Monday, May 17, 2010

A Bowl Of Chirashizushi

A sudden work assignment resulted in me zipping off from the team lunch at Tatsuya way earlier than expected. Since the boss personally called me, I figured I'd do it. It didn't take much effort. In a nutshell, it was just a discussion on the merits of a 600 thread count Percale bedsheet versus a Sateen piece with the same thread count.

But. It's so rare for our team to be in town in the same week, and to be able to pop out for lunch at the same time. I was really hoping to sit down with the team for a good fun chat. Too bad it wasn't meant to be. I was a little sad that I couldn't eat my chirashizushi in peace. At my request, the sushi chefs sped through and had my order served 10 minutes. I finished it in 15 minutes. That was the fastest I've ever eaten at Tatsuya. Luckily I was hungry. Since I was going to be walking all afternoon in heels, the carbs would be burnt off. I left my team and hoped they enjoyed their meal.

I'm not miffed with my boss. He's been put into a difficult situation and he has to sort it out. Oh well. I'm not too sympathetic. The problem fits into his pay scale. :p What I would really love to do, is to bill the other cowardly team manager for my bowl of chirashizushi.

Which brings to mind a question. What kind of leader would you want to be? To be a leader loved by your people or to be a leader loved by the bigwigs above? Is there a right or wrong answer to it? I guess not. It depends on what sort of moral high ground one holds.

I don't care to be liked. I'm mindful of the need to hit our quality and revenue targets. While I need to prod and push the team to the limit, I need to trust that they're able to do their jobs. I'm floundering when it comes to nurturing the competencies and talents of my team. There're plenty of opportunities, but shouldn't each individual grab the chance to shine on their own? When I leave and there's a promotion from within the ranks because they've grown into the roles, then I'd have done my job.

At the same time, I also care about integrity. If I don't fight for my team and protect them, who will? When there's a screw-up, I don't shirk from the responsibility or finger point. We solve our shit together. My team's mistakes are mine. And our achievements are ours. I care about making my team feel that they belong, that the work they do is something worth doing for this period of their lives.

After today, I'm even clearer about the type of leader that I don't want to be.


tuti said...

i know you are one who would never shirk your responsibility.
takes guts and integrity. you have plenty of both, and more, hehe.

sinlady said...

i know this is a simple statement, but i believe a good team leader is one who works with and looks out for the team rather than suck up to the higher ups for personal gain :)

imp said...

tuti: i hope i can sustain all that.

sinlady: in an ideal situation, yes. but more often than not, it isn't so. especially if one isn't working for altruistic reasons. how often can someone do that? so we're back to the dog-eat-cat way of climbing up the corporate ladder.

lilsnooze said...

I think it is hard for a leader to be liked totally, like a pal by the team. When thigns got to be done, things got to be done, regardless how insensible the timelines are. But at the minimal, the leader shld be firm and fair when needed and respected by the team. And the team must be willing to fight alongside the leader.

imp said...

lilsnooze: i totally agree! there must be a focus on achieving common objectives and not petty squabbling.