To prevent any misunderstandings, I’m going to preface this by saying that I love my boss. Not love love; it’s not like that. But as a boss, he’s quite awesome. He’s a nice guy, is supportive of my professional goals and concerns, and is very pro-work/life balance, which I really respect.
But this week he is on vacation. Our team of five is down to four and I’m pretty much running the show. And I’m surprised to say, I kind of dig it.
Why surprised? A lot of people (maybe even all six of my lovely readers) will read this and think, “Duh. Working for other people sucks.” And I get that some people chafe under the authority of others. I am not one of those people. I rather like being led and having guidance.
I don’t really enjoy telling other people what to do or being responsible for them, so I have never considered myself to be the leadership type. I think I’m more of the minion type, one who is given instructions, puts her head down, and gets stuff done. I tend to be pretty happy in that zone.
But the cool thing about being in charge is that I am suddenly in control of timing. Things are getting done when I want them done, because I’m doing them, rather than waiting for someone else to do them when they are good and ready. In a job that has constant urgent deadlines to adhere to, this is very exciting. (You might ask why I don’t do these things normally, if it makes me so happy. It’s because GAAP, IFRS, and SOX all say I can’t. Look them up if you want, but I wouldn’t advise it. It’s very boring reading.)
So all this week, despite having just as much work as I always have — possibly more — instead of being super-stressed by the deadlines and the people who want everything right this second, I’m feeling really zen about it all. Not having to wait for other people to do things before I can do the things I need to do means that I can get a lot more done. My efficiency is fantastic and I’m completely calm, because I know exactly what I can finish without depending on people who have different priorities.
I thought the added responsibility and work would be difficult and stressful for me, but it’s been the opposite. I have complete ownership over what is going on in my department, and as a result (possibly because deep down I don’t actually trust anyone but me to do things right), I feel confident that everything is going to be fine. And it is.
So what is this? I have never, ever seen myself in a leadership role. I am an excellent follower, dammit! That sounds silly, but this is provoking an identity crisis for me. I am apparently not who I thought I was on Sunday. Maybe I don’t know myself at all. Maybe I want completely different things from what I think I want. Maybe everything I thought I knew was a lie!
It’s all extremely confusing.