It’s not my natural inclination to be the boss.
Despite this, I’ve been the boss for a while now. I wasn’t hired for this job; rather, the position became mine by default.
My job description: to be in charge, to call the shots, to possess answers, to put things in motion. To be the heart of our home, the one to whom the rest of the family goes with questions, issues, permission. Everyone looks to you for guidance. Everyone is playing follow the leader; you are the leader.
Had I been given the choice, I would have turned the job down. Leading isn’t really my strength. A good leader allocates work to others depending on their own skills and abilities. She visualizes the work that needs to be done, and develops a team to do the work in the most efficient, harmonious, and productive way possible. She knows everything; she thrills at the challenge at creating a hive of industry. A boss is a taskmaster, but also the rule maker and judge.
Some people relish these positions and rise to the occasion when offered. In contrast, I am depleted by them; many moving parts overwhelm me, and I prefer solo endeavors. Productivity is appealing, but I like the freedom to do my own work without interruption. I’m not a good delegator, preferring to plug away on my own rather than explain the work to someone else. I become impatient when people don’t understand or listen the first time around. I don’t like questions, and I’m a little bit of a perfectionist. You’re doing it wrong. I’ll take care of it. Find something else to do. Please - someplace else.
In the past, they’ve ignored my pleas for solace. They crawled over me, hands and feet and volatile and endless emergent needs in my way. Progress seemed slow; my own work was easily derailed. I questioned my qualifications. The years since then brought them maturity, and with it mobility, independence, confidence. More and more, they go away to lead themselves. I feel badly; I miss them. I don’t really need help – there’s nothing to be done. Come back. I want you. Later, they say. In a minute, tomorrow, next week.
It’s never right. I want what I don’t have. Chastising myself, I re-evaluate my position – what was my role, again? To lead, but also to encourage. To pull people in, give them what they need to succeed, show them the path, and guide them when they stray.
I look at them, and realize my success; despite my natural inclination to shy away from the challenge of being in charge, I’ve done okay. The people I lead are good quality people. They do what they’re supposed to do. Imperfect, yes, but there is always room to grow. Today, I can see how they’ve bloomed under my guiding hand. I feel rather acutely that my position is changing. I look forward to their future.
I’ve been a good boss so far.
This post inspired by:
Prompt #2: Write a post where the first and last sentences contain any form of the word “boss.”