Lauren Kennedy – Hatch Leadership Graduate 2019
I entered into the workforce wanting a “leadership role”, a chance to build my “leadership skills,” to really utilize my “leadership potential.” So naturally when the chance came up to participate in a 12-month leadership training program, I jumped at it.
It has been a Journey, which culminated in Seattle this past weekend. Looking back on the Journey that we took to get here, there were a couple of major mile markers that served as important learning moments for me:
Mile Marker One: Over the course of this journey, we lost team members to their next opportunity and also gained new additions to our team as they took their next steps. Change is hard, I’ve cried over co-workers leaving, wondering how they could do that to our team, and celebrated the addition of new ones wondering how we ever got on without them.
Leaders remember that not everyone is there for the whole journey, some people, even the ones we really like, are meant to only join us for a portion of the trip – leaders focus on growth: personally, for the people that they work with and for their team.
Mile Marker Two: I celebrated a “Hatchiversary”, a birthday and everything else that comes with another trip around the sun. I have experience high highs and low lows, my team members never left my side, they always reminded me of what I was capable of and where I was meant to go.
Leaders always remember that the sun will rise tomorrow so you can’t wear the weight of the world on your face. As long as you give it your all and care about the people around you, you’ll always be headed in the right direction.
Mile Marker Three: There was a point where we participated in grilling feedback sessions – I had my strengths and “opportunities” pointed out to me point blank my members of our leadership team. It was hard to hear what people thought I did poorly, times they were disappointed in me and how actions or words can be misinterpreted.
Leaders never forget that the only way to get better, is to acknowledge that you will always need to work on yourself first, to attend training sessions, to read and to receive feedback even when you don’t really want to hear it.
Mile Marker Four: We finished our leadership journey in Seattle. We hit Pike’s Market early in the morning to see the guys throw the fish. Every guy on the crew knew what he was responsible for, and that his buddies counted on him to do it well. Whether they are responsible for throwing the fish, or catching it, the job cannot be done without both team members pulling their weight.
Leaders trust their team members because they know that one man cannot do it alone. They understand that every person has a purpose and a part and that every morning someone has to throw the first fish.
Leaders can, quite literally, make or break players, be the reason a team succeeds or fails and why people join and leave a company. The responsibility list never really ends, and neither does the learning that is required to be a “good” leader.
Leadership is not a destination, every role within a company has the capacity to be a leadership role, you don’t need a formal class to build your leadership skills and you don’t need a fancy title to utilize your leadership skills.
Being a leader is about the journey you start the moment you step into your office every day and the growth that is achieved every day you come back.
Although our formal training is done for now, I look forward to what will come next on the journey that we have started.
Seattle, you were not the final destination I was expecting, as I know now our journey is far from over. I’m sure our paths will cross again, but for now, on to the next mile marker.