Would You Rather Lead Or Manage?

I have been with the number 1 life insurance company for almost 14 years now. I remember the day I decided to shift careers and try my luck in sales. I will never forget one question my branch manager asked, “how long will you last if you do not sell anything” (because the job is commission-basis, no fixed salary). I boldly (with my head held high) said, “as long as it takes”.

I had my glorious days with the company way back. For a brief period, I was known as the applications queen. I qualified for trip incentives etc. I was a workaholic, but never complained and tired. I so loved my job! Coming from a Japanese company where our 1hr lunch breaks are strictly followed, I was intoxicated by my new-found freedom! And who knew I was creative? Joining prospects on their drinking sessions just to get to know them better and playing badminton to meet new people!

Oh those were definitely the days! At one point in my career, I tried to build my own team, too. I would like to think it was because I got pregnant with Sophia that I was not able to continue. But I admit my leadership skills were just not good enough. I was too immature, too disorganized, too scatter-brained. Being a leader is not easy. Probably because I was not a good follower. I mean, I do not break rules and everything, but I am too hard-headed and strong-willed sometimes and I have my own way of doing things.

I am not a model subordinate. The countless times I literally ducked and left the office when I saw my boss coming, the many times I delayed replying to her messages or emails until I eventually forgot to (and hoped she did, too), the several ultimatums she threatened me with, the endless reminders and encouragement that I have not paid attention to. Not to mention the unlimited reprimand I got for wearing inappropriate clothes!

In spite of all these, my manager has not given up on me. Except for the most recent unofficial memo. I am not justifying myself, but on hindsight, I could have very well been on an unofficial LOA, given the lack of Sunlife-related activities (and enthusiasm) I had. To be honest, as I was reading her message, I was put in a sudden state of emotional turmoil. Feelings of defiance in the early stages of my last relationship resurfaced, as I was reminded of how much I love my job, and it pained me to even consider leaving it. I could not sleep well that night and it felt like my legs has turned to lead.

I was torn. On the one hand, I would accept (I have been trying to learn this for the last several months) management’s decision regarding my case, not resist ( https://toabettersarahraisingsophia.wordpress.com/2021/06/27/the-one-with-acceptance-and-nonresistance-is-that-so/ ) and not judge ( https://toabettersarahraisingsophia.wordpress.com/2021/07/05/would-you-rather-accept-or-judge-maybe/ ). On the other hand, there was this nagging voice at the back of my head asking me if I am in fact, ready to throw the towel in.

I slept on my dilemma, and the following day, I opened my eyes and I was prepared to surrender my Sunlife ID and everything (I suppose the thought that maybe a career in insurance is not really what I am meant to pursue crossed my mind). Not without trying one more time though. So I told my boss my situation (which is mostly in this blog) and appealed to her kindness once again. Fortunately, she still has not lost faith in me.

Yesterday, we celebrated her 60th birthday in Paradise Dynasty in Podium! I do not remember the last time I have eaten so much! I was wearing a tight skirt and I felt my stomach was going to burst and when I got home, I found out my zipper was busted! I am not complaining, however. Thank you so much for the treat.

I cannot believe I have tried each dish! And I forgot to take a photo of the dessert.
Another one bites the dust.
I had to wear make up because of the photo op!

I am also grateful for the reminder that I should watch my food intake, and / or exercise regularly again. I have been thinking about it lately since I removed movement from my daily goals ( https://toabettersarahraisingsophia.wordpress.com/2021/07/01/july-challenge/ ) hoping I have developed the habit already from the past several months, like who am I kidding right?). I will edit my list starting tomorrow.

Leadership is not easy to learn, but what worthwhile thing is? Becoming a leader pays dividends, but it takes great effort. Leadership requires a lot from a person. It is demanding and complex. Here’s what I mean…

Leadership is the willingness to put oneself at risk.

Leadership is the passion to make a difference with others.

Leadership is being dissatisfied with the current reality.

Leadership is taking responsibility while others are making excuses.

Leadership is seeing the possibilities in a situation while others are seeing the limitations.

Leadership is the readiness to stand out in a crowd.

Leadership is an open mind and an open heart.

Leadership is the ability to submerge your ego for the sake of what is best.

Leadership is evoking in others the capacity to dream.

Leadership is inspiring others with a vision of what they can contribute.

Leadership is the power of one harnessing the power of many.

Leadership is your heart speaking to the hearts of others.

Leadership is the integration of heart, head and soul.

Leadership is the capacity to care, and in caring, to liberate the ideas, energy and capacities of others.

Leadership is the dream made reality. Leadership is, above all, courageous.

John Maxwell – Leadership Gold

I have experienced (albeit for a very short time) how exacting it is to lead people. We may not see eye to eye some times, but I do appreciate you. I admire you for standing strong after each and every challenges that come your way. I do not know what is going to happen in the future. But if anything, I would want you to remember 3 things about me:

  • I so love my job!
  • I do not like gossiping (except maybe about my own life).
  • I am grateful for everything! Like you said, you know me pretty well. One day, I will make you, my Sunlife mother, proud of me.

In my post yesterday, ( https://toabettersarahraisingsophia.wordpress.com/2021/07/14/would-you-rather-meet-online-or-in-person/ ), boss is just above being alone (meaning to say it is just slightly better than not having anyone at all) in the ranking of which people primed happiness. I have come to accept that noone is perfect (I am just almost, cannot sing and cook, darn it), and so I choose to see the good in everyone. I am sorry for my shortcomings, and I accept you as you are.

I love you, bossing! Happy 60th birthday! I wish you all the best in life!

How is your relationship with your superior?

#ToABetterSarah #MyFinancialAdvisorSarah

Evergreen NBO Independent Unit.

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