Toma, the MVP Team Lead: “Being a Team Lead is not about sugarcoating.”
When you meet Toma Dranik, she always greets you with a smile and shows genuine curiosity about your well-being. She enthusiastically discusses her team, and you can ask her any questions, from team-related matters to gardening. Toma always gives good advice. Really good advice. And we call such people MVPs.
It starts with building a strong team
“You won’t become an MVP without your team — and I know I contributed to building the team. When I took on the TL role, I had a large team with diverse people, and I managed to strengthen it and show the organization how important this team is. When selecting team members, I discover their quirks that complement each other. My experience helped me understand that the team’s vibe is crucial because it can both motivate and demotivate. Motivation for teamwork is very important.”
Motivation vs. Discipline
These days, everyone discusses motivation and inspiring employees smartly. Nonetheless, it’s essential to recognize that different factors drive different individuals. Toma points out that when motivation wanes, discipline takes over.
“Motivating doesn’t mean sugarcoating. I’m open with team members: I say what’s uncomfortable; together, we assess the situation and determine how to change or improve it. I believe it’s essential to show that I care about how you feel, but taking responsibility for actions lies with the individual. As a leader, I can offer help and support, but taking action is the individual’s responsibility.”
Putting ‘Care’ into CyberCare
Discussing feelings and emotions, Toma explains that maintaining a “room scan” is a constant state for a leader. Achievements and rewards won’t come if negativity and dissatisfaction within the “room” aren’t promptly addressed; these issues can snowball. According to Toma, “care” means when a person sees your emotions, whether it’s a TL or a colleague at the next desk noticing a change in you.
Nevertheless, not every leader possesses empathy, and its development is uncertain. Toma believes a leader who cares about the team can acquire insights from the environment and enact appropriate measures.
“You must find it interesting to work and care about what you do. The team strongly feels when tasks are done out of obligation. And when that feeling permeates the team, they don’t achieve results. However, team leaders must set boundaries, how much of themselves and their time they can give, and where the limit is when people must take responsibility for their actions.”
Showing leadership beyond the team
Toma finds fulfillment in her role in CyberCare. Working with a large team has allowed her to define what kind of leader she is and discover her leadership model. According to her, CyberCare’s Team Leads have time for planning, strategizing, and participating in meetings – all the tools are there. She feels secure and isn’t afraid to make mistakes because she knows that there’s a large team behind her, regardless of the circumstances. She fearlessly identifies process shortcomings and takes an active role in driving change initiatives.
“Here, I have the opportunity to try different things and roles and determine what suits me. Different initiatives allow me to measure my abilities. Moreover, as the organization grows, changes are inevitable. While I like tranquility, I’ve accepted the changes in a growing organization as a natural process. Monotony kills life.”
Changes always stir up negative feelings and fears within us. However, Toma approaches this philosophically: once each situation has passed, you won’t remember it, or it will appear entirely insignificant.” Of course, you need to vent, talk, express what you don’t like, and listen to each other. Everything will pass, and it won’t seem so scary anymore. You just need to keep working.”
Applying for Toma’s team
In CyberCare, you’ll discover not only changes. According to Toma, people are genuinely cared for here: there’s a lot of tolerance, and everyone strives to perceive people as they truly are.
“When someone from the outside applies for my team, I always ask my team members questions: pineapple on pizza? Favorite computer component? This way, we can check if the new person understands our humor, values, and our vibe.”