Recently I’ve been asked a lot about where I see myself career wise in 5 years. I always find that a difficult question as I know where I would ultimately like to go but don’t really know how to get there.
I believe I would like to go into management and team leadership but I feel like I don’t know why.
For this post I really want to unpack the idea of leadership, basically the hows, the whys and the what. I’m a little worried this may come across a little too job interviewy so please feel free to offer that in the comments.
I think as workers we all have an idea about what a leader or a boss is as we all have had the experience of having one; be that a manager or just as some body we are accountable to. For instance, the library manager is my boss while the CE of the council’s boss is their staff, their community and the elected members. If either of us, do not deliver what is expected of us we will be accountable to these people and they have the power to remove us from our position.
So why would I want the responsibility of being in a leadership position?
Without any modesty I can say I think I would be a great leader.
I believe that the best organisation have a bottom-up model and actually listen to those on the group floor as they are the ones dealing with your user group every day. From their daily experiences they will know what your community likes about your library, what they don’t like and what they would like to see more of. While, I am quick to admit that all criticism isn’t constructive it definitely pays to listen to those at the coal face as this sort of feedback is invaluable.
Staff should be given praise when they go above and beyond and constructive criticism when necessary from their managers. This does not mean we should foster a culture of blame. If a small mistake happens sometimes it’s okay to let it go. I do not believe its ever appropriate to email a whole team about a small uncommon mistake made by one team member. This sort of thing does not encourage openness and as a leader its important that your team feels comfortable talking to you without fear of inaction, shaming tactics or outright dismissal of their concerns.
As someone looking up I believe its important that a leader be someone both liked but respected. This is a difficult to accomplish but very worthwhile if you can manage it. This means no gossiping and leading by example. Be the kind of employee, you want them to be. It’s harder to slack off when you see your leader is giving a 110%.
I want to be a leader so I can effect positive change for me, my employees and my user group. I am the sort of person who fights for the things that I believe in and am passionate about. Our industry does not need yes men who are just willing to be good enough but never put in the extra yards needed to achieve greatness. This means really pushing for staff development opportunities and training budgets. These sorts of things matter to employees and fosters loyalty to a manager and organisation.
In my experience good leadership is instrumental in have good workplace morale and staff retention. No one wants to stay at a place when you’re boss is dismissive of your ideas, never praises your good work and is gossipy about your fellow staff. So I would like to be the change I would like to see and stand up and be a leader in an industry that I’m deeply passionate about.
Please feel free to like, share or add your comments. We love to hear what you have to say. Do you agree, disagree or have a story to share? If you would like to post please email: firstname.lastname@example.org