Poojan (Wagh) Blog

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How to Lead

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You don’t need a title or role or permission to lead.

A few years ago, I was given the opportunity to be a project manager.

I left a very comfortable job to go to this company. After two years of challenging work, I was well established in a small management role. And then I was offered a new project management role. I took it, essentially risking everything I had built up to that point.

The new role wasn’t a good fit. And, of course, it didn’t work out. It ended abruptly after 3 months.

I was told that the job would go to someone name Matt. It was difficult for me to accept. I really wanted that project management role, and I had given up an equally important role (one that I spent a couple years working through) to take it on.

Anyway, here’s an email thread from about a week after this transition:

From: Poojan Wagh
Sent: Friday, March 18, 2011 5:24 PM
To: Boss; ProjectX; ProjectY
Subject: Re: ProjectX Technology updates 3/18/2011

… and awesome progress. ProjectX is in good hands.

—– Reply message —–
From: “Boss” <boss@company.com>
Date: Fri, Mar 18, 2011 4:46 pm
Subject: ProjectX Technology updates 3/18/2011
To: “ProjectX” <ProjectX@company.com>, “ProjectY” <ProjectY@company.com>

Awesome writeup…

From: Matt
Sent: Friday, March 18, 2011 11:22 AM
To: Boss; ProjectLead
Cc: Coworker, Coworker
Subject: ProjectX Technology updates 3/18/2011

Hey guys,

Below are some progress updates on our new network and software solutions over the last week. Please forward as necessary.

In case you missed it, Matt emailed the team a progress update. Our boss praised his reporting. I praised Matt’s progress and gave him my support.

I don’t want to overstate how hard it was to give Matt my support. I got along well with Matt, and most people did, too. I thought he was a good choice for the role. So, I wasn’t merely putting on a good face when I had to accept this change. But, it would have been much easier to say nothing than to give my support.

Leadership isn’t always easy. It often means putting the team or an organizational goal above yourself.

The most powerful leaders lead by example. And we need more powerful leaders.

Written by PoojanWagh

September 7th, 2013 at 8:13 am

Posted in Career/Work-Life

Tagged with ,