Why does everyone expect me to have all the answers? On three occasions today I was confronted - yes, confronted would be the correct word - by people who turned to me and demanded immediate direction. I've been used to kids expecting answers but it's come as something of surprise that adults have a similar expectation of those who have been put into leadership positions - and I didn't even want to be here!
Part of me just wanted to snap back and tell them to work things out for themselves but I just managed to hold myself in check. Reflecting on these incidents it's clear that they just wanted to unburden themselves of responsibility. It's not that they didn't know what to do - it's just that they needed affirmation of their preferred choice of action. Perhaps that's what's leadership is about - affirmation not direction? I've never thought about this before but it's only when you find yourself in that position that you start to see that leaders are not the all powerful decision makers that I've perceived them to be throughout my career. The reality is much closer to the idea of the leader as servant - or at least that how it feels to me.