When I finished my MBA in April of 2016, I decided that I didn’t want to apply for any jobs and really didn’t want to do anything for a few months. I wanted to just reconnect with myself and go through an exercise of self-awareness. I decided I wanted to journal every day and make lists. I made lists of everything I was good at, I made lists of everything I was bad at, I made a list of everything I loved and I hated, I made a list of lessons I learned in my professional life and while doing my MBA, I made a list of the leadership lessons I learned, I made a list every project I had worked on and made a list of things I did right and wrong and the lessons I learned. I wanted to share 3 of the top things I learned about myself with you.
I balance in obsessions
I don’t believe I can have balance in life. What I know about myself now is that I can obsess about a couple things really well for a few months and then get bored and then I obsess about a couple of other things for another few months. I don’t believe in work/life balance. I balance in obsessions. Interestingly enough this finding is in line with my Kolbe Index A results (3-3-9-3). I scored 9 on the “Quick Start” index. Because I obsess about projects, I create a sense of urgency. I spend 50% of my time and energy with my Quick Start strengths taking on high-potential challenges. What others may consider underdeveloped and unconfirmed opportunities, I tackle head on. My vision for possibilities allows me to work on assignments and in unexplored territories. I love managing at risk and “red” status projects. Mainly because something fast needs to happen to bring back the project to a “green” status. That sense of urgency drives me.
Remain interested to be interesting
One of the first books I read when I became a project manager was Dale Carnegie book, “How to Win Friends and Influence People”. In his book, he says “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.” Throughout my PM life I have learned that sympathy and being interested in other people and understanding their problems and providing solutions will help me get to where I want to get to. Basically, if I help enough people get what they want I will get what you want.
The top 5 system
During my MBA, every day I’d come up with a list 5 important things that need to be done and I’d write them down on a post-it note and have it on the side of my laptop. The items are in the order of priority and it forces me to get back on track and ignore (or delegate) tasks that are not related to the items I have listed. This system has helped me stop procrastinating. I do have to give credit to Napoleon Hill and his book, “Think and Grow Rich”, where I first learnt about this technique.
What I have also noticed about myself is that I have charisma when I act as the authentic me, communicating through my natural conative strengths. People trust what they sense coming from my conative truths. And as a result, I am able to get my team excited and engaged to do what seems impossible or too much in a short period of time. This is also something my Kolbe Index A results reported. If you haven’t done a Kolbe A™ Index, I highly recommend it.
If you have gone through a similar exercise of self-awareness, please share your thought and perhaps the outcome in the comments.