248 – Leading as Subordinates

We rarely have the luxury of working under competent supervision. Most of the time, management is chosen from a very small group of qualified people, their main qualities being crisis management, being able to do the job of three people when necessary, and doing whatever is necessary .. even unethically .. to keep daily drama from escalating to higher levels of oversight.

You may be more suited to lead, but you must learn some things that only come with time before the greater group can benefit from your better judgment. By then, your better judgment should become even better yet. If your better judgment doesn’t improve with time, then you really wouldn’t be a better leader, you only think you would be.

Even under competent leaders, you can lead those around and above you in some capacity. Be patient and respectful always. Don’t heckle at stupidity, no matter how well-deserved. No, it won’t help educate.

Help and lighten the mood, mainly by keeping your own stuff in order. If you need extra time with your work, move out of other people’s way and kindly apologize for your mess.

I once had a table of guests who were angry about having to wait. I broke protocol, slipped in a few lines about thanking them for waiting for the other people who were also waiting. The head of the table was mildly offended, sassed at me, I sassed back that he was right, and thus we all got along great the rest of the night.

Tense situations might need a little stretch and ice breaking, but your job is to make sure that “it’s okay” when it happens. You’ll need charm and patience like this when you don’t have the authoritative powers to right the situation. Do what is within your power and practice your diplomatic wit so that you have it well mastered for when God puts you into your own leadership position.

Be an example that your superiors wish they could follow. Make crud roll downhill onto you, not uphill. Humbly suggest on occasion, but avoid being first in the line of fools to open your mouth. Do excellent work within your power that inspires all around.