Sunday, April 12, 2009

Being a Leader

In the paper this past week there was an article "Seven People a Leader Should Avoid". I'd given it a cursory glance but hadn't really read it. My main thought was "Hm". I'd given it about 0.7 seconds thought.

Until my husband walked by. Let's remember he's been practically dead for a week. Sleeping as many hours as he can, sick as all get out. I swear his version of strep must be worse than mine because it really knocks him on his butt. He simply cannot eat.

I hear an exclamation. A scoff. He asks me if I read it and I say no, not really.

"A leader never avoids people."

I try to say that I think the writer means that these are the people to avoid when creating your team, but Major Man is having none of it. You don't avoid people, he says, you manage them or you deal with them. Sometimes you fire them. But you don't avoid them.

This is the Army speaking, I know. I see nothing wrong with that. I have to admit, my leadership training has consisted mostly of reading the Art of War, asking my husband's advice and stocking up on books that might guide me. I stopped short of buying "Management for Dummies". Because I don't so much want to be a manager as a leader.

I don't often post about my job here because a) I don't want to get fired and b) it's not writing related. But Monday to Friday from 730 ish to 330 ish I'm a Team Leader of about 10 sales people. As much as I love writing and identify myself as a writer... I love my job. I don't love some of the administrivia, but I love being a Team Leader.

There are days I feel like I have everything under control and days where I can barely keep my chin above water. But when I think about it, Major Man is right. There are many personalities out there, many flaws (just like mine) and many opportunities for growth - and avoiding them is not an option. You can defer until tempers cool, you can give space, you can wait for things to calm down... but you can never avoid.

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