Leadership – Week 6

Another week has gone by and it’s getting hard to believe that we only have about three more left on the program. Although the past 6 weeks feel like they’ve gone by in the flash of an eye, so much has taken place in such a short amount of time. From arriving in Berlin and getting situated, to getting to know everyone on the program, starting our internships and really getting into our routines it’s pretty cool to look back at all that has happened. It is also interesting to when you try to honestly think in the moment about how these experiences are shaping who I am as an individual.

Before getting into all of that, though, I’ll recap some of the events that have happened in the last week. Last weekend was another fun time in Berlin. I would say that the highlight was returning to Mauermarkt, a huge flea market and gathering place in a park in East Berlin. A group of us visited on one of the first weekends and there was so much to see and experience that another group of us went back. I think its particularly interesting because the entire place is really just a collection of all the different types of people in Berlin and they all come together to sell cool things, make delicious food and just enjoy the atmosphere. Returning there was definitely time well spent and really is just another facet of what makes Berlin such a cool and interesting city to be in.

After the weekend, though, it was back to work as usual. Things started to pick up a little bit in terms of assignments for me last week at work, and being honest it was a very welcome change. It is encouraging to see my coworkers have more trust in me to handle a wider range of assignments and tasks that I had not done previously. For example, I was given access to the sales system we are currently still using before our switch to salesforce, and my task were to go in, verify and correct errors in the listing prices for apartments that are currently listed or that are reserved by buyers and are in the process of being sold. I really appreciated the increased amount of responsibility in my work, and although my previous assignments have been engaging, they have been more or less for preparing the the future systems and doing work that although valuable, did not have as direct an impact on our current, revenue-generating business activities.

The change of pace for work last week didn’t stop there, though. Given we are in a transition, it was time again to go back to preparing Salesforce for the upcoming switch. To set some context, Residea has been preparing for switching from our old sales system, TeamProQ, to Salesforce and therefore they have been spending months preparing the latter and maintaining current data and information in both systems. However, over the course of the time where two systems were in place, there were a few weeks where data wasn’t properly entered into Salesforce, so therefore I was assignment to check the system for which properties no longer need to be listed and to see where there may be holes in the information. That was another engaging assignment and I was happy the keep having new and meaningful tasks to do.

It definitely was a good week in terms of increased responsibility at work. I guess now is a good time to discuss my reflections on how this program has had an impact on my leadership skills and development. Being honest, I have viewed myself as an active leader through most of my life. In my past experiences I have had the ability to communicate and connect with others, and through these connections and relationships I have been able to lead others. I have always been vocal about how I feel and in many ways uninhibited when speaking my mind, as a leader that has helped me and hurt me depending on the situation.

During this program, however, I have taken the mindset that I’m not really there to directly work on my leadership skills. I have taken leadership development programs through school, I designed and facilitated my own program last summer and throughout life I have been given many situations where leadership has come to me naturally. But this summer the goal was different. I knew that I would not be in as big and inclusive of a community that I have been a part of the for the past three summers and I knew that I would overall be a little more on my own. Because of this, my focus over these weeks haven’t been as much directly pertaining to how my experiences here are interacting with my leadership skills, but rather I have focused on what this program will teach me about myself, how I will be in a new situation with different types of support and how I can take what I learn and make myself a more well-rounded individual.

Overall, I’m not sure there is really all that much I can say at this moment about how this program has done directly for my leadership skills. But I can say that it has immersed me in new perspectives, it has forced me to utilize new skills to succeed in uncertain and diverse situations, it has taught me about myself and how I interact with others. I think that these 9 weeks will have a large impact on who I am as an individual, and ultimately a leader, however, I like it might be a little too soon to say exactly how.