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Toxicity.

Toxicity.

I recently saw a quote on Facebook from Jill Blakeway:

“When a toxic person can no longer control you, they will try to control how others see you.”

Immediately when I read it, I thought about that particular know-it-all.  

We had one specific instance where I wanted something, she knew that I wanted it, and she went out of her way to ensure that I did not get it. And this hurt.  What bothered me the most was that she drug innocent people who did not know our history (of disagreements and dislike) into the fold. 

This instance required a majority vote, and the vote favored the other party that this person sought out. Not only did the know-it-all seek out an alternative because she deeply felt I was not worthy, but she persuaded others to vote against me as well.  This hurt even more.

The quote from Blakeway continues:

“The misinformation will feel unfair, but stay above it, trusting that other people will eventually see the truth, just like you did.”

While I would like to think I’m over this particular situation, truth is, it still stings to think about. But I think that’s why people such as these are referred to as toxic. It takes awhile to feel relief from the symptoms.

Leader.

Leader.

When I think of the words “leader” or “leadership”, part of me wants to roll my eyes at the fluffiness. The terms “manager” and “management” just sounds stronger, more determined and more focused.

When I think of a manager, I think of someone who calls people out on their bullshit. He or she is a numbers person. They get down to business, make the tough decisions, streamline processes, and increase profits. When I think of a leader, the first thing that comes to my mind is people. Leaders are people oriented, while managers are business oriented. A person in a position of leadership needs to excel at both.

But here’s what I think…

People are at the heart of everything we do. Brené Brown says humans are wired to connect with one another. They say the number one reason employees stay at their jobs is because of the friendships they make with coworkers.

The skills of a leader outshine the skills of a manager. Yet, leadership skills seem to be highly underrated.

Leadership is hard to define. And this is coming from someone who has been trained in leadership! There’s talk about “natural born leaders”, and while I think there’s some truth to the thought, I think you need to want to be a leader in order to lead.

Leadership is not for the faint of heart, and there is much, much more to it than what people understand on the surface. When I discuss leadership concepts with people, they agree and may even tell a story that justifies their understanding. But unless they practice what they preach, I have little respect for their opinion. There’s a big difference in thinking and doing, and it’s leaders that differentiate one from the other.