Follow the leader

This subject is a big one for me. To be honest I have kind of waited for this one to finally make its way to my blog. Leadership. What does it mean to me and people around me. I find it really strange sometimes that I wonder about what makes a good leader and if it can be taught. This and several other things that course through my head plague the very being of who I want to become down the road.

Do I want to be that guy who tells everybody what to do and how to do it or do I want to be known as the lazy good for nothing that does less than the common house fly? Over several years of working in a customer service environment I have witnessed many personality types and some that are more dominant than others. Very few have actually been the ones I both envy but also would like to aspire to closely resemble one day.

The one thing that really keeps flashing is the traits of what a leader is and should be. Qualities that I feel are important to not just a work environment but in everyday life as well. But really what are these so called traits, habits methods or whatever it is that makes people be a good or even great leader. Better yet was is the difference between a leader and a boss? Or is there even one?

Those two questions keep ringing in my head and will not go away. I think back on my previous job and wonder why the store went through so many managers. Was it because they couldn’t hang with how busy the store was or something else? Was it the daily barrage of customers who couldn’t even read simple rules written on a piece of paper like it was ancient Aramaic to them? Or was it the person themselves? Over the years I would notice the little things that they would do and how they acted and reacted to their surroundings.

These little peccadilloes, or nuances, are what defined their management style. Some were aggressive while some were more passive than others. One in particular never cared about the customers and treated the place like his personal playpen. Of course some of those characteristics still reside within me and I take notice of them when I am at work. Often times it makes me sad to see people in power that don’t deserve it. The ones that get a high from knowing they have the power. The “boss” personality if you will. I have, for the longest time, felt that there is a difference between being a boss and a manager.

This brings me to a previous class I took and what personality type I was. Upon reading the type of person I was, I was a little surprised but not shocked. It said I would make a good manager. This kept ringing in my head because I kept thinking about how many people would ask me if I was ever going to be a manager when I was working at Pluto’s and even now at Starbucks. I still stick to my guns and refuse because I don’t like being in power. I mean I do but when I know I have to. That sounds a little off but a lot of the reasoning behind this is because I think and analyze the big picture and always, always think of the future. One trait I picked up from my previous managers.

I have to say though that the greatest lesson I ever received was that when you are trying to get a co-worker to do something it all comes down to how you phrase what you want from them. Tone of voice is extremely important. You don’t want to come off as the jerk and tell them but you also don’t want to be meek and feeble to the point they feel like they can easily walk all over you.

All these thoughts and ideas of me being a leader have been playing in my mind ever since that class started and finished. I can never escape it and I know that I am more than capable of being a good leader. Why? I think of those around me and how they feel before myself. It will be a fun journey these next two years.


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