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In my early professional years I had to be the one who was leading. Over time, I learned that I could step back and encourage and mentor others to take on leadership roles. Also, I no longer needed to take credit for work accomplished. Meeting common project goals are now the most important thing to me.
I used to care about controlling the outcome of things, and now I am not so attached. In fact, I find that in working with other people it’s not possible or desirable to control outcomes. For me, the important thing is to engage in a collaborative process to achieve goals. Attachment to outcomes is a childhood thing.
I’m less aggressive than I used to be and more reflective. I also don’t get around as much as I used to. The opportunities are still there, but age takes its toll.
I have learned that not everyone is going to see things the way I see them. And that compromise is infinitely better than war. So, age brings wisdom if you’re open to it.
Sometimes I find I’m a little more assertive than I want to be. I realize that this is not hard-hitting corporate America. When working within volunteer organizations, where people are not paid to perform and meet goals, we all need to be grateful for any time or effort that is freely given. Everyone has unique gifts, and it is important to hear everyone’s ideas—holding in mind the organization’s objectives and mission.
I have learned to discipline myself to have a certain detachment, and this has enabled me to remain with these organizations longer. I didn’t used to be this way. You can become so jaded that you just walk away. If you are a little more detached and listen more carefully, you can weed through things better.
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