Personal Stories: The Super Hero has to stop

In Agile, Change, Collaboration, Inspiring, Leadership, Trust by chuzzete2 Comments

Personal Stories: The Super Hero has to stop

The first Monday of May 2017, the “Reviving Hope project” that I have initiated 6 months ago at iWeb, has stopped. What a way to start the week, by finding yourself without a job, ungarded. But, is that what matters the most ? Not exactly. I have realized once again, that for the past 4 years of my career as an Agile practitioner, I have been playing the Super Hero, by compensating the lack of leadership that crafted the hearts of my colleagues but most important , one’s heart.

How is that possible?

It’s really simple. As an Agile practitioner I do care about people’s lives, their wellbeing and their personal and professional development, all things that are required to create a safe environnment, followed by  great leadership, embodied by those whom generally hired me.

What I have noticed is when hard times come, in opinion leaders are suppose to be present, own the situation and be present to their people. Well, guest what, if they didn’t show up the way that I was expecting them to do it, then the Super Hero would appear and try to save the world. And that’s my history today.

Compensanting others: The Consequenses

I strongly believe on myself as a leader, but given what happened, I feel there are still room to continue improving and here a great example of it:

You’re an Agile practitioner, and a situation which requires a lot of leadership arises. Leaders within the organization, don’t show up and take care of it, people around you start to freak out, time is running out and there are things that needs to be done, decisions to be made but no leaders to decide. What do I do to cut people’s suffering? Well Super Hero, here we go again!

But let me tell you how great it feels to be there for others and help them out navigate through stressful situations. That feeling to me, is like gasoline for cars, it makes me feel powerful, wonderful, unique! The downside of it, is from the moment the super hero takes over, leaders within the organization stop considering even to give it a try. Why? well because there is someone else taking care of it. And please don’t get me wrong, these hasn’t happened in 100% of the cases, but it had happened so many times, that it needs to stop.

Another consequense is the Bubble of Hope effect, which is:

As an Agile Practitioner, I work really hard to create conditions at work that would make people feel in a safe environment that would encourage trust, collaboration, team work and openness. What if by compensating the lack of leadership in place, once you are gone, that environment goes by and boom it dissapears? What about people that were following your lead would feel about it? How they would feel about themselves? Maybe a huge dissapointment, frustration about facing the fact that hope was just a temporary effect created by interventions.

A great opportunity to grow

I believe that I can change that, so let’s be positives here. But how?

  1. First, I would continue being myself and helping people’s growth and try hard to avoid compensating the lack of leadership.
  2. Instead, I would make it visible and create more awareness on leaders about how their actions could impact people in/out the organization and themselves.
  3. I would also give it a try to step back and let things to happen.

What have I learned?

Just to give an idea about how lucky I’m to do what I do for living, I had the chance to learn all these about my colleagues:

  • If leaders are not ready to lead, I would have the courage to tell them more often and show them the importance of being present for their people.
  • I’ll continue being myself, showing the example.
  • I’ll stay loyal to my values and live my live though them.
  • I’ll do my best to continue helping others to growth but starting by myself first.

What About you? Have you ever been in a similar situation ?How all these resonates with you?

All the best wishes and thank you for being there for me!

Cheers,

Jesus

Comments

  1. Hi Jesús,

    Thanks for sharing a difficult experience.

    Been there, oops. Trying to compensate for lack of leadership will come back to you in a negative way as a coach. For people who care about others, as you said, sometimes is hard to just let it go. Caring too much about others, specially when they don’t actually care about themselves and their jobs (Im not saying it’s every case) is risky for the company and ourselves.

    If you think about it, it’s bad for them to have a super hero. What will they do when you leave the company to rescue other teams, when your contract ends?

    What has helped me overcome this and may also help you:

    * being compassionate with yourself. When we hit a wall don’t be so hard on yourself.
    * dettaching from emotions and personal relationships (sometimes Im still struggling with this one).
    * being aware that my main job is to reflect the real (and sometimes cruel) truth about what is happenning so people can reflect on their actions and results. That includes letting them making mistakes and learn.
    * asking for support in the coaching community and friends. They will help you keep your stance as coach.
    * knowing when to quit. It’s the last option, and still a viable one when there is nothing else you can do to help.

    I think that by just acknowledging the issue and being able to improve will do the rest. A red light of awareness starts in your head when you see something similar is coming. 🙂

  2. Author

    Thank you Carolina, for your wise comments. You definitely hit it right in the middle. Be the mirror, keep caring but just enough to keep your stance as coach, keep trying helping others face their own fears by helping them reflect about their words and actions, when in contradiction. This is fantastic, and ask for help to other colleagues in the community, that I need to continue improving.

    Happy to hear from you my dear friend.

    Thank you for your humbleness and for sharing your ways.

    Cheers

    Jesus

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