On day one of the CILIP Leadership Programme, we heard leadership stories from CILIP’s CEO Nick Poole, President Jan Parry and Director of Professional Services. All of them recounted occasions where either they had taken a chance or someone had taken a chance on them. I found this message really inspiring at the time.
Recently I have been working closely with our Business Development Manager to put together a proposal for a large project with an important client. I have worked on many proposals before, but never anything quite on this scale. It was exciting to work on the proposal, as it required bringing together my knowledge and experience of a range of research methods to come up with a proposal that would meet their needs.
I was very happy to hear that we were awarded the project. I was even more thrilled when I was asked to Project Manage it and to act as technical lead on several components of the project. As with the proposal, I already have the skills and experience necessary to fulfil these roles but it is the scale of the project that made me somewhat apprehensive. Since being asked to be part of the project, I have oscillated between elation and terror at the prospect of taking on the project.
The words of Nick, Jan and Simon rung in my ears, making me realise that this was one of those chances on my own leadership journey. This inspired me to have the professional confidence to say yes to being part of the project. It also gave me the personal and professional confidence to acknowledge my trepidation and admit my feelings to colleagues, which was a really important step. As soon as I verbalised these feelings, various colleagues rallied round to give me advice, offer their support and remind me that I have a talented team to call upon as part of the project – I am not solely responsible for everything.
So the moral of this story is: be brave and take a chance!