In the initial days of my professional career, I attended a meeting that modelled my thinking about leaves, vacation and working during time off.
During the meeting, my then manager called another person on his personal number to discuss an important matter. Since it was on speaker, we all listened trying to capture every single detail.
The person on the other end of the call mentioned that he was in the hospital for his father who was suffering from a terminal kidney problem. At that time, I admired that person's work ethic that he was willing to discuss work even during such a difficult time. I didn't realise how wrong it was of us to disturb him at that time because of how little my manager thought about it.
Fast forward to a few years later, sometime in the middle of the first COVID wave in India. I was under a lot of stress because of my family's health issues and it was starting to affect my health. I decided to take some days off after a major release and informed my team of the same.
Because of a delay from the client side, the release got delayed even after all the prep was done. My team then stepped in and advised me to take off. When I mentioned the upcoming release, the response was "You take care of yourself and your family, we'll take care of the work".
And that's what they did. The release happened while I was on leave. I came back to the news of a smooth release, a happy client and appreciation for a job well done. In the months since, I have changed teams and roles but I've tried to give the same kind of support to my team whenever they needed it.
And it has shown in what our teams have achieved. We managed to not only deliver what was promised but also delight our clients, and also grow as a team.
After all, there's nothing that strengthens a team more than knowing that the team has your back.
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