Fire Yourself!

Posted on February 12, 2009



I would like to provoke some thought about the allure and the potential hazards of being a ‘manager’. If you have any sort of organizational skills, any sort of leadership abilities, or any amount of charisma, it’s not too long until someone thinks you should be a manager. If you are willing to lead, eventually someone will let you lead. There is nothing wrong with managers- we need them and they make the world go round. Much of managing means maintaining systems, update meetings, cutting budgets, or performance reviews for an organization. These things are all necessary functions of any company, church, or business but are these the best ways for YOU to spend your gifts? Is this the best use of your creative leadership skills? Are all your energies being sucked away on balancing budgets and sending update e-mails?
It wasn’t very long ago that I was in that world. Even with the scope of my responsibilities, size of my team, and the authority that came with my role, there were days I felt like nothing more than a glorified administrative assistant (no offence to AAs). I was doing this because I was willing to do this job. However, I realized that just because you CAN do something (and well) doesn’t mean you SHOULD be doing it. I was in a pressure cooker and it squeezed out any creative energy I had left in me. So I fired myself and I started a new role that embraced my full gifting.
If you are a creative leader, then there is something unique inside you that’s made to pioneer, imagine, and to innovate. The problem is that you are too important to your organization. Everyone needs you. You like to be needed- so you become a manager to help those people. But, the question is: 
Would you rather be an average manager or a great follower? 
I’m all for helping the team, but maybe there is more significant and profound ways you can make an impact in your world than being the person in charge. Perhaps you can create like no one else can. It might mean disappointing a few people. It might mean taking a pay cut. It might mean your job title is less impressive *gasp*. That’s ok. In the long run, you will be thankful and the people you inspire will be thankful. Your soul will definitely benefit from it. The world may go around because of managers but the world is only changed by creative leaders. 

Maybe you need to fire yourself.