I wrote this a while ago. It’s an overly honest note to myself. I learned a lot from one of my first civilian bosses. He’s since moved to another job so I can post it now.
When I got off of active service I thought I had seen it all and more or less reached the pinnacle of leadership. I understood to be a Ship’s Captain that there would be things I needed to know but generally as a leader I felt competent, confident and ready. I mean at that point I had managed underway refueling, managed a plant during a Reactor Complex Overhaul, received reports of equipment damage, made multiple strategic suggestions, helped light the spark in people….what more could I learn? Wow, don’t I sound arrogant. Yikes.
Then I grew up.
I think realizing that there is so much for me to learn — was eye opening. Almost like getting my BS…I know a rain drop of information compared to the sea of knowledge. So to remember some recent leadership lessons my boss thought me…
- A Leader Doesn’t Have to Be an Extrovert
- Schedule time to Organize your calendar (don’t let it rule you) or as I like to say these days: Plan, Predict, Prioritize, Communicate (why can’t I think of a word for communicate that starts with a P!)
- Read all email every day…and respond in a timely manner
- Process training and pay requests in near immediate time
- Clear off your desk (keep it organized)
- Schedule time to talk with employees about performance or to just talk
- Truly operate under an open door policy (despite other deadline pressures)
- Be Transparent
- Take time off for you
- Leave work on time
Then a note to myself as a mom of three girls: remember what your priority is —
a. Consistently pick up children from school/childcare on time;
b. Be present when you are home with them (put the phone/tablet/electronics down)