Leadership On-the-Spot: My Miscalculation

I hesitate to relate this story as my first official blog post, but why not throw out a doozy of a vulnerability right from the start?    

I am on a fantastic cross-departmental team that is (structurally) as flat as a pancake – no organizational authority, per se.   We have established trust, and work quickly and creatively toward our project goals.  After a lengthy planning meeting yesterday with my team and several guests, I realized in a de-briefing session that I had misappropriated my efforts in leading the conversation.     My impulsive decision to ‘take the reins’ during the meeting’s discussions was not welcomed by my comrades.   In a gut reaction to my impression of an awkward, mostly quiet beginning of a group meeting – I decided to lead the discussion – out of anxiety!    Major miscalculation.    And although I have tremendous respect for my teammates, I defintely felt sensitive to their post-meeting comments: “…we just weren’t prepared as a team” or “…we got way off track” and,  my personal favorite “…who was leading this meeting?”…

It was a moment of clarity, two hours too late.     After I got over my tendency to finger-point (why didn’t my team help me out?..why didn’t someone else jump in and take over?…why do I have to do all the talking?), I made up my mind not only to look before I leap – but think before I lead.


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