help to offer and I believe it’s better getting started then modifying ‘on the run’ than waiting for the perfect time because it means people who need our support and help aren’t getting it at all (weather it is perfect or not).


I wholeheartedly believe people are competent and capable, which can mean that I drop you in the deep end and expect you to swim. You ‘ll have to tell me when I do this (if you aren't going to be able to 'swim'). Please don’t suffer in silence.

  

I believe in curiosity rather than judgement. We catch more flies with honey than vinegar and it’s our job in the role we do, to make sure people feel we are meeting them where they are, that we are empathetic and help them see the forest through the trees (this is where our skill, experience and expertise come into play- one step at a time).

One of my own weaknesses is a lack of attention to detail. I’m not great with times, dates and details (such as birthdays) so I have to build systems in to make sure I notice or remember. But it doesn’t mean I don’t care! I care with my whole being about my team. You are very important to me and I will celebrate you often and appreciate the opportunity to work with you.


What I do expect of everyone in my team is dedication, commitment to the team and to the purpose/vision. We have an important job to do and it’s important for people to want to align with that. This looks like me leaving you to do your work for the most part and letting you dream up your own ideas. I’m front-facing in the work I do and I believe that if I’m training or working with a service, they need my dedicated time (Hourglass Time), so that means, you might not hear from me for a few days! Keep going, you are doing a great job - that’s truly what I think, and I don’t believe you need me to look over your shoulder.


I know the answers to our dilemmas or opportunities aren’t all going to come from me, so I try to include everyone in idea-sharing and the decision-making process. I aim to consult and then allow freedom and autonomy to meet the goal in an individual way.

I’m a very creative person so my work allows for freedom and flexibility. This doesn’t suit everyone, so if you need me to provide some more clear guidelines, I’m happy to do that, I just need to be told. What boxes me in, might be what gives you freedom – so let’s talk about it whenever that’s important.


Zest for life is my number one value and strength, so if you want a fun and funny place to work, in my team is going to be perfect for you! I build a culture of enjoyment, fun, laughter and care for our team. How do you fit into that? You make it a point to learn about the people working in your team, you notice their nuances and provide support and positive feedback, you appreciate the individuals in the team and the work we get to do. It’s simple. Oh, and bring your sense of humour.


I have high expectations and I know that’s something that makes it tricky to work with me, but it also yields the best rewards. When someone realises they have achieved more than they ever believed possible, this is such an exciting time in leadership. I love to celebrate these moments.


My expectations aren’t usually around ‘what gets done’ or ‘how we get the job done’, it’s about the professionalism and passion that was put into the work. Did you show up in the best way today and try your hardest with enthusiasm and excitement? If so, you’ve probably met my expectations – actually, you’ve probably exceeded them. This is the space where our work lifts to new heights and our creations are inspiring for others. That’s why I expect us to work in this space. This way, the 'what' and 'how' gets done like cinch.


Of course, we have goals and plans, but remember my ‘fly by the seat of my pants’ approach, I need people around me to help build the systems and keep me accountable. Believe me… I’ll achieve! But it might not be something that I had set a goal about.

I’m a dreamer and an ideas person, so sometimes my team need to help bring me back down to earth. Let me dream and act excited, then help me prioritise otherwise you’ll be wondering where I am and you’ll find me lost up in the clouds.

I’m a little hippie girl from a small community and a close knit family, so working with me you will experience a sense of belonging, a sense that I care for you and that I am proud of our work.


I love a cheer leader, and sometimes I need one, when my confidence waivers or I start to have imposter syndrome (we all experience it sometimes). Cheering me on can be the key to get my focus back on track.

You’ll hear me saying: ‘Let’s do this!’, ‘We’ve got this!’ and ‘you’re amazing’ more times than you can count! Like I said, I need a cheer leader and I assume others do too!  


I’m sure there is more to share, and I’m sure there are things I don’t even know about myself as a leader, but this is a start and I would love to know what I will get working with you. Tell me as much as you like because I’m here to listen and learn about you.

Michelle Walsh xxx

 


That’s my letter to my team, what will your team get when working with you?


Activity: Practice writing your own leadership ‘about me’ letter for your team members.


What's next for your Leadership Journey?

If you enjoyed reading this and reflecting on your leadership, why not check out our Leadership Course here: Early Childhood Leadership Training (michellewalsh.com.au)


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