Its amazing how fast time can go. Last year when I set up this blog I had just been promoted into my first management role, interviewed and offered jobs to people for the first time and faced the unknown. I also promised to myself that I would continuously blog through the year and keep this site up to date. So how did I do?
Well my first year as a manager had a lot of ups and downs. I was warned that I didn’t know what I was letting myself in for. I assumed that it would be what I was doing already and then a few things tacked on such as managing staff and attending the occasional meeting. Well that was completely wrong. The year just flew by, so in July this year I took stock of how I thought I had coped. There were many things that I was proud of and just as many things that I felt I did wrong or could have done to a higher standard.
I had the chance to develop on a 12 session management course and this opened my eyes to a lot of things that I didn’t even think of. One of the best pieces of advice I got was this
You are responsible for getting tasks done, but not always responsible for actually doing them.
I was so concerned that i needed to do things myself that I forgot that I led a team who could take some of that work off of me. I was working at home in the evenings and also sometimes at the weekend trying to fit in all the jobs that I needed to do. It wasn’t until I got this piece of advice that I realised that as a manager, it is my responsibility to get projects and work packages delivered on time, but also that my team is part of that process and I should be sharing the actual work around rather than doing it all myself. I’m still not there yet but I’m certainly getting better as time goes on.
The second thing that happened to me this year was I had to let go of my ‘baby’ – Moodle. Since 2009 I was completely responsible for the running of the VLE; course creation, administration, coding etc. I took it over from a niche software application to getting a high proportion of the college using it and i’m very proud of it. But my new position has meant that I’ve had to lay off a lot of this work to one of my staff. Again, it seems that the thing i’m struggling with is letting go and trusting in my team to deliver to the same standard as I can. Which of course they do, but if you’ve ever been in that position where you have nurtured something from infancy you’ll understand how hard it is to let it go.
One thing that i’m quite happy about is being able to give credit to the people who have done the work. Now this is a double edged sword. One the one hand some would say that they are my achievements if work gets done in the department and I should take the credit, but I don’t see it that way. My staff have done some amazing work this year and I should not be the one to be taking the praise for it. I’ve made sure that I’ve kept to this ethos and a lot of what comes out of our department is down to the fantastic staff I have and not myself.
As a nice end to year, our college launched the Excellence awards for staff and teams. I got a number of votes myself but as a team we were nominated and came runner up in the Team of the Year category which made me very proud.
So what are my plans for the year ahead?
Its the second album syndrome. We had so much success last year, how to we follow it up? I’m now more involved cross college and now i’m confident in myself and my team i’m happy to let them manage their own paths to a higher degree. Myself, well I’m still trying to let go and concentrate on the bigger picture and not fret over the little things as much. Oh, and this year I was us to win the Team of the Year award.