Tara finishes her first full week at school tomorrow. It’s surprising how well things are going. Except for us getting her started at the top of the hour, she is managing by herself. She is not in front of her laptop all day. And there are plenty of breaks built into the schedule. I don’t quite care how much she learns. We will catch her up. I want her to feel happy, and enjoy the company. She already loves her teacher. And has made a few friends. Not as many as she would have if they were in school together 😦 But a few is better than none. We are also learning to pace ourselves around her class schedule. It’s working out. I don’t know how. But it is. And to be fair, let’s just hope it goes that way. No need to over engineer something that isn’t broken.

These days Tara is ramping me up on the My Little Pony scene. It’s let’s just say – entertaining. She is quite a story teller. And watching her eyes dilated and shine as she comes to the part of the story that gets her excited, makes me so happy.

It was a whirlwind day at work. Back to back happening events and lots of coordination and juggles. All positive, some surprising and some very gratifying. Today I felt validated as a leader. In my line of work, you need to surround yourself with the right set of people to jointly achieve outcomes that seem impossible. One of my team mates and I struck a pact while we were running a project in India earlier this year. I asked him for his utmost dedication and focus on two projects in parallel. I knew he can do it. I knew that no one in the past had expected him to do it. But I trusted him and his work ethic. I trusted his potential and I promised that I will give him an A+ team and shield him from all the noise that will come his way. I was asking him to do something that can take up to 18 months, in 6 months. He thought I was mad. I thought I was mad. But I knew that it had to be done. And there was no one other than him who could pull this off. A deal was struck.

And today we met to discuss our deal. From someone who does not say much, I heard some very encouraging words. He appreciated that I kept my promise. And he acknowledged our solid partnership.

I live for such days. I measure my success by the strong partnerships I make and the promises I keep. I am in that respect an odd ball. I want my teams to consider me a partner, not a pedestal manager. I cannot be that. I like to work should to shoulder with them. I like to solve with them. I like to grow with them. And I like to succeed with them. I was misunderstood for a long time. But I had faith in such partnerships. And today I feel validated.

When this team mate asked if we can continue to partner, I was surprised. I thought he wouldn’t even consider leaving his domain. But I know he wants a third inning. And I want to help him ace it. He is passionate about it. As passionate as I am. The two of us went through hell together. We have shared moments when we were about to pass out with exhaustion. We have shared tense moments and light moments. He is an even keel, and I am a fuzzy ball of energy. But we have a lot of synergy. It wasn’t like this when we started. And we both know what a choppy start it was. I poured a lot into this equation. And slowly he started to notice. He realized I don’t want his updates. I only want his problems that he wants to partner on solving. He realized I am not hogging attention in the meeting, I am pushing the client in a corner so that they know their line and I am drawing the line for the two of us. He saw me argue and fight for what is right, no matter the audience. And I saw him step up and up and up taking command over the room. I watched him go from doing to leading. I watched him go from asking to telling. I was never forthcoming with positive feedback. I thought he didn’t need it. I changed my style. I saw it making a difference. He got used to my unfiltered comments and I got used to reading his facial expressions on a GVC while I was in US and he was in India. We nailed this partnership. And here we are today. Two solid projects under our belt. One we partnered shoulder to shoulder on, and the second that he led, with zero involvement from me on the day to day operations. I don’t think anyone sees it that way, but I grew with him. I knew I could trust him to lead, and so I backed off. This partnership take time. It’s not built overnight. It is built on sweat and tears. 🙂

I feel successful tonight.

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