Learning Leadership | #5

I have spent twice as much time doing research in this internship than during the academic year. After spending so much time in a close knit field space I’ve begun to demarcate what the roles of each person looks like. The one I was most curious about the role the head of the lab played. Every time I see my PI in the lab he’s at his desk, reading an article or writing an email wit the most serious look on his face.  Through this internship I’ve learned that the role of the leader is to faciliate the division of labor. He manages the tasks in order to ensure that the same task is not completed by two different people. In fact, he’s clearly pointed in out in our first lab meeting, the roles in a lab are strongly outlined because it’s the best way to fit people with the tasks that suits their skills. The point is to make sure than valuebale human capital is not squandered carelessly. The most important lesson I’ve learned about leadership from this internship is that having other people work for you doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll gain time to relax. If anything, you have to work even harder as you climb your way up. Most people believe that as soon as they reach the dream job, somehwere high up on the hierarchy, with assisstants and workers as far as the eye can see, then you’ll finally be able to put your hand behind your head with your feet up on the desk and take it chill. It’s the complete opposite. This is something to keep in mind as I make decisions concerning my career.

One thought on “Learning Leadership | #5

  • August 9, 2018 at 10:30 am

    Hi Onyul – Thanks for this interesting window into the culture of your lab! I really appreciate the observations that you’ve been making this summer about what leadership looks like and why a PI’s (or other supervisor’s) leadership matters. It sounds as though you really value the way your PI has divided tasks in the lab to match the skills of different people. Are there ways you’ve benefitted from the particular roles you are serving in the lab this summer? If you were in your PI’s position, how would you go about figuring out the strengths and interests of the people you were working with and how to match them to the needs of the project? As you wrap up, you might even talk to your PI about how one approaches these kinds of responsibilities. All in all, it seems like you’ve gathered some important information to consider as you think about future professional roles!


    p.s. is the eagle picture from the Leslie Nature Center by any chance? I love that spot and the rescued birds there are amazing!


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