As I sit on my couch tonight reflecting on the eleventh day of my new job I can’t help but feel peeved with myself. Sitting here I can’t help but contemplate why I feel like I am in a rut. I keep going through the different aspects of my day and trying to figure out why I feel so disinterested and disengaged and I think I’ve got it – I am just one of those people, the possessive overbearing type who has a difficult time sharing with others and today I was forced to share 1) my office with the other girls who had started and 2) my brain with someone who I felt was underusing it – you see we have someone here from a different center trying to “train” us and I can’t help but feel like I could train her on so many different aspects of life. The problem is I am being punished for catching on quickly, for paying attention to the details the first time around, for being a self-motivator.
I feel bored out of my mind while she sits here clicking on a computer not once asking how any of us learn but instead wasting our time with her concept of training. As I look at the other girls who are just staring into space day dreaming I wish I had some way of telling her that she was not getting through, that she needed to change something (be more confident, learn how we learn, provide engaging methods of teaching us instead of click click clicking through the steps) but I can’t think of a nice way to tell her she is failing and I’ve already been warned about being nice. As the frustration builds with her touching and moving and changing things without asking, my team clearly catches on to the fact that I’m peeved. My manager finds different tasks for me to do to keep me from blowing my brains out, I find things to point out to my team — things that in my eleven days I have figured out are important — while she continues to lack the personality required to lead others.
I want to tell her about self presentation, about self confidence, about how to educate others and put their needs ahead of her own yet lack the skill to break it to her without making her cry so for the time being I’m going to have to share my space, my people, my skills with someone who doesn’t seem to think there is anything to be learned from someone who has been with the company for eleven days. I’m going to smile and nod and build the bridge so in the future I may possibly be able to help her help herself. I’m going to make sure my team is present in mind and body and that together we can overcome the first of many challenges we have coming our way, I’m going to be a silent leader biting my tongue in the corner ensuring I can absorb the system based information she has been sent to present. I will take my punishment for being able to problem solve and I will be the resource she fails to be.
As I sit reflecting I also realize she lacks initiative, if she runs into the slightest problem she does not problem solve, she simply picks up the phone and calls the IT department. There is no desire to try and resolve an issue alone, instead she relies fully on a team of people who just hit the buttons for her, never learning how to fix it herself. This brings me to a whole new concept of what leadership truly is – it is the want to learn and be able to find solutions to problems without continually relying on others. Leadership is the desire to be the resource and have a network of people whom one can rely on when the solution is not readily available. Leadership is not about knowing all the answers but knowing where to find them. It is about being out of your comfort zone and being able to acknowledge that you are not the best at everything but that you know the people who are the best, but it also encompasses the ability to problem solve without having your hand held throughout the day. It is the ability to build a culture within your domain that fosters winning and a common objective that is communicated to all members of the team.
Leadership. It’s an intimidating word. It’s not meant for everyone, in fact many people shy away from it. It comes with a certain sense of responsibility and accountability for the actions of others–a scary thought. As I sit here dreading the prospect of work tomorrow I realize that it’ll all work itself out, success comes to those who put in the effort and I know that if there’s one thing I’m good at its putting in the effort.