Forever and ever I was quite sure about one thing – it doesn’t matter what others think as long as I know what I’m doing. It’s helped me be brave, take more risks and ignore naysayers. There are always people who don’t think you should change jobs or countries, have more children or let them run free and grow on their own, make more money or waste money on MBA and shoes, take your pictures barefoot or… whatever. Standing on your own gives you freedom and confidence and ability to act fast, because you don’t need to wait for growing consensus, form coalitions or wait for someone’s approval. It works up to a certain point – until you realize cannot do everything on your own and your results depend on others. Whether you like them or not. This is exactly the reason why all books on leadership emphasize social skills and empowerment of others.
I think my coaching sessions start bringing first results. There is a difference between rationally understanding why social interactions at work are important and actually internalizing the concept. It adds discipline, because you have to report back and set new milestones. I’m so glad I’ve given it a try – it really works. When I have a new role or a new project, my natural tendency is always to do the research and get the facts, read document, ask experts. Because it’s serious and I want to be prepared. If one year ago someone would have told me that I need to focus on making more friends and chit-chatting and coffee drinking, I would have dismissed it. It would be too easy and too lazy. It would be almost cheating. In the past I had bosses who did not know IFRS or consolidation tricks or audit qualifications reasons or none of the above, and it felt unfair.
Now I see the other side of the story.