In the corporate environment, I try not to discuss my age – at all. I’m surrounded by people who are 35+, often 45+ and with 15+ years experience in their fields. When I’m asked, I have to say 26, and then the wheels start turning – either this kid didn’t got to college, or he’s only been in the field for 5 years. Then they realize they’re putting hundreds of thousands (sometimes millions) of dollars worth of projects in my hands to manage or lead. I usually fake it well, but this week, I’m overwhelmed by my own lack of experience.
I hired into my company b/c I liked what they did, and my first 6 months with the General was spent running copies. Yep, I was the copy boy – granted I had a team of 3 and 7 copy machines, but I was still just a copy boy. I had the grand salary of $26,500 and I couldn’t have been more proud. Over the past 5 years, the favor on my life has been remarkable. I don’t deserve one iota of what I have today. I work hard for it, but every door has been opened for me.
In 4 hours, I’m flying to Chicago, then to DC on Thursday, then driving to NJ on Friday. This week is where the rubber meets the road. Though I often facilitate, I’ve always been accompanied by some senior level somebody to make sure I don’t screw it up. This week, the training wheels are coming off the bike and if I fall, no one can catch me. 2 new customers, 4 new projects, and a trip to corporate = me feeling slightly overwhelmed.
My first mentor (Cassie Green) taught me that God’s interested in who I am in the workplace. That my promotion(s) have been about influence and impact on the lives around me. My greatest concern this week is to properly steward the influence I’ve been given. Here are a few of my guidelines for the week.
– Don’t talk unless you have something of value to add.
– Discernment is the greatest gift I have when leading meetings.
– Write more questions than assumptions.
– Choose my words carefully – the fewer words used, the more clear the communication.
– I must be the peace maker.
– I will lean on the expertise of those around me (your customer will always know when you’re full of crap).
– Projects succeed and fail b/c of details, rarely b/c of glaring oversights.
– My influence is a gift that I must steward with utmost care.
I’m scared out of my mind and so excited about where this will all lead. Be careful what you pray for, you might just get it…