Leadership Does Not Mean Management
I am considered in the middle of my career. I’ve been in my industry of choice for 17 years and while I know it’s supposably never too late to change, I enjoy myself and position and don’t wish to start over with something else. My career path has always included a hybrid of having a plan but always allowing myself to look at all opportunities that come my way. However, the further I inch along my career path, gaining new skills and taking on new responsibilities, the more I lose the insight of what my goals really are. A natural progression in most industries is the higher you climb; the role of supervisor inevitably
creeps in. A role in leadership becomes synonymous with manager.
Not my thing. Not my goal. At least not right now.
There are too many books and TED Talks to count on what the meaning of leadership truly is and how to pursue being the best leader you can be. What if someone doesn’t want to have a titled leadership position such as a supervisor or manager? I want to still be seen as a leader at my job as well as in the industry. I want the focus of my position as I move forward to be on project management, not on people management. It has taken me a while to understand that being a successful leader doesn’t amount to how many people you yield responsibility over, but rather how you interact and treat those you work with. Being respected for having integrity in everything you do has an impact on those around you. It
means taking action with those who may need help, whether directly with a project or through mentorship. Not having the desire to supervise a staff shouldn’t block someone from progression in their career.
Once I was able to be honest with myself and scratch a supervisor position from my goals, I have been able to open myself up to new opportunities and better understand what attributes really matter to me in my career path going forward.