There have been several times in my life when I have been appointed a leader without me wanting or asking for that role. The very first instance of this was in primary school when I was appointed as a prefect. I can’t say that it surprised me because even as a kid, I think I exhibited an air of dependability that my teachers picked up on, thus bestowing me with such a burden. I ended up relinquishing that title after slightly more than a year due to my poor homework performance and inability to get my act together. I thought perhaps I would be disappointed in myself but I felt a sense of freedom now that there was no longer expectations on me to behave like a prefect.
The next instance I can think of comes during National Service when I was made to go through the Section Commander Course. During the course, I approached my course administrator with the wish to leave the course and perhaps be a medic or any other vocation. I would have loved to just be a normal fireman instead of a sergeant, having to lead other NSFs. But alas, due to my academic qualifications I was not allowed to do so.
The last instance that I will bring up was in university. Back when I was in my first year, I joined Capoeira. By the end of that year, I was forced to become the president of the club despite me repeatedly telling the previous president that I did not want it. Everyone else just went along it and I was made the president and shortly after, I quit group because wtf I just wanted to be a normal member, practising capoeira which was the only thing I wanted to do.
The reason I brought up these incidents is because I am once again faced by this dilemma at work. My supervisor has repeatedly and explicitly told me that I am to lead the team that I am working with. I believe this was simply due to my age, qualifications, and experience. When I signed up for this traineeship, there was no mention of leading a team. The whole point was for me to be guided in learning a new skill but now it seems like I have to do the guiding. In all honesty, it feels very unfair. I’m not even being paid enough for the work I already do but now I have to take on more responsibility. The good thing is I don’t have the urge to quit since I am still in the midst of looking for a full-time job and I know I need the money more.
However, today a realisation came over me. In the future, I will have to lead people no matter where I go. So why not take this as practice for when my job scope really involves leading subordinates. It felt like a light switch flipping on. So now I’m looking up how to be a good leader and how to manage a team. What a change from past Hafiz.
Post Script: It’s been awhile since I’ve written and I can really tell while writing this short piece. Hope to get back to a more regular writing schedule.
26 Sept, 2021