Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.
I'd been looking forward to an event all day yesterday, but last night, I found myself caught in a bit of a mental pickle. I stood outside of a closed door and waffled on whether I should walk into a room full of people I didn't know. What caused this little mental crisis? I'd walked past an event flier posted just outside the door and it dawned on me right then that I'd never RSVP'd!
It may sound silly now, but seeing that line for the event that was mere minutes from starting, stopped me in my tracks. I had no time to RSVP to the e-mail address by that point. What to do? Should I walk in and be an unannounced intruder, or just slip away quietly, promising to find out all requirements for the next event before attending. I turned to look down the hall. There weren't many people around. I looked through the little window in the door and I could see several people in the room, immersed in private conversations; none aware of me frozen in indecision less than five feet from the door. Don't break the rules. Nah, rules were made to be broken. Am I going to just let this opportunity pass me by?
I waited a couple moments more, and I saw a guy walking toward me who looked like he was heading into the room. I smiled at the brilliant solution that instantly popped into my head and readied for action. In unfamiliar situations, I'm am not the most assertive person, but I am working on that. In the meantime I am not too bad at coming up with ways to compensate for this. Case in point: My solution. I waited until this guy passed me and reached to open the door, then drawing momentum from his motion, I forced my feet to step up behind him to follow him in.
Yes, I managed to get myself into the room and had the door held open for me to boot. How was that for an unexpected welcome? I was subsequently assured that showing up without having RSVP'd was fine. Plus, I got a chance to chat with a couple of people before the speaker of the evening arrived.
Equipped with a pen and my little blue notebook I took a few pages of notes and, of course, jotted down the quote above. But here is what I learned from attending the entertainment media talk given by Ashwin Navin, the founder of a little web tool known as Bit Torrent:
It's always going to be the hardest part; taking that first step. But if I can be the person who can find a way to step forward anyhow… Ooh child, things are going to get easier. Ooh child, things'll get brighter…
Peter Drucker's quote really resonated with me, so I Googled him (more of his quotes are here). I really wish I'd heard of him while he was alive as I heartily agree with the basic ideas of his writing career spanning thirty-something books, as described in this wikipedia entry.
I'm really glad that I attended the event. Today, I happened to be on a deadline to submit a attributable quote of my choosing. You can probably guess which quote I chose.
Interview with Peter Drucker, leading management consultant
I can say with some certainty that either you'd either really like or really dislike his way of thought. Personally, I really like his way of thinking and consider myself to be what he describes as a knowledge worker but you can see what I mean in this interview: Career Moves for 20-70