Saturday, July 30, 2011

Leadership Potential

I have never considered myself a leader.  I don't like the idea of me trying to convince anyone what should happen.  It is so contrary to my own belief system to say, "This is the right choice."  I have always believed that any path can be the "right" one if you commit to it fully.  I am not a leader, but I am a person who others count on to get things done.  If you have a project, you can bet that I will see it through.  In many cases "getting the job done" requires me to be a leader.  The problem is that sometimes it feels like I am herding butterflies.

Part of the problem is that I often associate with people who are not conformists.  Homeschoolers, atheists, free thinkers all pride themselves on sharing my philosophy that we all must choose our own path.  Unfortunately that makes many of them flighty and unreliable.  For example, when I plan activities for my homechool group I often have no idea who is coming until the day before.  Even then often the guest list has changed multiple times.  I know that inflexibility is something I struggle with, but dealing with homeschoolers feels like trial by fire.

The other type of person that I seem to deal with is the "senator".  This term was coined by a friend to describe someone who wants to seem like the leader, but in actuality does little of the real work and instead suggests a project then delegates the work.  He was speaking about one person, but as I thought about it, I realized that in all the groups I am part of there is someone like this.  Most of the time I have no problem with it, since I don't really want the label of leader anyway, but on occasion it annoys me.

It is especially bothersome when the senator suggests things that I know I am not capable or motivated to complete.  Then I get irritated because I know that I cannot suggest a different path at that point without getting in a battle for leadership.  I don't want to be in that battle, but I also don't like where we are going, and that it terribly frustrating...

So as in all aspects of life I have to make a decision about who I am going to be.  If I want to have control I have to be willing to take it.  If I don't want to be a leader then I have to be willing to allow someone else to lead...

For the time being I will just leave with this quote:

"People ask the difference between a leader and a boss. . . The leader works in the open, and the boss in covert. The leader leads, and the boss drives."
~Theodore Roosevelt

I am sure that I will never choose to be a boss, but I might be able to be a leader.

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