Manager or Leader?

Last week was quite interesting. Went to a high-class fashion show at the Singapore Fashion Festival. It was a totally new experience for me hanging out with the rich, beautiful and the famous. I saw a few people who were celebrities and some who looked like they were celebrities. That evening, image was queen. I had no idea one could dress so extravagant. Not bad for $60 tickets for an hour and a half show.

On the other hand I went to the AIESEC Symposium held at the lush and very plush Fullerton Hotel. I enjoyed my time by networking and chatting with HR managers from MNCs and local companies. It was a totally different experience than the fashion show because I was more used to the business meetings, so I wasn’t quite as intiminated. The event was well planned and organised in the typical student fashion.

I saw many old friends there and made many new ones. There was one girl I hadn’t met in over 2 years when I went to china to apply for a position in AIESEC. She is now on the national team there in china, the team I didn’t get elected to. But I’ve always seen it in as a blessing. If it weren’t for me spending all that money to go to china to do really do my best to apply for that job…and to come in a very close second I wouldn’t be here in Singapore starting my career life

Having so much fun as well as having many challenges here in Singapore gives me the feeling that I have settled into this country. I don’t travel so often but I choose to spend most of my time enjoying simple pleasures such as biking, jogging, movies and hanging out at people’s houses.

During the AIESEC Symposium, a few HR managers and directors said that the challenge with today’s fresh grads and young executives is that they are not likely to stay in the same company for more than 1-2 years. It is fashionable to ‘job hop’ and gain a wide variety of experience from many big companies. Sure there will be a wide range of experiences gained, but without much depth.

The advantage of staying with one company, and I don’t think many students know about this is, the longer you stay in a company, the more responsibilities, the more CHALLENGING responsibilities will be handed down to you. These tougher assignments are the key to gaining valuable work experience in the career…and it takes time for it to appear. Job hopping is just touching on just the surface area, but useful for those who are still searching around for what they want to do as a career.

Another thing that is bothering me is why do new graduates aspire to become managers? Ask your average ambitious graduate what she wants to be when she enters the market place. What’s so good about being a manager? I do admit that when I was their age I did want to be manager but it’s more stressful, you have to find things for your subordinates to do, and keep them happy, and report up to YOUR manager. Managing is not fun, it’s almost like babysitting

I think the correct position to aspire up to is LEADER. You don’t need to be promoted to be a leader, you just can choose to become one. Even if you photocopy paper and bring coffee to seniors, you can be a leader that way. Simple, and more effective to get yourself noticed in the company.

A manager doesn’t equal leader just as a leader doesn’t equal to a manager.

I want to talk more about leadership but why don’t you take the lead to find out more on how you can be a leader in your life.


One thought on “Manager or Leader?

  1. mrdes says:

    Hi, David. I found this rather interesting. I too think that everyone can be a leader in an organisation regardless of their positions. Kind of like servant leadership.

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