During the month of April, I’ll be participating in the 2017 Blogging from A to Z Challenge. For this year’s theme, I chose to look at leadership qualities as I’ve just recently (within the past 6 months) become the director of my public library. We have about 50 staff members, most of whom are part-time employees serving a 30,000 resident community by providing high-quality programs and resources. Each day, I’ll look at one trait and how it’s helped me to become a better director.
Sometimes the most important part of being a leader is finding the quiet. My days are spent with people in and out of my office, emails dinging on my computer and the phone ringing off the hook. I crave quiet and I’ve learned that if I get into the office a little earlier than everyone else, I can get 15 minutes of quiet time before the interruptions begin. Sometimes it’s necessary to shut my office door to get a solid hour of time to work on a project without the interruptions. I’m so used to working at a public desk where interruptions were more than common (expected and encouraged), but now as the director, I’ve got a lot of projects that take a lot of focus and even more people interrupting me. I’ve learned about myself and when I can expect to get more work done (as long as a meeting doesn’t get in the way) – I know when I can work on projects out in the public space and when I have time to be in my office.
Sometimes the quiet doesn’t come at work, but I find it when I’m walking the dog, or working on dinner, or as it always happens – in the shower. Those are when the unexpected ideas hit me (I love it when it happens) and I’m excited to work on something new or have a renewed interest in a long-term project. Quiet is so important and you have to find it wherever you can.