When I was a kid I used to get told off for being too bossy. That makes sense, I was the only child/grandchild and I didn’t have other kids to bounce off. So the adults would scold me for my instructions, and adults don’t like being what to do by a kid.
Then, 25 years later I joined the Royal Navy and my ability to “boss” received a righteous reboot.
Although, this wasn’t without challenge. I would constantly worry, hearing my family’s words in my head about not being so bossy.
As a result, I wasn’t very “military” overall.
I would have a strong grasp of the steps that needed to be taken to complete a complex multi-faceted task – but would leave this vital information and perspective in the depths of my brain, and unbeknownst to those around me.
“Shhh 🤫 don’t be bossy”, I would tell myself. And I would keep my head down and let others do the dictating.
Then the whole concept of leadership came on my radar.
And I realised management is more about being bossy – ie knowing what and who needs to be where, when and how we’re gonna do it.
Leadership … whole different kettle of fish.
Here, it became more about gaining a greater understanding of someone following, then go from there together.
The WHY being the forgotten element from the management model.
In my new roles, I’m conscious of deploying the command hand.
People around me are not mine to boss. And they have their own agenda and preferred ways of working.
And when I’m stuck, I might ask myself…
How might take an approach to better enable this person to follow?
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