Fool Me Twice, Shame On Me

“Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” In this episode, I provide some reflections on feedback I received from mentors and peers on recent approaches to problems. Did I learn my lesson, or am I too proud of a leader to learn from them? Let’s go!

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Reflection 1: In my last episode, I was given feedback that I was portraying PME as a hurdle or an award rather than an opportunity to become a better leader and human being. Meal analogy: do you just plow through the meal to get calories and macros in, or do you savor the meal for each bite? I didn’t realize I came off like that, and I appreciated someone having the sand to give me honest feedback. So here’s what I meant: I really appreciate PME and everything you can learn from it. At the time when I was eligible for SDE I just finished IDE, so I wanted to take a break from the extra work and settle in to my new job. However, a mentor challenged me to get it done in three months instead of six like I wanted to, so I pushed through and met his challenge to the day. My version of SDE didn’t require the same level of interaction required in today’s model, which I believe is where the majority of learning takes place. My view on PME in general is still a positive one and should be taken advantage of at any given opportunity. Those experiences will only be as valuable as you make them, so savor what you can and know which portions are the main feature and which ones are complementary side dishes.

Reflection 2: In episode 41, I talked about leading boldly when no one else will. So with most important opportunities, there is a time and place for everything. Another opportunity presented itself yesterday where I attended a virtual operations and intelligence update with our three-star was asking some questions about some internal projects we are working on. I’m currently working on that process and know that I am fighting to keep the decision authority at the O6 level, not the one or three-star level, which just extends the decision timeline and does not match the idea of empowered leaders. I ALMOST brought it up…and then didn’t hit the unmute button. Instead, I let the opportunity go by and decided to just keep working on the process in the background and present my idea when I have more of the process solidified. Takeaway: I’m not above learning. As confident as I am in myself, I do take into consideration the feedback given to me to make myself a better leader and the team better overall.