I love “my group”:http://juniorbird.com/archives/001043.html this semester, but they’re very different from “last semester’s group”:http://juniorbird.com/archives/000675.html. In The Ocho, leadership was a sort of rotating affair — everybody was inclined to take leadership, at least some of the time, and if I didn’t want to be in charge I’d just wait and someone else would take the reins. But Group A-6 is different. There’s some evidence that I might actually be “in charge here”:http://www.rinfret.com/ah.html.
Which is definitely not to say that there aren’t five other potential leaders in my group. I’ve seen several other group members take leadership roles in the past, and everyone’s aggressive and on top of things. But, for some reason, people look to me. They run ideas past me, they ask me what to do — the financial guys even bother to explain things to me rather than just working around the gaps in my knowledge and understanding. Camraderie? Sure.
But it also has something to do with my leadership habits. One of my specific traits is to “keep things going” — I keep track of time, of goals, make sure we keep on target. I’m aggressive about this, I speak up about it. And now it’s like I’m speaking up about everything. And everyone’s listening to me!
And that’s bad for me. Not because I don’t like being in charge, because oh boy I do (and I’d hope that I wouldn’t be in b-school if I didn’t); it’s bad because I like to lead by consensus. I like to have buy-in from those I lead for any decision. This is a situation with a lot of buy-in, and that just encourages this trait in me.
Buy-in is good, but it’s not always possible. There will always be hold-outs, and, as a leader, sometimes you need to tell those people what to do. I’m not good at telling people what to do. Just my luck, I’d get a leadership opportunity in a positive situation that doesn’t tax me.