A few years back, I was offered the opportunity to lead a newly formed team in another part of the company I work for. I had proven myself to be competent at leading an on-site team, ensuring service was delivered to a customer. This new team, though, was different. It would challenge my leadership style and experience, as well as take me to the next level.
There was much uncertainty within me around leading this new team. Uncertainty into how it would run. Uncertainty into how the members of this team would react to me as a team leader (as I had worked with them as a peer before). And still further uncertainty into whether I was the right person for the job. I pondered on the decision to move to that team for a while. I let the fear hamper my ability to make a decision quickly.
I would think to myself, who am I to be leading these team members, who have so much more experience than I do? How would they react to me assigning tasks to them? Would they simply just disregard me – eventually leading our team to become a drifting boat without a sail?
Be nervous, but not too nervous
I finally decided I would take the opportunity, but it was a nervous start. I saw myself as a lesser, inferior person to my team members. They had many more years experience than I did. I stammered when I spoke, I was overwhelmed with the new workload, and I believe this lack of confidence could be seen by the team members, and filtered through into other aspects of the job. Every time I made a mistake, I would lambaste myself profusely.
Through the year, though, things changed. I grew as a leader, my confidence began to shine. The more confidence I had, the more I got to motivate my team. The more motivation there was, the more confidence they had to perform their jobs, initiate innovative ideas, and make a difference in our company.
As a team we lead the way in innovation, standard of work, and a team other people want to work with, and join. All this led to me being offered the opportunity to do this all again in another team…
When you are offered an opportunity that has an uncertain future, fear comes home to roost. Fear instils ‘what if’ scenarios that will attempt to turn you away from success and fulfilment.
Lean into that fear. Embrace it. Use it to build life experiences that will help you grow, make you stronger, and enable you to take on bigger challenges.
By all means, be nervous, be fearful, but don’t let it hamper you on your path to being the best you can be.
I didn’t hesitate in taking up this newer challenge. I am nervous again, but this time I know not to let that nervousness let me down.
[[Featured image: Paxson Woelber]