I got my first job when I was 18. Since then, I only stopped for 4 years, when I was at the university, even though I got temporary jobs on my vacation to make some money.
In all these years, I had from the most stupid leaders to the ones I admired greatly, both professionally and as a leader.
I think I know how to deal well with all kinds of leaders. Of course it’s better with the ones I admire, because I feel very pleased and stimulated in collaborating with someone like that.
Anyway, I need to work, so I will never stop collaborating because the leader isn’t someone I like. I’ll do it one way or another. I play my part.
In all the places I’ve worked there were many social events. This one isn’t different. And I managed to find people with whom I could become a friend [very few indeed, and I’m always very careful about it].
Yesterday I had one of those social events. The birthday of my friend’s husband, who happens to have a leadership position there also. She is a very close friend. And my manager is a very close friend of her husband and would be there. She wanted me to go and insisted. So I had to go.
But though she is my friend, she understands that I keep personal matters away from the conversations that come up in those occasions. I talk about the most different subjects but when something professional comes up [inevitable when there are leaders in the group], I just listen silently. I never feel comfortable to share my opinions.
And I had a really nice time talking to other people who were invited also. In fact, there was a point where the table was clearly divided in two. I was glad I was not in the leadership group. It would be very uncomfortable as I’m not a leader, having to remain silently, with what I call “landscape face” expression.
On the Saturday morning I called a friend from my home town. We knew each other at work once and remain friends. I was glad I could share my thoughts of the event with someone outside from work. She feels the same about it.
If I have something to report to a leader, I always do it in the office, in a very professional way.
I step very gingerly on this path. Caution is never too much with these matters.