This week we meet the 3rd member of my Leadership Research group - Clean Closets!
I named her Clean Closets, but her real name is Kelly. Kelly’s leap is perhaps the most bizarre of our little group of leaders. She had worked at a VP of Operations for healthcare related start-ups for 12 years and her transition landed her as the CIO of a software company serving the gaming (as in VEGAS) industry. The greatest shifts involved being part of a completely different industry that she knew nothing about, working and living in Vegas as compared to a sleepy Midwestern urban community, and joining an existing group of employees that had worked and played together for years. In a start-up, everything is built from the ground up, so there is no undoing or dismantling to be done. There is no vested interest in the “old” being replaced because there is no “old”. Kelly found this to be completely puzzling and exhausting. While she prided herself on leading change, she was unaware of how much personal handholding and coaching she was going to have to do as she helped people let go of something they had created. The leadership role required a skill set that was completely new to Kelly, and not necessarily a skill set that she enjoyed or found easy to do.
As always with these leadership stories, I am reminding you that these are rough stories - unedited, unformatted, unrefined. If you are new to these stories (and my blog), please take the time to click on the link above and read about my doctoral research on leadership transition. Having the context will help you appreciate the content!
My favorite thing about Clean Closets' story is the metaphors she uses - speedometers, golf, riding a bike, messy closets, the beverage case at Starbucks - READ on and enjoy!