Becoming a leader …

I try to write regularly, but the past week had me focused on some other things – enjoying my mini-man before he left on vacation with his papa, working hard at finishing up my position with dignity, and putting effort into healing myself.  A lot of things which ended up taking most of my energy – I had just enough left to shower!

But here I am … back!  Writing for this blog is very cathartic for me, but it also allows me to explore my thoughts in such a way to offer more clarity to and insight into my own soul.  For that I am grateful.  For the feedback I receive – thank you ever so much!

I have a few topics lingering on my mind that I will be writing about, but today … today I need to get out what is on my mind most – what my thoughts drift back to because I am not yet over it.  I had a job where I was good, I was getting things done, and I was making a positive impact with my employees.  I had a small staff of seven to eight people.  I had five bosses.  But … I was good.  I made mistakes, like everyone, but at the end of the day, I was shocked at how much work I accomplished daily.  There was a period of two months where all hell broke loose – I was fresh in the position still, had another new member of the management team, and my right hand person resigned.  A lot of things got done last minute and some things were forgotten if not essential.  That’s what happens when there is such a huge transition.  I did not get the advantage of having the previous manager get me up to speed on projects – I struggled through with the help of that right hand person, and then I was alone.  I worked hard to make sure the rest of my staff did not have to feel that; I would put aside my duties to make sure they had the information and support they needed to keep plugging through.  Unfortunately, when I would not back down, some took it upon themselves to weave stories of conspiracy and loathing, which affected me and my staff.

My problem was that I actually believed in myself.  I knew what I knew and I knew what I did not know.  I stood my ground on a lot of issues.  I had to work for people who respected me and some who did not.  There were people who knew what they did not know and leaned on me.  There were people who decided they did not need to be educated by someone who worked for them.  Yet, they hired me, because I have experience and because I have a doctorate degree.  I know what I know.  I do not know what I do not know.  End of story.

I was offered a new job, more in line with my expertise, better working conditions, and with people who respect me.  Even more, they came to me with an offer, did not hesitate when I countered, and have been nothing but supportive.  I took the opportunity.  I was nervous, and still am, but am also walking through the doors that open.  I resigned my position, to anger or indifference, depending on the person.  I had wrongfully assumed that this would ease some of the tension and allow me to support my staff and offer the transition management that was needed.

There were numerous times throughout my being in this position where I was worn down and went home believe I was failing – maybe I did not know anything.  I would beat myself up for not being better, more organized, having managed my time better, etc.  I would spend time thinking about this issue or that, taking phone calls at night, or putting in more research, taking time and attention away from my son.  It was too much and necessitated the change.

Ultimately, I was going to be asked to vacate my position before my last day.  It was going to be a big scene and I did not want to wait for that, so I proactively decided to leave after three weeks, instead of four.  In doing so, I fear I have let down my staff and many others who I had worked with on numerous projects.

Why do I write all of this?  Because yesterday I was sad and upset.  But today … today I can look at things and see that God is working, as He always does, guiding me to the doors he has opened wide.  And in case I still wasn’t getting it, I received a text message from four of the seven staff members I had to leave – one asking a question, three checking in on me, with one person stating “[you] are an excellent person and leader that cared more about her staff than herself.”

When all is said and done in my life, I can look back recognize patterns and recognize changes in myself.  I stand my ground and I am unyielding – open-minded to a lot, but unyielding on my integrity.  I continue to educate myself and grow in a lot of ways, learning how to better myself and become better for those that I serve, both as my employees and as my ‘client.’ I have never been that good at being a follower, but if the messages I’ve gotten from my employees are any indication, damn if I am not a good leader.

I do believe I am starting to like the person I’m becoming.




About Tired Little Birdie

Daydreaming is one of the best parts of my day, aside from running around with my mini-man. I am a single mom, a Ph.D., a teacher, a professional, a writer, a photographer, and generally a mess. Life is spontaneous and beautiful and heartbreaking and I am here writing about it all. Some days are more serious than others, but all in all, we are all just winging it through life.
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