There’s a little known secret about me (I honestly have no clue how well known it is) that I have long avoided being ‘The Boss’. There have been a number of situations in which I’ve been offered management positions, or at least had the concept mentioned to me, and I’ve always turned it down. This isn’t to say I haven’t had management experience, it’s just always been somewhat unofficial. I’ve run teams, project managed, and a whole host of other things which ultimately come down to the concept of “management”, but when it really comes down to it, if someone asks me if I want to be in charge, I am pretty darn quick to say no.
It’s not that I think I’d be a bad boss. I just don’t want to be the boss. I don’t want to be in charge. I don’t want to be responsible for other people in that way (yeah, I know, I have three kids, so I’ve obviously failed in that regard of avoiding responsibility). I don’t mind being the person who takes responsibility, however. I generally work as the lead on many projects and am always ready to be the one to step forward and accept blame for things that happen along the way. I don’t mind getting into the line of fire by any means. Even back in my early days of food service, I would typically just handle the customer problems and find ways to make them happy, instead of feeling the need to bring a manger into it. In fact, I don’t believe the words “Can I speak to your manager?” were ever once spoken to me in my many years in customer-facing positions.
I’ll get things done, and I’ll work toward leading teams to success…but for whatever reason, I’ve never been interested in being officially “The Boss”.
However, regardless of all my attempts to avoid this fate of leadership, it turns out I am now “The Boss”, or “Mr. Manager” as my much preferred moniker.
No matter how many times I tell the employees of the bakery how I’m not their boss, they keep telling me that I’m wrong. They come to me when there are customer issues (when I’m in the store anyway), and look for me to give the gladiatorial combat thumb up or down. While I’ve still got my wife as the absolute head honcho, it turns out, I’ve found myself in somewhat of a place of management.
And I still don’t really want it.
Especially considering how the employees at this shop know way more about the place we own than I do right now. I’m obviously hoping that won’t last too long, but for right now, when they come to ask me what to do about something, I often have to wonder what they did before I was there, or sometimes, even straight out ask them.
So, yeah, I’m a manager, I guess…just not a very good one. At least not yet.