Monday, August 8, 2011

August Frustration

So I'm 38 and still trying to figure out life in a civilized society. I've always been as much introspective as I have been an observer of human behavior. But sometimes my introspection has hampered my ability to understand people. Case in point, the idea of leadership.

I've always thought that leadership meant that one person establishes a frame work to keep everyone on the same page so that the team can grow and create. Essentially, this is what I need from a leader. I need to know what needs to be done and what are the ways I can and cannot use to achieve it. As I struggle in leadership positions, it becomes more and more obvious to me that this is not what a leader should do.

Most people are not like me. Most people do not have big dreams or seek out challenges. Most people are content to just be--work some crappy job with no creativity or purpose. Now, I realize that my life would probably be easier if I was like most people. And instead of trying to break into the highly competitive and low paying gaming industry, I would go out and get a conventional job, buy a house, and raise a family. Those are good goal too and ones I aspire to. But I'm determined to do something big with my life or fail trying even if that means I accomplish nothing with my life.

Anyways, my point is that in leadership positions, I always assume other people are like me--need to be told what the end goal is and to be left alone to do it. But that's not what most people want in a leader. Most people want to be told what to do at the base level and ordered around like sheep. Most people don't care why they need to do something a certain way, needing only a general understanding that their efforts accomplish... something important. Most people are stressed out with big concepts and become easily overwhelmed, needing to be hand held through every step or they get frustrated and don't even try. As a leader, I frustrate people that need this kind of attention.

As a teacher, which is another type of leader, I'm always saddened by music students that pay to learn from me, but don't actually want to learn. As musicians go, there's a lot of kids that want to be rock stars, but don't want to do the hard work.

It's strange how people strive to be leaders and bosses despite the frustration of it. Why do we do it? We do it because we know that if we set the rules, things will get done correctly. The frustrating part is when people with less experience than us argue with us or refuse to do what you tell them to, or worse, do it their way when you're not around and end up breaking something that you didn't foresee or plan a fix for. I want to be the kind of boss that respects people and values my team. That gets to be really hard when some people want to make that as difficult as possible, and you just want to start yelling at people. Then you become that asshole boss that no one likes. I'm starting to figure out that it's easier, maybe even desirable to be an asshole boss. People complain about assholes, but maybe this is exactly what they want. If your boss is a jerk, you have stability. You know exactly what to expect. You know you're be told to do certain tasks and chewed out when you don't do them the way they're supposed to be done. If your boss is nice, you don't always know what's important because they don't yell at you when things go wrong. It's left sort of ambiguous. The nice boss will explain the good and bad of different things, leaving on you to figure out what you need to do. From my experiences, people don't like nice bosses. People feel lost with nice bosses.

I dunno. I'm just really frustrated right now.

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