As a Brazilian woman working in the operation field, Lety Cavalcante offers a unique perspective on leadership, team management, and burnout. Lety moved to America in 2013 after working as a lawyer in Brazil. Prior to her move she was missing something and wanting more, so she made a huge switch leading her to her position as Head of Driving Operations at Waymo, where she works with the testing of autonomous vehicles.
It can be intimidating and scary if you’ve invested time and education into your career and suddenly you’re left feeling like this isn’t the right path. Lety felt the same but she shares some important advice on how she successfully made the switch. Seek out information. At 30 years old, Lety made a complete career change and she did that by seeking information about her desired career path. She made connections on LinkedIn and networked with veterans in the industry to really question the reality of the career and seek mentorship.
Now as an operations manager, Lety is leading one of the largest operations teams at her company to date, and it’s going great. She has a really team-focused approach to leadership that allows her team to feel supported and safe. A few ideas for supporting her team she implements include approachable office hours for team needs, frequent check-ins on team members, and allowing voices to be heard and decisions to be made from smaller, less heard parts of the team. Results and metrics are important, without these the job and product wouldn’t exist BUT the human work force behind it is equally important…not only do they need to be paid, but they need to be taken care of by their leadership. If any part of these two sides are broken, the business will not be successful. You want your team to be connected to the company’s mission, to feel empowered to support the work they’re doing and supported by leadership to speak up.
A lot of Lety’s story goes hand in hand with burnout in the workplace. As an operations manager, she has opted into several programs to prevent burnout and enrich her team. Her team participates in rotation opportunities and 20% of their time spent on new projects with new teams. She sees the key to burnout is allowing for change, growth, and new learning opportunities for her employees.
Lety shares for leaders, especially women, out there; that this job may never be easy but it can be smooth. If you’d like to connect with Lety, learn more, or seek mentorship, you can find her on LinkedIn.
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- Why you shouldn’t be intimidated to change careers.
- Advice for attaining a new desired career.
- Balancing results and metrics with the support of the human workforce.
- Transitions and systems for managing burnout.
- How work culture influences the success of a team and company as a whole.