Hitting the mark

Being in a position of power isn’t easy.

I have a staff member who, despite my smile, always says, “What did I do?” when I show up in his/her work area.

I have a staff member who always worries, despite his/her own awareness of his/her actions, that I’m referring to him/her when I send out a generic “Hey, guys, I got a report of X.  In the future, please be sure to do Y instead of X, okay?  Thanks.” email.

I have a staff member who always looks as though s/he is waiting for me to drop a bomb in staff meetings.

On the flip side, though…

I have a staff member who admits that s/he only says certain things when in my office, because I’ll listen and not judge.

I have a staff member who regularly thanks me for letting him/her play with new ideas and concepts.

I have a staff member who is asking for my support and pushing forward with a plan s/he drafted several years ago, diligently trying again to make things happen that still seem like the right thing to do.

Sometimes you have to be a leader.  Sometimes you have to be a manager.  I spend a lot of my time trying to be both.  They’re different jobs.  It’s not easy. One needs to control and listen, teach and retrain, where the other needs to convince and inspire, support and redirect.  A big set of skills.  I don’t have them all, as deep or as broad as I feel I need to.  I’m learning on the job every day, and going home exhausted.

But, man, if I can do this just right… hit that mark of leading and managing… with this group of people… we can do awesome things.

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