I have been through some massive changes in the space of my work life over the past 10 days and as is the norm for me of late, I have found lessons in the experience. Several, quite honestly but I'm going to focus on just one in this post.
Time and time again I see in the industry I have worked in for over 32 years that people feel supported or not. I guess that would be true in any industry when you think of your direct supervisor or manager, but in my industry it's very pronounced that those who perceive that they are "well taken care of" and have a leader they can "lean on" are way better off than those who do not. Which, I believe is the majority of folks.
I want to have a little fun with the concept of "well taken care of" if you don't mind. Perception is everything after all, isn't it? So let's turn the idea of you having this "rock" of a manager on its head. As much as I can appreciate a fabulous leader and trust me, I have had the opportunity to be surrounded by them at times, there is something equally as beautiful in not having one but it's a very "rare bird" that sees and seizes that opportunity and YES, it IS an opportunity.
Those closest to me know that in my life as a parent I take some of my biggest pride in knowing that my young adult children were raised to be independent, self-sufficient beings. That my goal wasn't to cause them to feel that they "couldn't do it without me" but that there was no doubt that they could and would.
All too often we don't give ourselves and our abilities enough credit. That we all have what we need to get anywhere we want in life. It's our beliefs alone that limit our ability to do so. If you believe you need your supervisor to be great, (whatever "great" means, the definition would vary from person to person) to be great, sad but true, you will be disappointed time and again.
If instead you believe that you don't need to lean on any manager, leader or supervisor to move yourself in the direction you desire and instead you empower yourself to find the resources, reach out to your peers, find mentors whose work you honor and do your job to the best of your abilities on any given day...you are going places, my friend.
I hate to see people believe that not only can't they get what they want if someone who leads them isn't how they think that person should be, but actually become disappointed to the degree that they truly see themselves living in a deficit and believe they are "lacking" vs. others. The perfect set-up for some serious self-sabotage!
I guess my bottom-line in this post is to say this, learn to lean on yourself first and foremost. Believe with all your heart that you can go, do, be whatever it is you wish, no other being necessary. It's only then that the teachers who will help you to continue to grow and blossom make themselves known.
Stronger than you ever knew possible? How will you ever know if you don't let go and try?