December 02, 2008
Ruling / Leadership
Flexibility. Remember that word? A team of nine, two vehicles and a trailer, one leadership meeting, made for a small challenge. The end result was that the truck had to go to the home site because it had the trailer attached to it. The van would remain at Aldersgate, so that following the meeting, the leaders could rejoin the team. However, there turned out to be another little challenge – not enough seats or seatbelts. The truck holds five, maybe six, but there were seven to transport. Somehow the group decided that two people could ride in the enclosed truck bed with some assorted tools and a couple of coolers.
Now, I’m not sure what came over me. Yes, it’s true that I am usually a stickler for rules. That’s because I assume rules were created through reasoning; by someone else’s experience. I don’t make things difficult on purpose. I am not comfortable being a leader because of this. Yet, in the absence of leadership, I was next in command. And even though, I’m not usually a do-it-my-way-or-else gal, I refused to let anyone ride in back of truck.
“Absolutely not,” I declared. “Insurance issues,” I claimed in a very adamant mini-meltdown sort of way. “There needs to be a seatbelt for every one! Suppose something happened? Suppose there was an accident?”
Yes, as hard as it is to believe, there I was; assertively stamping my foot in insistence, raising my voice, and not backing down. I said to the team, “In this situation, my word is final.” I uncomfortably faced down a half-dozen anxious to get going women whose moods ranged from mildly annoyed to extremely unhappy. I then asked for one other member to volunteer to stay back with me.
After the truck and the trailer left, I sat in the van and cried. “I know I did the right thing,” I said to the remaining team member. I did not get either an agreement or denial, only a comforting pat on my hand. Once again, I had succeeded in separating and then removing myself from the group. Partly because I knew they were angry at me and partly because I had some pretty overwhelming un-hide-able emotions surfacing.
After about an hour, I vaguely explained to the surprised leaders why there were two of us sitting in the van waiting on them. I didn’t mention the meltdown or the probability that some folks were still annoyed with me. I started hoping to find a small individual project that didn’t require me to work with anyone else. I was feeling pretty awkward when we arrived at the work site, and grew even more so when I realized the rest of the team was standing in the driveway apparently anxiously waiting for us.
Posted by jaselin at December 2, 2008 08:05 PM