The Mature Manager
The most difficult circumstances are all opportunities for growth where creativity can flourish and what else are you on the planet for if not to grow?
To expect to live life without pain is to miss the point completely. Pain is a necessary and unavoidable, it provides information and it is the path to growth. If we can accept or even better, embrace this truth we are well on the path to being better managers and dare I say, happier people.
Healthy psychological and emotional development requires that we develop a sense of ourselves and this ‘sense’ provides us with the boundaries and structure we need to operate in the world. As we mature we learn what aspects of this sense are true, and which are false and we make peace with that.
As a younger man I resisted the fact that I am very sensitive to feelings (my own and others) because I did not see it as manly or strong and I lived with a big fear of being slagged by my peers about it and not being accepted by them. As I have matured I learned to embrace that aspect of myself and recognise it now as one of the greatest gifts I have. It turns out too that the friends I made really appreciated that part of me. This journey was not without bumps and difficulties and at times and at times I felt afraid and lonely. I often tried to avoid anything that wasn’t ‘happy’ or ‘comfortable’ but it was often painful experience that pushed me to know myself better, to be more authentic and to be less afraid.
Management is often a lonely and scary experience but rather than avoid that, filling the space with distraction and noise, how about a rethink?
If you have been afraid or lonely in your role as a manger then you were in a position to mature and develop and that is something ultimately to be grateful for rather than something to avoid or run away from. Are there ways to slow down when you are feeling that way, to pay attention to the information you are being given? Developing that type of reflective approach, a more open attitude to discomfort is the gateway to being a more reflective and effective manager.