Step Into Leadership: Helping Someone Grow – The Satisfying Side of Being In A Tech Leadership Role

Last week I did something important that I didn’t even realise I’d get an opportunity to do so quickly as part of my new role as an Agile Development Lead (aka Engineering Manager)…

I made my first promotion decision last week since taking a step into leadership, by conducting successful interviews for the position the week before.

It’s amazing the impact a leader can have on another person’s career direction and life/lifestyle.  

As a leader, you can choose to be supportive and nurturing and help people to develop, or you can choose to be an arse, be jealous and/or insecure, and hold people back from progression, usually for no reason than to stroke your own ego.  I choose the former!

I’ve realised recently I’m now I have take a step into leadership I am now in a position where I can create opportunities for people to grow (albeit they need to put the work in to achieve it). 

I admit I’m not easy, and I won’t help everyone, especially those who show no interest whatsoever in taking responsibility for their own career development.

You see the thing is, your career development is your responsibility. Let me say that louder for the people at the back… YOUR CAREER DEVELOPMENT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY!

You cannot, should not, sit around waiting for your employer/boss/manager to care about your career development…  Why?

Because it’s rare.

On the odd occasion your leader does care about your career development, and you care about it too, here’s 5 things you need to consider doing:

  • You need to get clear about where you see yourself in 1, 3, 5 years time, and how you think you can get there… what does your future look like for you.
  • You need to be vocal about your career aspirations, especially when your leader asks you about them
  • You need to tell them about the type of work you are passionate about doing
  • You need to be honest about the type of work you hate doing.
  • You need to be willing to ask for help.

BONUS… And, most importantly, you need to accept help/opportunities to grow when they are offered.  Even when you don’t feel ready for them.

Hopefully your boss/leader/manager will care enough to find a way to create/find opportunities to help you grow, but if not, you should follow the same steps above to make yourself aware of what you really want, and take action to create your own opportunities.   Remember, opportunities come in many shapes and sizes, and no opportunity should be dismissed hastily.

I feel super proud of my team member for taking responsibility for their career development, being open minded, and being resilient.

Creating opportunities to help people grow and shine, and then witnessing them take that opportunity, rolling with it, and shining brighter than you could ever have imagined, is definitely the satisfying side of taking a step into leadership for me.

Hopefully I get to witness that again.

It’s been emotional!






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