Trust, Support, Growth, and Inspiration are the foundation to how I build and manage effective teams. It's because I genuinely care about their needs, hopes, and dreams. My philosophies are not new or uncommon, it's quite the opposite. The difference is that I practice what I preach and evolve them as the world and people change with it. As a result, it's led to innovative work, employee growth, and results for users and the business.
I believe optimism can change everything. Making negative assumptions and defaulting to the worst-case scenario can not only be frustrating but make people unhappy and unmotivated. Instead, I trust that people have the best intentions. I do this by actively listening, practicing empathy, and asking clarifying questions to understand others' points of view better.
Treat people like professionals capable of doing their job and making good decisions. I don't tell people what to do while ignoring their skills. Everyone comes to the table with a unique set of skills and perspectives we rely on to drive the process forward. When individuals prove themselves otherwise through their performance and behaviors, we course-correct by retrospecting to identify necessary adjustments to avoid similar missteps in the future.
I empower the team to embrace risks and treat any shortcomings as a learning opportunity regardless of the outcome. Creating a safe space to get messy, try new things, and make mistakes, helps strengthen the team's trust. It also helps make going into uncharted territory feel exciting rather than paralyzing. I praise risk-taking publicly and privately to help the team learn from others' accomplishments.
The team thrives when my impact is felt more than my presence. By influencing in an undetectable way, I allow others' efforts to become more visible so that new leaders can emerge. I stay in close communication with the team, so I have a better idea of what's going on, which helps me anticipate or triage problems. By working behind the scenes, I can remove obstacles so the team can do their best work, such as advocating for the team and their ideas with stakeholders.
I have an eagle-eye view of the organization to boost my strategic and holistic understanding of every project. Instead of directing the work or providing solutions, I use my knowledge to ask questions, identify holes in logic or unseen opportunities, and foresee potential overlaps with other projects when reviewing the work. My role in a project is to support, enrich proposed solutions, or help the team decide when it's time to let go of an idea not worth exhausting.
I treat individuals as people, not as interchangeable objects. I practice vulnerability to show the team that it's safe to be vulnerable back. By applying empathy, I approach situations thoughtfully by understanding others' points of view before jumping to conclusions. I demonstrate a willingness to help and provide proper support regardless of it being a personal or work-related problem.
I believe that talent can be developed through hard work, good strategies, and input from others. When we transform challenges into opportunities, we become more resilient and self-motivated. My teams are focused on getting better at what they do by striving for their personal best. Even when it's difficult, I encourage them to keep trying and not give up because I know this process will lead to their success. By continually learning from feedback, achieving what they set their minds to, and seeking inspiration from others, the team becomes a force to be reckoned with.
Candid and constructive feedback is core to an individual's growth. While I challenge directly, I do it with genuine care for each individual. I provide personal and private feedback to avoid misinterpretations or hurt feelings. When an issue arises, I give timely feedback, so no one is caught off guard. I deliver concrete feedback that supports my rationale, listen thoughtfully, proactively set clear expectations, and establish next steps for myself and individuals.
I actively seek feedback about my performance to understand how it positively or negatively impacts the team, both publicly and privately. Being humble and open to criticism creates safety and trust essential to a healthy working relationship. I listen to their perspective's true intent and challenge my assumptions before jumping to conclusions. When I make mistakes or make things more complicated, I have humility, self-reflection, make necessary adjustments, and follow up accordingly. I recognize that my strengths and weaknesses can affect others and adjust my style based on the impact I may have on each individual.
I strive to be a source of inspiration for the team by setting the right example. I do this by keeping my promises, building trust, and gaining respect to motivate the team toward good results. I show the team what it's like to have a good work ethic while caring for our mental health and work/life balance by taking time off. I don't place expectations on the team without living it myself, which is why I embody these principles. I know that the team will be willing to go the extra mile when I'm not afraid to get our hands dirty and help out. By leading by example, I hope to be the person that will inspire individuals in their careers.
When portfolio-worthy projects don't go to plan or even ship, it leaves the team feeling unsatisfied, unmotivated and makes retention difficult. Rather than relying solely on these projects for the fulfillment, we find opportunities that align career goals with impactful and inspiring initiatives. By pursuing passion projects, the team develops a sense of purpose while mastering the skills they need to level up—my role is to provide the necessary resources and support to achieve the desired outcome and results.
I look beyond the status quo and perils of today by providing an inspiring vision for the team to rally behind. Instead of being reactive to frustrating daily situations, I'm future-focused by being proactive and action-oriented to get ahead of these challenges. When I hear, "this is how it's always been done," I challenge the team to think beyond the limitations of today so that we can achieve a greater goal.