People and me do not get along. Specifically, for the fact that I like to do things my way. Now I know how to collaborate with individuals and I am a people person in general, but when it comes to the various specifics of life that’s when my personality can begin to cause friction with others. I’ve recently learned about myself that I am a change agent. If I see something that needs to be fixed and believe that I can fix it than I am going to do what I can to fix it, but I will not overstep unless I am undermined. One of the advantages about getting older is hindsight. I can see now that there are some things that I wanted in my life that I did not get because of this character trait. My new Job is teaching me that the subtle nuances in approach is what gets people to mobilize. And whenever there is a leader subordinate scenario, that leader’s strength lies in their ability to get the people around them to mobilize.
I currently work at a small firm, and when I came on, one of the initiatives I volunteered to head was the revitalization of the firm’s social media campaigns in order to gen-up new business. The person in charge prior to my taking on the role was all for it. They said sure, please do, we need the help, so on and so forth. I even made a presentation and business plan, out lining my intentions and aligning them with the goals and desires of the President of the firm.
My main issue with working with others on initiatives where it’s not necessary is, it’s not necessary. Not to be a dick but in most cases I am one of if not the smartest person in the room in my subject matter, and I have the wisdom to know when to and when not to take on a new or certain kind of project. A social media campaign is relatively easy for me to do at this point in my life as I’ve done it for previous roles, and do it continuously for this blog.
Somewhere between concept and reality, there was some type of misunderstanding in what was meant by me wanting to take the lead on this initiative. Long story short, at the end of the day I got what I wanted but the lesson is in what I had to go through to get it. There is a common saying that goes “you catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar”, and I can say I’ve seen the accuracy of that statement first hand.
Being a leader takes more than vision and initiative of which I am full of, it also requires being able to bring people along with you. A person cannot be a leader if there is no one to lead. My strength is I can get to the top without question, my weakness is however, if the people around me cannot keep up then too bad for them.
The challenge I have with being a leader and why I typically do not step up to the plate in certain areas of my life, is the stagnation and complacency of people. The biggest downfall of any individual and the main symptom of wasted potential is complacency. Once a person gets stuck, they are no good. The problem is, that’s all people know how to do. In most cases people do not change unless they have to. As a person who knows this and who at his core values change, that is a disheartening fact.
When I worked as an insurance agent, every time someone did not want to buy from me, I would hope them or a family member would die unexpectedly and they be uninsured; Causing them or their family to carry that financial burden of not being prepared for when life happens. I know and knew that was a sinister way of thinking, but it goes back to my point, it takes too much for the average person to make a change; so why would someone like me want to work with people period?
And I guess the cruel joke of it all is that one, I’m a natural leader and two all I do is work with people. Whether I like it or not learning to work with people, learning how to motivate people, and being able to elevate people with me is something that I have to get good at.
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