I feel like it was about this time last year when I was not a good blogger because work was crazy, school was crazy and I was on the planning committee for our big annual conference in May. All of that is pretty much the same right now, except substitute the conference for a wedding. Kind of similar right? Both have an insane amount of details that a non-detail oriented girl like me have to figure out, which equals stress.
Additionally, this past Fall I took on a new leadership role in my office which was super exciting. I will be honest and tell you that I really thought not much would change. I would still be able to work with my students, continue on with my current responsibilities and perhaps just have more say on some important decisions that I was not involved in before.
I am still very thankful for this change, but it has no doubt been much more of a challenge than I ever expected. My promotion came during a tough year where numbers and morale have been down. So now I have additional responsibilities (not to mention a million more meetings) pulling me in different directions, the pressure of making sure I hit my goals, and am constantly in the middle of my director and my staff during some rocky interpersonal issues. I have never been more thankful of the graduate program I am currently in, it has given me so many tools and perspectives on how to deal with many issues I have encountered and I am sure WILL encounter.
I often feel that most of my day is simply trying to mediate conflict between staff members. When so and so misses an appointment, I have to address it. When so and so makes a mistake, I have to address it. You get the point. I do wish many of these simple issues were addressed directly, rather than having me be the middle man. But at the same time I get it, I am the “Assistant Director” so it is part of my job to communicate to my staff. But it also means I end up feeling like a bad guy quite often which makes it tough to maintain peer relationships with my colleagues.
Time has also become more difficult to balance. I am thankful I cut back on personal training clients when I did, because leaving work at work and not having to come in on weekends very often, is just not my reality anymore. But that is okay. I love my job, I love what I do and this is a good challenge. This is a tough but good learning experience.
Leadership is a funny thing. It seems like such a desirable place to be, but it is not as glamorous as everyone thinks. There are so many tough situations involved and there are times when you have to challenge people against their will. Sometimes you have to suck it up and be okay with the fact that other people will be saying negative things about you. It is not easy. You don’t WANT to upset people, you don’t WANT to make people angry or unhappy…you are just trying to do your job. Often times others do not realize what goes on behind closed doors or why certain decisions are made in the first place, but you still have to respect how those decisions affect them. I know I was naive to many of these things when I first started out.
At the end of the day, we just have to do our best. We are all here for the same purpose…students. We have to make the best decisions for the common good but also never forget that every decision (no matter how small) has some kind of consequence on everybody, and to acknowledge that. SAPPY ALERT: It is times like these I am also so thankful for Shain. When I go home and vent about my frustrations he listens… but he never lets me just stay there in that negative state (which sometimes drives me nuts). He challenges me to think differently, to try a variety of approaches and he motivates me to press on and keep the faith. For that I am blessed in this big ole mess 😉