Rising above fear: Archana Mahour’s Transformation from Scared Intern to Confident Team LeadIn the bustling world of startups, where founders dream of revolutionizing the world from their ideas and creating brands. There are countless team members working relentlessly to make that vision come true. a similar but remarkable professional journey of Archana Mahour, a senior software engineer and a Team leader at Culturro who started her career as a scared intern.
Today we will uncover Archana’s manager storyArchana’s professional journey started in 2019; she was a bright and ambitious student pursuing her master’s. And, as a part of her course requirement she needed an internship to complete her course credits. So, she started her hunt for a perfect internship that aligned with her values and aspirations. Luckily the campus placements were going on wherein she had the opportunity to search for the right company. Archana was excited yet petrified, wondering if she would find a company where she could grow professionally and personally. In this whole chaos of getting an internship and proving to herself and the people around her that she could do it entered Culturro. From her first interview with the team, she sensed an undeniable connection. The warmth and support she received from her potential colleagues solidified her decision to join Culturro as an intern. Little did she know that this would be a career-defining moment for her.
Culturro was a breath of fresh air amidst all the companies that were looking for robots in human form. The Culturro team possessed a unique blend of kindness and patience with the freshers and were looking beyond the technical skills and were ready to take a chance on students. – Archana Mahour
The people who made to storiesLooking back on her early days at Culturro, Archana fondly recalls her manager’s profound impact on her professional development.
In my initial days, my manager had recognized that I was hesitant and needed to be more confident about my work. She had noticed that I wasn’t comfortable sharing my ideas. So she did the sweetest thing. I still vividly remember that she took me out for a coffee and created a safe space for open communication about everything. That’s how my manager broke the ice between us. – Archana MahourThat day, Archana learned that being a manager doesn’t mean always being formal and following the rule book. Sometimes just being empathetic and supportive goes a long way. With time she learned a lot from her managers; whether it is debugging some code or decluttering one’s mind. As time passed, she started to get more responsibility. Her managers always encouraged her to share her ideas and showed her well-deserved recognition, even for the smallest contributions. The gestures made by her managers not only boosted Archana’s confidence but also instilled in her a valuable lesson about humility and acknowledging the efforts of others. Soon, she joined the team as a full-time member.
Discovering the art of goal-settingAmong the many lessons Archana gleaned from her manager, the art of goal-setting stood out.
During that time, I was only focused on the day-to-day tasks and had not set any major long-term goal for myself. One day my manager asked me about my long-term goals. And I was clueless; then she taught me how to set goals. She also explained the value of goal-setting in the long term and how it would add to the feeling of fulfillment and happiness. – Archana MahourThis learning of goal-setting shifted her perspective and transformed how she approached her work, imbuing it with purpose and direction.
On the other side of the table: Archana as a team leaderAll the hard work and self-improvement initiatives paid off when Archana’s career took an unexpected yet pleasant turn when she transitioned into the team leader’s role. The shift in responsibilities initially left her feeling frustrated and overwhelmed. Earlier, she was solely responsible for her tasks. She now had to manage team members’ projects, attend to minor problems, and explain even the most fundamental concepts to her team. But soon, she coped with these issues and enjoyed leading a team.
Archana’s leadership conundrums & the ways outArchana worked closely with her managers and had an idea of what kind of a leader she wanted to be.
I always tried to be approachable to my team members and ensured open communication regarding any problems or issues they may be facing. – Archana MahourBut she still found herself facing challenges while trying to manage a team. Delegating responsibilities proved to be a daunting challenge for Archana. Her fear of hurting her team members’ feelings and reluctance to establish authority hindered their growth and stifled their potential. Recognizing the challenges and need for change, she embarked on a journey of self-improvement and sought guidance from her managers. Once Archana understood the challenges in delegation and establishing authority as a leader, she started to find solutions that would work for her. To overcome her obstacles, she initiated candid conversations with her team members about their quality of work. She started sharing her expectations of their work, slowly handing out responsibilities to team members, and began identifying any obstacles hindering her team’s progress. Archana approached these discussions politely and analytically, always willing to listen and understand her team members’ perspectives. Slowly but surely, she felt comfortable as an authority and could delegate tasks without guilt. Archana’s path to becoming an effective team leader was challenging. Yet, she persevered, understanding that true leadership was not about asserting superiority but fostering an environment where individuals could thrive and unleash their full potential. As Archana continues to lead her team at Culturro, her story is a testament to the transformative power of mentorship, perseverance, and self-reflection. Through her dedication and unwavering passion, she inspired her team members. Her professional journey is a shining example of how one individual’s journey can impact an entire team.
Good Managers – powered by RiselyWhile Archana’s journey set off with a steady pace, hurdles also made their way in. As she described earlier, her role as a team lead was very different from her previous responsibilities. Significantly, Archana faced challenges in delegating responsibilities across her team and managing her time. The key lay in embracing assertiveness in her leadership style – so how did Archana figure this out? In Archana’s words, the knots were resolved when she started her journey with Risely.
I was invited to a Manager Effectiveness Master Class. Those four sessions changed my perspective of what a manager should be. I got to learn different skills of Manager Effectiveness and how to be an effective manager. That helped me in defining the approach toward people management. Then I signed up for Risely, where I could see a list of challenges. I selected some challenges that I was facing, and soon after, I started receiving some insightful emails that helped me work on myself. – Archana MahourHere’s how Risely solves challenges for many new managers like Archana:
- Identify your challenges: The journey begins when a manager starts by defining their challenges. From 30+ challenges, managers and team leaders can identify the issues hurting their team. In Archana’s case, she realized she often did her team’s work and needed frequent follow-ups with them.
- Test your skills: In the second step, Archana tested her skills, such as time management and effective delegation, to see how well she achieved these critical functions. Based on these assessments, she learned about her skills and abilities with detailed reports.
- Start growing: With time, Archana started making progress with the help of daily nudges provided by Risely. It dynamically supported her progress through resources like toolkits, samples, and assessments.
Wondering where to start? Assess your skills today!
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