when a title becomes a drug

We see it time and time again. A person gets a title and it goes to their head. They think they are someone so important that the title becomes their identity. To me it’s a sad reality because we, as people, are so much more than that.

I’ve had many titles in my professional life yet I hope I never become so drawn to a title that I give up a piece of myself. I’ve taken jobs with a title that is a step down from my previous job because of the job description and the money. A title isn’t everything. But to some, the title is.

I work with someone who is a manager, we are colleagues, but he is also in a position in his church that gives him authority. And that authority has gone to his head and the power he feels he has with this “title” has bled over into his professional life. He likes being in a position where people jump, run, and hurdle to do things for him. It makes him feel important and oh so powerful.

When we first worked together he tested the waters with me, wanting me to do work that he is more than capable of, but he felt his ‘position’ entitled him to delegate and dictate. That didn’t work for me and I told him so, in a sense I put him in his place.

I’ve watched him with his employees and how he puffs his chest out when then run to get him a soda or offer to go get his lunch. Or how they almost jump to attention when he walks into the room. I watch his face more than their actions and I see his head swelling because he has a title, and a position. It’s comical.

Recently this manager and I had a conversation, just two people talking at work about life in general. And I shared my observations with him, because that’s me. He laughed it off, so I pressed him, and finally he admitted that yes he likes the perks of having a title. I laughed too, because I was able to get him to admit it and I told him so. We had a great laugh about that.

This manager and I talk a lot because he has a lot of irons in the fire. He has so many dreams and I support him, I encourage him, and I wish him the best. He wants to be in a political arena. He is already in a church. He has a title at work. He is the king of his castle at home. He’s a father and a husband. He’s actually a good guy and his has a big heart. But he keeps searching for more, more recognition, more power. He wants another title.

I don’t seek a title. I have one, I’ve had many. At the end of the day I want to be a better person tomorrow than I was today. So maybe because I don’t seek out a title I can’t really relate to those who do. It’s not a drug for me. But I see it all the time, that power of a title is a drug just as strong as crack or cocaine. In a way it’s a little scary because so many times the wrong person gets that title, that authority, and they become abusive. And things get ugly.

Titles can come and go. Just as jobs can come and go. Don’t get so caught up in wanting to be somebody that you forget who you really are. Because when the title and authority are gone, who will you see when you look in the mirror?

God bless, and be blessed.

 

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