Wednesday, November 09, 2005

How do you learn unleadership?

You know you love what you're doing when your breaktimes consist of switching from one type of work to another, and you like it that way. Ah, life. I'm still terrible at handling it in a mature, adultlike manner, but gosh, it's grand - and I'm learning.

I've been reminded lately of a quote from the Tao Te Ching. "The best rulers... when their task is accomplished, their work done, the people all remark 'We have done it ourselves.'" But how do you learn to lead without leading?

I lead a lot. Too much. I always feel like I'm "taking over" something, be it a classroom, a discussion, a team, a group, whatever. I can't contain my energy, so it ends up just whooshing off and dragging me behind it until we all get exhausted. I take ownership, but while I never intend to keep other people from taking it - in fact, I would be thrilled if they grabbed it back - the fact that I've already taken an initiative sometimes discourages others from doing the same.

How do you make that encouraging instead of discouraging? How do you make it an inspiration to take ownership instead of an impulse to sit back and relinquish control?

How do you get other people to lead?

The ironic thing is that I don't even like leading. Or at the very least, I dislike enjoying leadership. I want to be a reluctant leader, but sometimes I just... go. And then step back and think "what have I just done?"

Must... shut... mouth...more. Must follow.

...ironically, this will make me a better leader.

1 comment:

timsmith said...

AAAAAAAAAAAH I know exactly what you mean! ><