Thursday, July 30, 2015

The Boss

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.


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This post inspired by:


Prompt #2: Write a post where the first and last sentences contain any form of the word “boss.”

15 comments:

  1. I am so not the boss. Nope. I'm a backseat "Jesus or whoever wants it" take the wheel and I'll follow type of person -- then I became the mom and my husband was like "Wife you've got the nipples you take the wheel" and I was like what?
    Don't question that -- breastfeeding.
    Anyways.
    Parenting is definitely a new ballgame and you have to really take charge. I absolutely love your take on this. Brilliantly written!! I love this -- 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. --- I question myself a lot but when I look at my son, he's doing hella good which means I'm doing ok.
    Keep it up Boss Momma :)

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    1. Thank you so much! Your comment is the best. "You got the nipples you take the wheel" -- pretty much how it goes, huh?

      Thanks for being on my team - the backseat, hey, who's driving this thing? - one. Turns out we're rockstars after all. :)

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  2. Great words of truth, expressed so eloquently! And may I say, I wholeheartedly agree that you definitely have some quality people you've led!! Way to go!

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    1. Ahhh, thanks Jess! And I can absolutely return the compliment to you. :)

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  3. I loved reading your words. They ring so true for my life as well. Luckily I have a while before they start leaving me alone. So right now I will enjoy the showers with eyes watching, the "what are you doing" every two seconds, and the "I want to come" when ever I try to get a minute to myself. Thank You for sharing.

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    1. Thank you so much! Yes. Enjoy this time. All the cliches you hear - "It will be over before you know it" - they are 100% true.

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  4. I can completely and totally relate to this. Except mine are a tad younger and still need me more than they like to admit. ;)

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    1. And in just a little while you'll find that you're helping them a little more than they need to be helped. xo

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  5. Oh, this hits home here. I'm not a natural born leader and I don't like being in charge; I'm happiest if you give me my tasks and leave me to finish them in the quiet of my corner. Despite being fully unqualified for the job - how do you teach confidence when you lack it yourself? How do you teach someone to stand up for themselves when you know you would have reacted the exact same way at 9?

    But when I unintentionally slipped into my 11yo's sandals and was shocked to see they were almost too big, I realized that they weren't little any more, and too soon they would be off on their own. And they seem to have turned out more than all right, so far, so I'm doing better than I thought.

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    1. I'm so glad you can relate to this. I freely admit that I'm winging it as a parent, and my nature is to second guess everything. Realizing that we are doing better than we thought is such a relief. I'm glad I'm in good company here. :)

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  6. Reading your post as well as the comments so far, I can tell that I've met my tribe here. I much prefer being in the background doing my thing than having to be the one at the front leading the charge. Amazingly enough though, my kids seem to have thrived under my care and have become smart, independent, confident teens. Maybe I'm not such a bad leader after all.

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    1. We lead by letting them lead, perhaps? :)

      Knowing that so many other 'bosses' out there share my thoughts is very validating. Thank you for sharing this with me!

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  7. So much of this is familiar even though mine are still in the 'endless needs' stage. I love that you can now see signs of your success as the boss. Congrats for that! Some days I think I'll call it a win if mine can just figure out how to make a piece of toast without burning down the house.

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  8. Yes, yes you are.
    I see a lot of myself in how you describe yourself - preferring to do things myself because my way is better, it's quicker and I have no patience to show people how it's done.
    I can't say yet if I've done well at this job. Still. Slogging.
    For the record, I think your people are excellent. Well done, Andrea!

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  9. I can relate to this so much! I don't think I realized getting into this what a boss I was going to need to become. But I'm glad I chose it anyway.

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