I have the great honor and privilege of working with some amazing colleagues here in Mali. Who simultaneously astound me with their resourcefulness and impress me with their insatiable progress. Everyday I see people figuring out new skills and reaching new levels of personal and professional development.

I am still finding my feet as a manager though. I find myself walking the balance of making sure not to micro-manage, but not completely disengaging either. It’s a tightrope of trying to coach and teach people how to do new things and letting them find their own path to the end results. Because I am still learning how to manage in this incredibly unique context, I have a lot of insecurities about the success of my team members.

There are lots of stumbling moments and learning opportunities – I can look back and see where I could have done a better job. The demons of”if I had only” and “what if we had” circle in my head. But then I have moments of bursting pride and highs too. Like this week, when I saw my colleague facilitate a new 3 day training program and completely nail it. It’s been a pleasure to watch her break down the gender barriers of what women “should” or “can” do, and become a incredibly capable and dynamic member of our team.

I definitely don’t get it all right, but man oh man is it great when  you can tip your hat to the people you’re collaborating with who are working so hard to become their best professional selves.