The New Year marks the completion of my 24 month Women in Leadership Executive Development program, an experience that was one of the most challenging and rewarding of my life.
Over the past two years I focused on broadening my professional experience at work and developing my leadership skills all while completing the Certified Management Accountants program to achieve my CPA designation. Some of the most important lessons I’ve learned really surprised me:
Provide solutions (not problems). When going to your boss or Management peers with a problem you’ve identified, provide ideas for a solution. That’s how you add value and earn respect as their teammate.
Keep it simple. At Hawkair one of the behaviours we value is Simplicity – this really rings true with me. It’s easy to make things complicated. I’ve learned that I’m a strategic thinker – I’m good at seeing the big picture, taking something that seems complex and breaking it down into simple parts. That’s my job as Director of Corporate Services, to align all of our working parts at Hawkair with our overall strategy in order for us to hit our targets and achieve our goals.
You won’t always be liked. You have to do the right thing, even when it’s unpopular. I’ve had to develop a thicker skin.
Managing people is hard. Everyone reacts, responds and is motivated differently. It takes time to learn the different behavioural characteristics of your team, some trial and error to see what is effective and caring a lot about them.
Communication is really important. If you feel like you’re over communicating, that’s a good start.
Feel the fear and do it anyway. I’ve never regretted pushing my boundaries by saying yes to projects or opportunities that scare the heck out of me. That’s how we learn and grow and I wouldn’t have gotten to where I am without pushing myself beyond my comfort level.
What’s Next? Being an advocate for other women. I’ve been fortunate enough to have had this opportunity through the WIL program to learn and grow both professionally and personally in a safe, supportive environment. I’m so grateful and I want to help provide the same experience for other women, as a sponsor or mentor.