Hallelujah Highway

Celebrating the Journey

You’re Not the Boss of me! ~ Rae

on September 17, 2014

I have never seen myself as a “boss” or even a potential boss. The thought actually scares me. I feel that I am in no position to tell someone how to do their job or to get lost if they don’t do it right. When anyone asks what I do for a living I still say high school English teacher, because in my soul that IS what I am even though I haven’t been in the classroom for the last 4 years.  Officially I should say I am a school district administrator, the Coordinator of Secondary Education. Sounds so fancy right?

Whatever my title may be I see myself as a minion, a person who’s job is to help my fellow teachers with their jobs. I am comfortable with the idea that my purpose is to serve those brave teachers who battle against ignorance every day. That job feels noble and honorable.

Yet, I have heard some people say I am their boss. My friends make the joke but some teachers have said it in seriousness. It makes me shudder.

I am not sure what makes me so uncomfortable with the idea. Maybe it’s the idea that some equate being a “Boss” to having “Power”. I do not crave power nor need it. The concept of having “power” makes me think of when I taught my former students the moral of the play Antigone, “Absolute power corrupts absolutely.”  I have had bosses in the past who were worthless and made my job harder than it needed to be.  It worries me when I work with those who seem power hungry. Being a “boss” seems to have the potential for someone to lead by fear and not example.

Power

Hmmmm —- LEADING. Maybe that is the difference between a tyrant and an inspiration – the way a person leads?  Some individuals lead by example, some lead by non-example and others lead by domination or apathy.

While I cannot see myself as a boss, I can see myself working on becoming a better leader.  And if I am to be any sort of leader I will choose to be a Servant Leader. I do not want to tell others what to do. I would rather come alongside them and work with them towards solutions or completion of tasks.

 I would rather work with a large group of individuals with differing opinions that strive to come to consensus than dictate what I, in my simple limited view point, think everyone should do. True – sometimes having too many “cooks in the kitchen” can seem tedious. However it is often the outlier who brings the most creative idea or who sees the flaws in the plans of the many. As a Servant Leader I would like to make sure everyone is heard before decisions that affect everyone are made.

I realize there are times when decisions must be made, and there are times when co-workers are not holding up their end of the job. There does need to be a boss who can make the hard choices and hold accountable all who work together. We all get that.  Perhaps it is a balance between knowing when to direct and when to listen? Perhaps it is the flexibility to move from decision maker to conversation starter?

Maybe being a decent boss is about being able to tell when to lead, when to follow, when to guide, when to decide and even when to ignore….

I still have a long way to go before I feel I have mastered any of that. For now I will continue to try to be a servant leader and if I ever do feel confident enough to become a “BOSS”, I pray I will have the balance and not search for power but instead search for ways to lead that inspire.  For now my heart still believes being a teacher is the calling I have no matter what title I may have.


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