Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A work in progress..

I have never wanted to be a leader. I believed you had to have charisma, be willing to take on more responsibilities that you could possibly handle and be a self-absorbed, power-mad jerk. At least, that was my experience with leaders in my youth. Less-than-angelic nuns, frustrated teachers and incompetent bosses seem to be expected in most arenas. In school, I wanted to help things run smoothly and efficiently and ran for student council secretary and vice-president. I was asked at a fraternity pledge interview if I was a follower or a leader. I confidently stated "reluctant leader," explained my position of not wanting the attention, glamor or glory but looked forward to the challenge and responsibility. Needless to say, I am not an Alpha.

One of my college buddies convinced me to run for student body president in the mid-eighties after I managed his campaign a year before. He lost but ran that year as my vice-president and we won. Little did I know that he saw something in me that I didn't. The following election, he parlayed his vice-presidential post to run again and won. Ah, the machinations of the power-hungry.

Since then, I have tiptoed through increasing and varied levels of leadership and management, trying not to step on those landmines common to supervisors. I have tried to keep things simple in what I do and say to balance what must be done to support my staff and what is expected of someone in my position. I strive to be as good a leader as I can and take comfort that I try harder than most. I believe I should be ready, willing and sometimes able to do anything and everything I expect from those I manage.

Being liked is swell. Being respected is great. But being appreciated is the best. Thanks to: Tracy, Kathy S, Anna, Janet, Toni, Emily, Andrea, Diondria, Vic, Eric, Sharon D, Afua, Sophia, Octavia, Connie and Rachel for making my managerial journey worthwhile.
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