Although I would like to be a leader in my own life, I remain confused about many things. When I began to write this blog post, my mind floated over everything that happened at work and outside of the office this past week.
At work, I manage (on a daily basis) everything from payroll, to coordinating and facilitating school tours, to volunteer recruitment, training, and management, to scheduling, booking, and handling files from home energy audits – suffice to say, I write a lot of emails on a daily basis. I’m proud that I generally manage to keep everything straight, and stay on top of tasks. This week I had the additional challenge of extracurricular tasks, including lecturing a second year university class on the volunteer management of hiking trails and preparing for a committee meeting (related to the preservation of historic fencing artefacts) at a weekend event in Kitchener.
Unlike in my university days, when every goal and task was targeted towards one thing (i.e. graduating), I now see my daily accomplishments as completely disparate, scattered, and disconnected. Even my interests and social groups strain to find a common thread – I know people of many ages, backgrounds, and life pursuits.
On a quiet evening mid-week, I took a breather from all the crazy scheduling madness by watching a movie called Exodus: Gods and Kings (2014). I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it, though with Ridley Scott as director and Christian Bale in the lead role, it shouldn’t have come as a surprise. In my university days, I took a class with Professor James Diamond at the University of Waterloo, and wrote a paper – tangentially related to this entire conversation, yet coincidentally central – about Moses and his experience of leadership.
So, I refer you here to that paper, and invite you to think about what it means for leadership and the qualities of being a good leader. I re-read this paper after watching Exodus, and during my own existential questioning of my purpose and goals in life, and found it to be a good return to key points, namely:
- Engaging with planned risks;
- Accepting isolation as a path to strengthened character, and;
- Pursuit of justice over personal power.
Despite being confused and scattered in my goals, there are broader-level personality traits which everyone can develop to become a stronger leader!