I have a lot under my plate in my current role. I’m still a newbie in the job, and most of the time I am still struggling with my tasks— what are my responsibilities? If I’m done with my current projects what should I do next?— and you can say that I’m clueless about the overall aspect of my role.
The end-of-year discussion with my boss was scheduled this day, and I was looking forward to it so I can clarify the details of my post. Let’s move forward to the meeting.
We did the usual formalities as well as the introductory chitchat and then it was time to get serious. I won’t get into the details, and I’ll just focus on my main take away that day.
My boss asked me, what are your plans for professional development?
This is embarrassing for me but, I didn’t really answer her question. Instead I talked about how I’m going to continue learning our processes and maintain the quality of our training modules which were tasks that I am already doing.
I saw the disappointment in my boss’s eyes. I recalled what I said, and I thought about all the arguments that validated my response. I thought about a lot of points! I’ll give you a few examples:
1. I’ve only done the new hire training once. Once!!!
2. My boss can’t expect me to take on new roles if I haven’t mastered current tasks yet!
3. I want to be comfortable and confident with my current tasks before I take on new ones!
4. The list could go on and on...
My boss responded, “Surely you have something planned for next year?”
Boom! My laxness towards the upcoming financial year hit me. I planned to survive and not to spearhead.
My boss continued and spoke words that hurt me not because they were hurtful, but because they were the truth. She said, “Did you expect me to hold your hand and spoon feed everything that you’re supposed to do?”
An intense internal debate occurred inside my mind.
One party gave the following points:
“Of course, I expect you to tell me what to do! I’m new to this role!”
“You’re my boss! That’s your job!”
The other party responded with:
“You’re a leader! You’re not supposed to follow!!! It’s basic expectation for you to lead.”
“Why do you have all these excuses??? Quit being a baby and man up!”
My boss called me out. “Otto, my question deserves a response.” I was too deep in my thoughts that I didn’t notice that I had her waiting.
I told her, “I’m sorry, you just gave me an epiphany, and I’m still trying to process the details in my head.”
My boss laughed at me, and we continued to discuss our plans. She gave me ideas of what the business needed, and we outlined possible courses of action. I came out of the meeting energised, excited and scared all at the same time. Thank God for the mentors He placed in my life.
God wants us to be a leader. If we think that God will just allow us to be comfortable with past success then we are mistaken. Here’s what the Bible says:
2 Corinthians 3:18
English Standard Version (ESV)
18 And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.
We are always going to move from glory to glory! We are not going to remain stagnant. We are going to move forward!
The change will happen even if we choose to stay still. We have to decide, will we be like a feather and just be carried wherever the wind takes us? Or would we rather be a game changer and spearhead the change?
I’m not going to lie. Being at the forefront of change is extremely hard. It will require everything we got. It can make or break us. Despite the challenge I believe chasing our destiny will be worth the blood, sweat and tears.
Always remember we have God on our side. He killed giants, moved mountains and held back oceans. He did it before, and He’ll do it again for us! We should embrace change and be the one responsible for it!