Nov 16th, 2021

Mentorship

Let It Go

Written by: Jesse LaDousa, Chief Operating Officer

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One of the favorite parts of my job is helping mentor people into more responsibility and growth in their jobs. It’s such a rewarding thing to see people achieve greater success in their roles and be able to leverage their talents in a more meaningful way. We have a strong focus on growing our employees at Clientek and have had many successes including hiring interns into full time roles and eventually moving them into leadership positions.

One of the early (and difficult) lessons I learned when making the transition to leadership was embracing the ability to let go. People that find success in our industry are generally natural problem solvers. They relish in the opportunity to dive into a difficult problem and craft a solution that meets the needs of the requestor. This skill is inherently refined by implementing complex systems and troubleshooting issues that arise along the way.

Most in these positions have a strong sense of ownership of the solutions they implement and take great pride in that ownership. They know their solution inside and out, can identify issues by memory of the system and can quickly implement changes to solve problems.

Now, as those same people transition to leadership roles it’s often natural to bring additional team members on board to replace the lost capacity of the new leader. How many times have you experienced your best developer or quality assurance engineer move to a leadership position and completely detach from their application, handing off the reigns gracefully to the new resources with little drama. Probably never.

Instead, we go kicking and screaming, insisting that we know the solutions best and if we can just get in there and solve the problem ourselves. New people just won’t know how to fix it quick enough so it would be easier to just do if ourselves.

Of course, part of this is true. New resources will be slower, at first. They will make mistakes, at first. But soon they will know just as much and perform just as well.

Most importantly, this approach takes the new leader away from the responsibilities they now have. Responsibilities that were important enough to put them into this new role. It’s a tough mental shift to know that you perhaps still have responsibility for something that you no longer are a direct contributor towards. A tough shift, but an important one to make.