Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Friend, Manager, Leader

Finding one reason I may have been brought here yesterday.

I am having an internal confrontation in myself between being a friend, a manager, and a leader. One I do very well, one I do passably well, and one I don't do very well at all. It is an issue because it impacts not only my professional life, but my personal life as well.

I realized last week that at the end of December, I will have a manager for 10 years. This is an exceptionally long time to be a manager, especially as I have moved from company to company several times. Originally I came up with other reasons, like it was different bosses, or I came out of the industry and in, or that I came to a new portion of the industry. But in considering it, I have begun to wonder if it is not if fact something within me that keeps me here.

Not that I want to be something beyond a manager necessarily (yes, it's inevitably more money) for the title, but I am realizing that I want more of the personal development that inevitably goes along with it. A leader or manager - a good one, anyway - has skill sets which are valuable in every walk of life, not just in the working world.

And so I sit, looking at the walls that I have become pressed up against and am unable to get through. I intuitively understand that I have reached this limit and that I need to go through the wall, but I do not see the mechanism that I can use to get over, under or around it.

The other issue I need to confront - the one that weighs heavily on me - is the changes that will inevitably occur.

I have a need to be liked. On the one hand, it's a great tool for friendship and certain managerial and departmental relationships - after all, a pleasant person is always better to deal with, and people pleasers will go long lengths to be pleasant. On the other hand, one becomes handicapped into making certain decisions by the fact one is not dealing with reports or employees but friends. As well, if one simply starts changing it creates issues with the ones around you, who do not always understand or appreciate the change and so react as it has upset the relational applecart.

And so I seem to sit here at this precipice, hanging over the edge of doing and becoming. realizing that action must be taken if I am to grow, but shying away from the actions and all the consequences they entail.

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