What We’ve Learned

sarah compton

Moving from a “doer” to a manager/leader

When I started my career in project management, you tend to get in the habit of holding on to all the details of each project for each client. Your brain is “always on” for that late-night client call or middle of a meeting question. It’s tough to let go of all those details and let someone else run with them.

First of all, without a great team that you respect and trust, it would be near impossible. Thank goodness REVERED’s leader, Kevin has always challenged me and pushes me to make mistakes but learn from them.

It also takes good management skills and time management skills. I’ve learned to be open to new ideas. Do I have my ways of doing things, of course. But I’ve always tried to be open minded for my projects team to come up with new, more efficient ways of doing things.

Sometimes does it take longer to show someone else how to do something? Oh, absolutely. And do you still have to do your work after, which sometimes may mean later nights or weekends, yes. But in the long run, it builds your team.

This one seems like a no-brainer, but if I want to be treated like an adult then I will do the same. Meaning I don’t want to be your keeper. If you get your work done, whether you need to have a flexible day and work at night – I’m good, as long as it gets done to the standards that I expect.

I’ve also learned over the years to speak up, listen to my gut and use my marketing brain more. Yes, I have the projects and accounts skills, as it’s the foundation of my career, but it’s time to teach those teams to thrive. That way, I’m able to grow our agency and be a bigger picture thinker.

Navigating this transition is not always easy, I still find myself sometimes with one foot in and one out. I just can’t help myself. But ultimately, I have to remind myself that it’s not the best for the agency or my team. I needed to revamp my role, taking a more strategic approach to our business, redesign inefficient systems, solve problems before they become crises AND delegate.

I’ve learned to fall back in love with team work, collaboration, and the ability to work others to execute things well. Every day, I’m always learning new ways to be a more effective leader.

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