“An enthusiast who is on a journey to explore the subject of leadership!”
My story may not be much different from yours. Sharing the contextually relevant part of it.
I have had a simple middle-class upbringing which was full of ups and downs. From the very start, I was attracted to the subject of leadership. I used to forget most of the part of a story or even a movie, but the part where the main (or any) character exhibits some leadership quality. I am not sure if it was an aspiration to be a leader myself or an implicit interest to learn the building blocks of leadership, but one thing was evident that I used to get hooked on the part where someone inspires (not manipulate!) others and achieves or tries to achieve a goal!
As we say, what you think is what you become! Though I did not have formal or meta-knowledge around leadership, as far as I could remember, I spent most of my teenage and college days being a leader. Not the kind of kings or tribe leaders but someone who has been trusted to take the final decision and lead the way forward! I served my college as president of the student’s union and though it seems a simple statement now, it was a full 3-years long adventure (full of trill) in itself. It was around that time when I formally spent a lot of time learning and practicing different leadership styles. Though it was mostly in the context of student politics, one can not deny that irrespective of context the base remains the same i.e. People.
Post my masters, I joined the corporate jungle (no surprise there!) and I loved it! yes, that may sound surprising to you all but I just loved it. But then, there have been nothing so far in my life which I did not love, and here is one interesting fact about me – I love what I do and I do what I love (Order does not matter!). What I liked about the corporate world is again People. It was so awesome to see all of these talented people working together in symphony and adding so much value while having fun; even in their cribbing, I could sense that they are actually happy or drifting towards it (you are free to have your own interpretation here!). That “love at first sight” grew with time and after almost 8 years of experience and 4 companies later, I came face to face with a choice which I avoided all along with my professional career – Be the team manager.
I did love my hardcore technology work so far and like most of you, had an aspiration to move up the ladder as a technical architect or some hotshot technologist with a magical wand to solve any complicated problem in the world of technology! But this was not the time for fantasies but take a decision that I knew can not be undone. As evident and expected, I took up the opportunity, and since then continuing my journey as a technology leader ( if I may term myself so!) for the last 7 years! During these years, I led more than 100 different people in 8 teams I served.
I did try many styles, some succeed and a few backfired but here I am still learning and as excited as one could be to understand leadership basics in detail. I realized that though I am unique, this desire to explore the topic of leadership is not. Why not then learn together – I start and you share your experiences which we discuss and formulate the basic blocks. It may help many others who may want to venture into formal leadership or are already a leader but want to understand it better!