“I am not an expert, but I play one on TEAMS”: How to Manage Multidisciplinary Teams

My early career was in retail.  I quickly moved from the stock room to the sales floor, to the manager’s desk.  I was first promoted to management at the ripe old age of 25, and I was woefully unprepared.  I knew tactical responsibilities well but had no idea what strategy meant or how to lead a team of 15 part-time associates that ballooned to 30+ during the holiday season. I was a micromanager, a perfectionist who was afraid of failure.  If you asked the team about me, they would, “she’s nice and puts customers first, but when she’s stressed, watch out!”   

I was in WAY over my head and quickly realized I did not want to pursue a career in retail. I pivoted to recruiting and was promoted to a management role AGAIN! I was once more in a position for which I was not prepared. I was miserable; I hung up my manager hat and settled into individual contributor roles for a couple of decades.   

Eventually, I mastered the day-to-day tactical skills, and my strategic thinking and ideation also matured.  It was time to lead.

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