Despite studies encouraging us to experience new things, we more often than not stick with what we know. But when we do that, we typically miss out on potential opportunities of becoming not only a greater person but also a better leader.
“I was nominated and graciously accepted to further develop and improve my leadership skills,” said Tracy McCollum, Operations Manager of Green Dot Active Solutions, a Pittsburgh-based MSP, in response to a question about her experience as a TruPeer pod captain. Every pod includes 8-10 companies, who elect a captain to facilitate meetings. “The technology industry needs more women in leadership roles, and I felt this was an opportunity for me to take a step in that direction. It helped that an interesting and supportive peer member from another country offered to co-captain with me — we could always use new friends in different places.”
During our one-on-one conversation, she shared her story about how becoming a pod captain has made her a better leader, why she decided to step outside of her comfort zone, and what participating in peer groups can do for MSPs.
A lightly edited transcript of our conversation follows.
When and why did you join TruMethods?
In 2014 — wow, it’s been a while! After seeing Gary Pica present at several different IT conferences, we were impacted by his passion and genuine belief in the TruMethods framework. In 2014, we decided it was time to see how TruMethods could help us grow our business.
How has becoming a pod captain made you a better leader?
It provided an opportunity for me to step out of my comfort zone, which is always a benefit for personal and professional growth. Being able to handle and manage extra responsibility is a confidence booster. It’s also helped me to be more outgoing and connect with all pod members in ways I may not have done if I wasn’t in this role. I also ask for and receive feedback from the pod to see where I can improve as a leader and what changes are needed for the group to be successful. All of this is a great leadership learning experience!
What has your biggest takeaway been from TruPeer?
The positive connections with other members are invaluable. I don’t believe these relationships would exist and take off the way they do without the structure and support that comes from the TruPeer leadership and staff members. The kind candor shared between people in the same boat as we are has empowered us to talk about real problems and make many decisions we were lost on before.
How have the TruPeer experts helped you with succeeding?
They created this awesome culture that fosters invaluable connections with peers. They developed formulas and databases, so we can use hard metrics to measure where our business is at now and to determine exactly what we need to do to reach future goals. They research trends and create special projects for members to focus on to get ahead of the game. Most importantly — they show up and answer questions and personally interact with members of TruPeer.
How can TruMethods members get the most out of TruPeer?
Through engagement. Attend the meetings, interact with members, watch the videos, enter SMART numbers in the app, complete the business plans, attend office hours. There are so many resources in so many different platforms and you don’t have to do it all at once. Avoid burnout and pace yourself — you’ll get there. Once you’ve engaged and listened and have the support and accountability of your peers behind you, executing and achieving your bigger picture becomes much easier.