Leaders and managers


Old and new ideas sometimes come together in a smooth blend. Vicki Whitmell wrote about building leadership skills and how it is different from being a manager in TALL Quarterly (membership only) from the Toronto Association of Law Libraries. Once  I held the position of the library manager, but it was short-lived and I needed more time to build confidence and really blossom. But I learned that leadership is assessing the situation, and doing the best you can under fluid circumstances. I learned that I enjoyed flexing my decision muscle. Whitmell gives a quote about Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympics President John Furlong who had to face p.r. nightmare of athlete Nodar Kumaritashvili’s  death on opening day of the games. Furlong made some tough choices in difficult times, despite scenario planning and years of prep, there is no preparing for a situation like that.

Whitmell mentions a distinction from managers and leaders. I could be classed as a leader as I am curious and want to explore. But actively managing people or resources are skills I would like to hone. I found a couple of nuggets of wisdom about the transition to a new generation of law librarians, and I found myself nodding in agreement:
  • Always hire brighter people than you are when you are sitting in the director’s chair and listen to them. You will disappoint them repeatedly by many of the decisions you have to make but when the opportunity presents itself to act on one of their ideas, seize the moment. It is rare.
  • Recognize that once a good idea is proved, you have no control over where it will lead and the first thing that will be forgotten will be who or where that idea came from.
  • Source is Law Librarian blog posting on March 15 2010


    Are you a leader or manager or both?

    – Brenda


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