Tuesday, July 20, 2010


One of the more challenging (and vexing) duties of  a manager is to balance the needs of the organization vs the needs of its productive workers. The vexing part was always why I avoided leadership roles like the plague. I didn't want to have any kind of responsibility because (and I saw this in a movie once) being "responsible" was "being the guy everyone else blamed" if things went south.

Where I live, things are often expected to go south:  traffic laws are routinely broken, socks are mismatched, zippers break at embarrassingly crucial times, someone else has gotten to your food or bonus long before you were supposed to. These Islands are Third World after all.  I knew from the get-go that the prospects for failure are often more likely than those for success. It followed that being "responsible" was (to my seven-year-old brain) something thankless and futile and generally not worth trying.

Someone should have told me back then that responsible people got things done in spite of the likelihood of failure, and that not all failures were catastrophic. Maybe I wouldn't have been so afraid to take choice jobs or responsibilities when they were presented to me.

Now, I'm responsible for the well-being of half the teaching staff at my place of work. I've had to make decisions that are neither completely kosher with upper management nor satisfying to the people in my care. I must proceed with tact, with wisdom, with other qualities not traditionally associated with me. 

I can appreciate the irony of being in a management position where lots of things can potentially go south. 

C'est la vie.  


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