Sunday, June 25, 2006

Up the Cactus Path

Taking a short break from the reporting on the recent dance competition, I pause to consider the concept of leadership.

Honestly, I do not know much about it, having never sought or desired it. However, it has been thrust upon me many times and my innate laziness and pathological avoidance of responsibility has made the mantle of leadership an uncomfortable and suffocating yoke which I fidget and worry against.

It is amazingly easy to pinpoint the flaws in leadership, to disdain it, to question it, to mutiny against it and to ridicule it. Many times I see leaders seek the opinions and interactivity among those they lead, which sometimes leads to total anarchy as the division between consultation and unconstructive interference becomes so blurred that everyone fumbles around in a haze of confusion.

I like following orders. I know most find this unbelievable but I do. I like to have very concise, detailed and logically structured instructions given to me so that I can abdicate all responsibility, blindly execute these to perfection (or as close to perfection as I can), and then totally point the finger in case someone finds the results wanting.

That is not to say I will not question if I do not understand them or find them puzzling. Perhaps then you can say I am a half blind orders follower. I will follow orders blindly as long as I find them logical. Illogical orders which defy rational thinking and waste time inevitably get a litany of questions from me.

Why? How come? What? When? Where? Who? What if? Why me?

And even after I receive the instructions, I like to know the exact specifications of the order.

To what degree? Level of expectations and degrees of importance or priority? Purpose? End result? Cause and effect? Alternatives? Contingency? Worst case scenario? Why me?

Often it drives some people less inquisitive than I to distraction and they mistake it for rebellion or naysaying. On the contrary, I am simply paving the way to how much and if I will disappoint them.

I also like to take a backseat and let others dictate while I watch and … well, watch. Only when I think it is beyond ridiculous and wasting too much of my time, better spent eating, sleeping, washing my hair, filing my nails etc, would I then make a suggestion or observation. Perhaps it is the way I make them, which is usually either coached in humour or as laconically as possible (because despite what people think I do worry about upsetting people), as I get ignored quite a lot.

Not to blow my own trumpet but I usually make pretty damn crash-shot suggestions or observations. Because I would have ruminated on them a fair bit before I offer them up on the table as I dread having to poke fun and laugh at my own idiocy … and I am a right sarky bitch who will drive myself to humiliated tears with my biting humour.

It amuses and annoys me when I am ignored and I watch these individuals talk themselves into a circle. Or try to impose their will on everyone and under the guise of concern and constructivism take unsubtle potshots at those they are supposedly helping or working with. Watching them try to make someone else feel small or guilty is not something I enjoy. Just like I do not like watching public stonings. I guess I am just funny that way.

The worse thing is that these people are usually so transparent yet believe that they are so intellectually superior that no one can see through their paper-thin motives and motivations. They would “discuss” at length and finally come to the same conclusion as I put up 45 minutes ago. See? I told you I am not a good leader! No one listens to me. But those who do and realise that 45 minutes later their leader finally cottoned on to what I had verbalised eons ago, usually look at me with a rather startled expression in their eyes. Which is usually followed by a narrow-eyed and assessing look as they actually look past the long hair, tits, goofy expression and total arse-luckness (is that even a word because it should as it best describes me!).

And these are women I am talking about.

Perhaps it is because I do not raise my voice or push myself forward aggressively. Half the time I can’t be arsed and I just think the people going around in circles like headless chicken are daft who just make me wonder at the deep unfathomability of God's plan. The other half of the time I am doing my space cadet act where my brain has taken a vacation somewhere else as I wait for them to come to the same conclusion I did ... 45 minutes later.

However, occasionally when I have had enough of my time wasted or think we have reached a crunch point where further empty vesseling is inexcusable, I will make my point. That’s when the words go like this …

No. No. No. No. No. And no again.

Usually the empty vessels who shout and pontificate the loudest will be the most incensed by my sudden observations and immediately go on the attack. Terribly startled, they will immediately sputter and some may even begin to insult me in an attempt to belittle me. Which is really easy since I am usually taller than most of them. So once they think they have cut me down to size, I am usually the same height as them. Which means I can now start speaking to them as equals. See? It all works out.

This treatment is a true lack of respect for me on their part which I can understand since they obviously think they are superior and that I am a right loser. Using words like “patience”, “consideration”, “intelligence” and what not, they exhibit little of these and show such total disdain for my opinions that I am tempted to shut my mind and “intelligence” off permanently to them, take a mental holiday and alphabetise (again) my spice bottles in my head.

Ego is a terrible thing. I am not exempt from it but I definitely try to see beyond it. I am not opposed to apologising even when I do not have to, to preserve the peace. I just wish others would treat me with the same courtesy.

One last time, why me?


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