A Technologist Who Speaks Business


6 years ago
Courageous Sucking

I like to think of myself as a decent photographer, which is why I immediately identified with this post on courageous sucking. If nothing else, it taught me that I’m not really such a great photographer because I still feel like a complete idiot when I get down on the floor to take a picture, even if I know the picture will be good.

But after a few days mulling it, I realized it actually applies even better to my career. Almost without exception, the biggest leaps in my career came when I took promotions I didn’t feel totally qualified for. In most cases I was wrong, but thankfully had a boss who knew better. In one case, I was entirely right, and boy did that suck, even though I learned a ton.

The courageous sucking part of your career, though, is that part where you’ve stepped into this leadership role you don’t feel ready for, you’re making (what feels like) mistake after mistake, and to top it all off you’re doing it in front of people. You’re not a solo coder any more who can go hide in a corner. Instead you feel like a ship’s figurehead, lashed there right on the bow taking every stinging, cold wave right in the jaw. Next to learning to delegate, making mistakes in front of people might be the second most difficult leadership skill to learn.

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