Leadership development journey: 3 reflections from my TechStar experience
Fixed mindset: Ability is predetermined
Growth mindset: Learning takes time and effort.
TechStar is the global flagship Accenture program targeting high-performing consultants in Technology for developing leaders. This year, approximately 1% of high-performing analysts and consultants in the Technology business were recognized and nominated for the program. It is not uncommon to find highly technically skilled and accomplished individuals in Tech teams. But how about leadership skills? I accepted my nomination into the program and couldn't wait to explore, network and engage with colleagues, luminaries and Subject Matter Experts. I am happy to share some of the pivotal moments and lessons I learned along the unique 6-month journey.
Nurturing a Growth mindset
I have come to embrace the belief that my abilities and skills can be further developed through dedication, effort and a commitment to continuous improvement. During the journey, I had to complete a challenge focused on cultivating some key mindsets. One of which was the growth mindset.
This mindset has been especially significant in light of the challenges I faced during my initial years of living in the US, particularly in terms of communication. Many did not understand how drastic cultural changes had an impact on one's understanding, listening and speech. I used every piece of feedback I received as a valuable input for growth.
TechStar provided a supportive environment and resources necessary for me to reflect on these past experiences and channel my learnings for personal and professional development.
One of the recommended books for the journey, that I had the privilege of reading and discussing during BookClub, was “The Phoenix Project.” Bill Palmer's experience in the novel resonated with me. As the new VP, he has to navigate the demands of several departments and make strategic decisions. His team has to balance their work of ongoing maintenance tasks with any urgent production issues that arise.
In my role as a cloud consultant, I often find myself faced with the challenge of managing priorities. Balancing day-to-day tasks while also managing a small team can be challenging. It can be overwhelming at times, especially when the demands from various stakeholders and departments seem to pull in different directions. I have found that having a structured approach and using tools like Jira has helped make tasks more visible and organized.
Additionally, delegating tasks to teammates who may have more bandwidth, and based on individual strengths plays a crucial role in managing priorities!
My passion for nature and commitment to making the Earth a better place have been further reinforced. I learned that different programming languages have different energy efficiency scores, with some being more 'green' than others. This has triggered a shift in how I think about selecting a programming language for a project. I also question the necessity of certain infrastructure choices. I am learning to strike the correct balance between reliability and sustainability. I have become more conscious of avoiding unnecessary resource consumption, thereby contributing to a more sustainable technology landscape.
In all, the learning sessions covered a wide range of topics, including the art of storytelling, health and well-being, inclusion and diversity, and cutting-edge technology domains like data and AI, cloud, security, sustainability, and enterprise and industry technologies. I am grateful for the recognition, inspiration and mentoring that I gained from participating in this flagship program. I was nominated for a purpose and I plan to use my learnings as guiding principles to shape my career growth. I am excited to embrace the challenges that lie ahead as I step into the next phase of my leadership development journey.