lessons learned since being promoted…

Nearly a year ago I was promoted. I typically avoid using that word (promoted) because who cares. I’m using it in this post because there is a higher level of responsibility and a wider range of working with people that comes with a promotion.

I remember my boss telling me that my ‘peripheral vision’ was going to be opened up in this new position. I didn’t know exactly what he meant, but now I do. Some things shocked me.

When I was a squad mentor, I had a lot of control over all the moving parts. I could pretty easily navigate the outcome or experience I was aiming toward (with the help of a good team, of course.)

As a program director, I’ve found I can only control so much (though some disagree with this idea.) Many of the moving parts are run by other people, and they are much more complicated.

I’ve been through a fair amount of stretching and growing the last year – emotionally, spiritually and professionally. I’ve had more bad days than good. But it’s all been worth it for the lessons I’ve learned along the way…

Humility comes from leaving something you’re good at for something that is over your head.

Sometimes it’s not about me and what makes me feel good – sometimes it’s just about the kingdom and what God wants to use me for. This is also humbling. 

Being stretched and uncomfortable can either make me A) brokenhearted and dependent on God or B) hard-hearted and numb. The choice is up to me. (Note: the former has more tears.)

Failing [frequently] has given me more grace for other people when they mess up.

People make mistakes all the time.

Even if I can do something well, it’s worth empowering other people and letting them mess up. Everything will be okay in the end. (That one came from my former boss, Steve.)

Some people play the blame game, others just try to fix the problem. 

When I’m really stressed I keep working, but internally I shut down and want to quit. 

My response to immense stress is crying and exercising (though not at the same time.) Also: green tea frappes. 

Everyone can tell when I’m stressed / not functioning at my best. (Aka the curse of being someone who is happy most of the time.) If I can conjure up the energy, it’s worth it to put on a fake face. 

Managing a large amount of details drains me. I can do it, but it slowly kills me.

I was made to lead people.

I developed Tiffany (the person who reports to me) informally, even though my intent was to do so officially. She learned by observing me, by the way I live and talk and ask questions. Leadership is truly about example.

Many people are willing to help. I just need to ask.

When people serve in a way that is inconvenient for them, it challenges me to do the same. Servant-hearted people are truly the backbone to Christ and his love. (Note to self: the next time someone needs a ride to/from the airport, do it.)

I can do more than I think I can.


I’m curious, what have you learned since being in whatever job/role you’re in?


About Hope Naomi

Lover of all things tea and travel.
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15 Responses to lessons learned since being promoted…

  1. Bill Swan says:

    I have lots of answers to your question. If you want them, let’s grab lunch sometime and talk.

  2. Hugh says:

    I didn’t realize the Tiffany thing and I thought this was some like pet name for another personality that you shift into when you’re “not feeling yourself”. HA! I laughed pretty hard.

    I’ve learned alot of the same things being at my job. Sometimes it’s really frustrating when people fail after you’ve given them so much direction… Guess God thinks the same thing about me when I fail every single day and sometimes just sin and don’t even think about it.

    I’ve learned more by serving those I’m leading than anything, when people I’m leading see me taking the trash instead of them it creates a culture that wants to go above and beyond. I like seeing that kind of stuff happen.

    This statement has been ringing true for me lately though:
    From “Humans of New York”
    “I wish I’d partied a little less. People always say ‘be true to yourself.’ But that’s misleading, because there are two selves. There’s your short term self, and there’s your long term self. And if you’re only true to your short term self, your long term self slowly decays.”

    I’m thinking about this statement over and over.

    Love you Hope.


  3. marissa says:

    I have learned that sometimes things don’t make sense and I still have to go with it. Coincidentally, this is also what is happening in my personal life. A+B does not always equal C AND IT DRIVES ME NUTS!!!

  4. alysseay says:

    Hmmmm. I’ve learned that leaders know they don’t know everything but are willing to admit it and then find out the answer. I’ve learned that offering myself is enough. I’ve learned God really cares about us enjoying things. Wish I could get lunch with you Hope. Love you!

  5. sara choe says:

    at my current internship i am being given the opportunity to learn a lot; i am being given work and am expected to produce, but mostly, i am expected to be a sponge and make the most of every opportunity to watch and learn. i’ve been encouraged not to be a “workaholic,” which sometimes feels like it’s a trap. while working under one of the staff attorneys’ supervision, i had expressed a bit of frustration at myself for not catching on quicker — both the substantive law and the legal writing skills — and he immediately put the kibosh on that. he said that this is the best time for me to make and learn from my mistakes, so that i don’t repeat them when it really counts. the wisdom behind this advice sunk in deeper when i overheard the chief counsel’s response to the court’s decision being reversed by the higher court. this way, she said, we can know what we got wrong and how to correct it; in fact, simply because the higher court affirms the lower court’s ruling doesn’t necessarily mean anything, e.g., there might be another rationale for why they affirmed. i grew to appreciate that this internship, and to some extent, being a law student generally, is as safe a space as any i will have in my professional development to ask stupid questions and do it wrong (to a reasonable extent). i am learning that the real mistake would be to squander this opportunity on trying to impress at the expense of growing and progressing into the kind of attorney i would want for myself.

  6. I learned that I would need to teach the difference between a fart and a poop so that I wasn’t running my two year old son to the toilet every two minutes. I also learned that I need to turn my interests into a vocation if I want to feel like a holistic success (if that makes any sense).

  7. kristenhary says:

    I work at Starbucks now, WHAAAT? I make a mean green tea latte, so when in MN I can show you what I’ve learned. (Organic sugar-free matcha is even better if you can believe it). Any who, I’ve learned that choosing the job I’m in and given me more joy and drive to be my best. I’ve also learned that it is okay to be 23 and working a low-paying, (not) 9:00- 5:00 job Monday through Friday job. Learning to be proud and grateful with where I am at.

    • Hope Naomi says:

      Dude, I wish you were my barista! Where can I get that organic sugar-free matcha!?

      Also, that’s a great lesson you have learned at 23. Way to rock it… #notsurprised.

  8. i love you. that’s what i have learned. and you’re amazing. and i love that that dude thought Tiffany=your sasha fierce.

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