The concept of leadership in my adult life has always interested me. I am one of these people who gets seriously hacked off when I witness people in positions of authority passing themselves off as leaders. Having authority does not make a leader, you just have authority. Since my early twenties I’ve looked at people in positions of authority over me and thought silently that I could do a better job. Most of the time I was proved correct, although I admit I did make a few major mistakes along the way! I was also fortunate enough to meet a number of men and women who were good leaders and to them I send my thanks for their patience and personal investment for after 30 years I feel more comfortable doing it.
Fundamentally leadership isn’t about the badge or the person wearing it. It’s the environment that is created to allow leaders to develop and for others to do the best they can. You need a place where trust and team work can be created. This doesn’t come out of a box from Amazon on speedy delivery, this takes time and a lot of effort. From that environment, not unlike evolution, leaders emerge.
In recent years I considered myself to be a good and effective leader. I don’t mean this to be in a big-headed way; I view this from the perspective of people who worked with me and how they reacted to difficult decisions that I had to make. The one thing that I needed from my team was trust, and I needed this to work both ways. It takes time and effort to achieve this by exposing your own weaknesses and seeking their help to improve or having them participate in activities that take them out of their comfort zone.
This is all well and good you may think, but where’s the D/s point to all this? Well, it would be safe to assume that being a good leader at work would make you a good leader in a D/s relationship. It’s a fair assumption I agree and in most cases probably true. The examples of building trust I mentioned earlier have direct coloration with a D/s relationship; Being open, showing your weaknesses and pushing boundaries. The one big difference between work and D/s is the emotional investment. For me I have a lot of emotional investment in both, however, they are different. For one, I don’t have a BDSM relationship with Gary and Irene from accounts, although I have considered putting my hand around someone’s neck on occasion! (hey even leaders need to vent sometimes) My relationship with work colleagues isn’t limited to just work. I know about their families, their financial situation and their health concerns. I also invest time in developing them to get the best out of themselves and their working day. As I said, it takes time and effort.
My point, and I’m getting there, is that it is not always so easy to transfer these skills to home. They are skills which have hallmarks of being clinical and somewhat rehearsed, after all, when you’re leading a hundred or so people you do go into auto pilot and just do what you do. Being a leader in your D/s relationship means that you are focusing all of this primarily on to one person. Oddly enough, leading our 7 kids is not such a big deal by comparison! For my sub, she requires leadership not just focused on the bedroom but in life generally. I do not see her for 8 hours each day and in the evenings our time is usual punctuated with teenage issues, so consistency is a real issue for me. A two week break in the Maldives would help I’m sure! Creating that environment will always be a challenge.
If you want to become an effective leader, don’t read self help books or listen to former military leaders. Listen to the reaction of others when you interact with them, and I mean really listen. What do they need to feel safe and secure from you as a person in order for them to grow and develop? More often than not people just need time to talk either to validate their contribution or to vent; Both provide answers in how to be their leader of the pack, in the bedroom and out!