Friday, September 07, 2007

Hey Poser.....Yea, You in the Mirror!

Wow! Was I slapped hard in the face on Wednesday night! No, I didn’t physically get slapped by another grad student or our professor. Rather, I was slapped hard by a gut wrenching reality, that I just may be a poser.

I knew I was a poser when I was younger, when I tried taking up the art of skateboarding. I thought I was all cool riding down the street getting ½” air on my ollies. Needless to say I gave that sport up quickly. But, Wednesday night, I had the unfortunate realization that I may just still be a poser…….a leadership poser!

If you checked out Tim Johnson’s recent blog, you’ll have realized that our leadership class was discussing Steve Farber’s book, The Radical Leap. In his book, Steve differentiates between a true leader, and a poser (one that brings the talk, but fails to walk). As we discussed the book as a class we began to list various qualities of “the poser.”

· Fear – of risks, of empowering employees, etc
· Deflection – “quit picking on me” vs accountability for one’s actions
· Failure to Follow Through on Promises – a lot of “talkin,” but no “walkin”
· Put other’s down, just to build themselves up


This was the moment that I was broadsided by the big right palm of reality. It was self reflection time once again. Could I be one of these posers? I’ve always felt that I was a decent leader (knowing full well that I probably needed some work), but I was becoming nervous that the truth of the matter, was in fact, that I was a poser. Or, was it just the fact that my “perfectionist” attitude was taking over and I was being too hard on myself? So, I started thinking about areas of my life, and here’s what I came up with:

At Work –
I supervise a few shop employees at work. As I thought about the various dealings with these employees, I began to realize that I take on a few traits of the poser.
1) There are times that I am “slow” at following up on requests made by these workers
2) There are times that I don’t always follow through on what I say I will do for them
3) There are times that I deflect the negative, and avoid confrontation
However, I can say that I absolutely, do not put other’s down, just to build myself up. That is a true pet peeve of mine!

At Home –
Well, the home pattern pretty much follows suit to the work pattern. I love my family dearly, and I want nothing more than to be there for them constantly and follow through on the promises I make for them. But, yes, there are times when I fail. Plain and Simple! It’s hard to be “perfect.”

What does this mean?
So far, it’s looking as though I am a bit of a poser. But wait a minute, aren’t there times when we all fall into the “poser” category? I mean, don’t even the most renowned leaders sometimes fail? Maybe the Poser vs Leader line is a continuum and I just happen to fall somewhere in between. The good news is this: I’m young and fairly new at this, and I’m confident I can hone my skills and become an effective Leader!

What about all of you? Do you need any self reflection? What are your thoughts on posers? Have you read The Radical Leap?

1 comment:

Timothy Johnson said...

There are days we all feel like posers, Eric. It goes with the territory. The key question to ponder is whether YOU CHOOSE to stay there because of the comfort zone or have an OS!M and DO SOMETHING about it. I'm glad you enjoyed Farber's book.