My direct supervisor at Michigan Medicine is a Project Manager. In addition to gaining skills regarding data analysis, she thought it would be useful for me to learn the in’s and out’s of project management. Therefore, she lets me shadow her as she runs from meeting to meeting, updates status reports and manages different groups and projects.
Without saying a word on the topic, my supervisor has showed me how flexibility is essential to leadership. Rather than condemning groups who fall behind schedule, she asks what set them off and makes it her responsibility to solve that problem for the team. She assumes a “team player” mentality and tries to elevate every group, regardless of what they need. While she may be incredibly helpful, she also hold each group accountable. If a team is consistently under performing and off schedule, that warrants a deeper conversation with the project manager. This ensure that no team takes advantage of her flexibility.
I think being a good leader is about finding the sweet spot between leniency and sternness. If you are constantly allowing groups to under perform, your lack of accountability may mean your project never gets completed. If you are too far in the other direction, people may feel like they work in a unforgiving, tense environment. Nobody wants to work under those conditions. I think being a good leader is about striking a healthy balance between embracing slip-up’s and holding others accountable. I’m thankful to have a supervisor who demonstrates these skills on a day-to-day basis and invests herself in my development as not only a data analyst, but a leader.