To lead the team or not to lead the team?Maryam Malki
That was the question when my Chair asked me to lead Level 3 this semester.
I never thought I would be in such a position, but I am happy with it. When my Chair asked to be a team leader, I kept asking myself “Why me?” I still don’t know the answer, but I realized that instead of asking “Why me?”, I should start asking: “What can I learn from this?” And, I have learned A LOT!
First of all, I guess I was lucky because I was shadowing an amazing previous team leader last semester. Second, I had all the support and guidance that I needed from my supervisor. I have learned that being a team leader means that I should have perfect respect for my team because without them I have nothing.
I also learned how to have the right amount of strength to handle things that need to be handled, and not cry all day when I get something wrong (half a day will do!). I had to have a huge amount of drive and determination to do things right. I also tried to please everybody but I realized that sometimes this just isn’t possible, and thankfully I had an amazing team who understood that.
What are the team leader’s responsibilities? MANY!!
- Weekly plans: to make it a smooth for myself and the team a clear weekly plan would help a lot. And the less you have on a plan, the easier it will be to follow.
- Team meetings: K.I.S.S. I like to keep it simple & sweet. Send an agenda to the team before the meeting to give them a chance to think of what we will talk about. This way, the team can help me add things I may have missed out. If we are in a conflicting situation, the majority would lead, or I would just ask my supervisor to have the casting vote.
- Delegating tasks: When I need to delegate tasks, I always ask for volunteers. Thankfully, the team was always active so I never faced any problem with that.
- Time management: I think you all know that time management is important, so I am not really going to talk about that. What I would like to share is how I was able to save a lot of my time. First of all, once the assessment dates were approved, I edited all tests in Blackboard to open on the assigned date and I created a folder with each test password i.e. theme 1 VG password food. Another thing that helped me a lot was that I created a template for all the basic emails, such as the grades.
I really enjoyed being a team leader, and I am thankful to the people on my team who made it work. One final thought is SMILE. It makes things a lot easier. And, try to be positive.
One of the sayings that I love was the one from the Emperor of China (in the cartoon Mulan): he said, “A single grain of rice can tip the scale.” I know it’s my first semester team leading; therefore I just want to be the single grain of rice for now. Hopefully, if I do this again next semester I want to be a bag of rice!