Leaders and Managers…they are different...right?
I taught a class today on leadership and management. Always the ever assuming leader, I was taken aback by the fact that most of the students felt as though I was a manager. When I asked a few other co-workers, they felt the same way! Today’s experience reminded me of my first physical. I blindly walked in and did what the doctor said dropped, turned, and coughed. I left the classroom confused; just like when I left the physical…did that just happen? I was devastated. I walked away thinking that I had become everything that I had strived not to be. A task-oriented, resourcing, people using manager. I couldn’t believe it. I thought to myself that I had become everything that I hated. It was extremely hard for me bear. All I could think about was that the culmination of my life thus far to be a leader had been an utter failure. But didn’t all of those years in high school and college developing as a leader account for something? I tried to find some justification or meaning to my life as a leader. Was I a leader or was I a manager? I do lead people by motivation not out of necessity don’t I? As I tried to think about how I could redeem myself the only thing that kept beating itself against my brain was the fact that…why couldn’t it be both/and not either/or? This conclusion was the closest shot that I could come to redemption. Have I been given the gift of leadership and administration? I hated the duality of it all, but maybe just maybe this was the answer. I remembered that as leaders, we often time picture ourselves as bigger or larger than life. That every choice we make does make a difference and effects the lives of those around us...they do, but maybe not as much as we’d like to believe. However, I’ll just have to learn to walk with a little more humility…I hate physicals.