On being a leader and Doctor Who

Several months ago I became a team lead at work and  I’m now leading a team of five Happiness Engineers. Last week I started a pilot coaching program to become a more effective leader. It’s like having my own personal coach. In fact that’s exactly what it is. The whole program is giving me warm fuzzies. It tells me that my employer cares about me. It makes me feel valued and that’s worth gold. Automattic is a good company to work for and we’re hiring.

What makes a good leader? Have I got it in me to be a good leader? As part of the program I completed some questions, one of which is this:

In 4 months, I want the following to be true:

I am an effective leader. I combine compassion, candour, and direction and my team produces results.  

Compassion, candour, and direction. These are the qualities I think leaders should have. When I say “direction” I don’t necessarily mean the leader decides where to go. They may have their hands on the wheel but they’re not necessarily the one reading the map or holding the compass. Everyone in a team is part of the decision-making process.

I want to share this because the reflection is useful, I may learn something from any comments I get, and it will be interesting to look back on my growth in 4 months, 6 months, 12 months and so on.

What qualities do you think make a good leader ?

On other matters, the kids are completely obsessed with Doctor Who, even drawing pictures of the Tardis and Daleks and Oods in free time at school. Last night we watched an episode which had the Daleks fighting the Cybermen and Daniel and Elizabeth thought all their Christmases had come at once. The Daleks are so funny. Their voice! It’s so shrill and grating. Exterminate! Exterminate!