Wednesday, September 19, 2007

a beacon of light

Today was the first day of my two-day seminar in Management. I thought to myself this was probably going to be one of those seminars about management, theories, principles and blah blah. I think I have attended a lot already and I was not expecting much of it. I was hoping I'd learn something new though.

Our first exercise was to group ourselves in five and do some sharing. We were to say our name and tell the group how long we've been with the company and then think of an object that could best describe us as a leader. We were five in the group and the other four managers described themselves as a mirror, a magnifying lense, a peg in a puzzle and a goose. They had their reasons of course. When it was my turn to share all I could think about was a beacon of light, like a lighthouse.

As a leader or a manager, I see myself as a torch of light that illuminates over the people as they go about their daily task, a light that guides them to the right direction. It could be in a form of encouragement, mentoring, technical support, or coaching. It is my duty to keep my light as bright as I could and take good care of it so that it will always be well lighted.

Suddenly I was again made aware of the great responsibility I had over my team. Am I just a manager or a leader? If I were not in my position would these people still follow me? If I were just me would they still listen to what I was saying?

If you are a manager then you probably know how busy our days are like. Our work life is measured in terms of success rate, timelines and goals. But every successful project or every goal achieved could not have happened without the most important part of leadership and that is the people. Without them, we wouldn't be called leaders.

There are no hard or fast rules about becoming a good leader, although there have been a lot of books written about it, it does not guarantee success. And I have read quite a lot too!

John Quincy Adams says, "If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, and become more then you are a leader."


akanksha said...

Very Well written....i couldnt ever understand the difference between a leader and a manager but u made me do so.I was never a management student but i had Organizational Behavious as a subject in my PG and i had a tough time differentiating between the two..and could never ever mark a clear difference.But finally today, i know it all.Thanks :-)

louann said...

THat is true. And I look for the "human" side of a manager. It makes me more effective and passionate about the job that I do when I have a manager who I love.

Sophiagurl said...

@@@Akanksha - Hey, I'm glad I was of help. Actually it's a little hard differentiating between the two sometimes. =) Have a great day!

@@@Louann -sometimes it's hard to see that especially if they're so into their roles, but I make sure that my team knows I AM human haha. thanks for the visit=)

Colin said...

Great post my friend :)

To be a leader/manager requires good inter-personal skills and the ability to have staff that you can relate to, as they look toward you to guide them and advise them in so many ways.

My management days are long gone, so now I have to answer to myself.....guess what? I'm usually right LOL

Have a great evening :)

Sophiagurl said...

@@@Colin - and boy aren't you the lucky one my friend hahaha!

I bet you're always right! LOL. Have a great weekend.