Leadership Skills

Short version: I don’t have any.

Long Version: As I’ve mentioned before, I would very much like to study theology if possible. As I was looking over application forms, thinking, and praying, there is something that keeps coming up and bothering me. Generally, if someone tells me what to do, how to do it, and puts me in a room with other people who are also doing something of the sort, I’ll do quite a nice job at whatever it is, though more haphazardly than I’d like to admit. This goes as much for projects I must design myself as anything else. But initiative and leading… not so much. Just ask me to do something vague that I’ve never done before, and chances are high that it just won’t happen, or will happen in a debiliattingly haphazard fashion. I’ve been known to say that this is just a temperamental trait, and there’s nothing I can do about it, but that’s neither hopeful, nor is it true. Like most people, I simply don’t yet know how to do things that I don’t know how to do, nor even the proper way in which to do them. Unlike some people, I also fear networking to learn how to do these things, as a kind of imposition. Most of my life already feels like an imposition in some form or another, and it seems a little unfair that even doing something helpful would be the same. Besides, the year and a quarter I spent trying to teach mostly destroyed whatever self-confidence I had to begin with, suggesting as a kind of law that nobody will possibly be interested in anything I have to say, for its own sake (as something other than fear of failing a course or humoring me out of pity). Not that I had much confidence to begin with: even before I would be nervous about visiting the sick mostly out of an underlying conviction that I would be inconveniencing them and making things unnecessarily awkward. I would assume that people only invited me to do things out of good manners.

This is all sounding very bleak. It is kind of bleak. So then what? If my default way of operating in the world is as what Aristotle called a “natural slave” — that’s not any good. Like other people don’t have enough on their minds without having to tell me what to do and assure me of its helpfulness as well? What might I do toward establishing some other way of operating in the world?

One thought on “Leadership Skills

  1. There are many different styles of leadership and people with (our) temperament type do excel at one if not more of them. And don’t forget that temperament controls preference, not aptitude. So you can be any kind of leader, it just may be painful. I think this is where I would segway into that philosophical debate on judging the worth of deeds based on whether you would naturally do them or not (I forget who that was).

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