The first time leader?

The first time leader?

This story started a long time ago when Mandira was a rookie developer. (That’s how she thinks about that time, today 🙂 )

But at that time, she was confident that she was an old hand at all things software. She could code well. She was good at solving gnarly bugs. She had good communication skills. She was a pro at estimating the tasks assigned to her and reporting back the status.

During one of her scheduled meetings, her manager asked her, “So where do you see in a year’s time?”

“I would be a team lead before the year is out,” said Mandira

“So what are you doing to become a team lead?” asked the manager

“I am coding, working hard, being appreciated for the code I write am I not?.”

“Yes of course, but all things you described now make a good developer. What about team lead?”

“What do you mean? What does one have to do to become a team lead?”

“A person becomes a lead when he takes responsibility

“Responsibility for what?”

“Responsibility for results and Responsibility for work done by her team.”

“Oh! So lead has to be responsible for something that is done by others?”

“Yes and no, not others. Responsibility for HER team. And by taking that responsibility she earns the authority.”

“What is the responsibility of the result” Asked Mandira

“Responsibility of result means giving the results – not just when everything is going well, but also when there are obstacles – not just throwing hands up that we tried but there were problems. But finding solutions, suggesting alternatives, proposing changes to achieve the goal.”

Mandira had a lot to think about and mull over. She had a lot to work on too, but I am happy to report that she did become a rather good team leader by the year-end.

What do you guys think? Was the manager right?

What would be your advice to a first-time lead?

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