I ate it right up.
Let me backtrack for a minute though.
When I started working for her, there was a clear demarcation between those who liked her, those who didn’t, and those somewhere in the middle.
As I witnessed her interactions with those aligned with her, I denounced her for having favorites, and told myself that I would never do that. I told myself that I was a professional, that she was not, and that I would never pick sides.
But as time went by, and I found my relationship with my boss on a downward slope, I ended up spending more and more time with those who didn’t like her. I found myself joining in the gossip. I found myself complaining about her to people who also complained about her.
I had picked sides.
When my boss went off to Africa for a month to volunteer, I was at the helm, and one of the teachers, who was in leadership training, became my assistant.
I clearly remember the day when he said to me, “You know, if you were the Principal, I would love to do my internship here, but if you aren’t, I guess I need to look elsewhere.”
I wish I could say that I chided myself a little bit for know what I had started, but I didn’t. I CELEBRATED. I had unknowingly created a contingency of followers--people who wanted me to be the boss and not her. And, oh, did that feel good.
I loved knowing that some of the staff preferred me to her. I loved knowing that some of the staff thought that I would be a better leader than her. My EGO soaked it up and basked in the glory.
Do you know what they call people who garner support to replace a leader?
And that is what I was. I was a traitor to my boss. I had been going behind her back and unknowingly raising an army who saw me as the better leader. I had completely betrayed her.
I had allied with the staff who didn’t like her because I wanted a place to belong, I wanted to have someone validate my feelings, and I wanted to be acknowledged for my leadership capabilities.
What I had unknowingly done, was drive a deeper wedge between myself and my boss.
If you were to be truly honest with yourself, what is it that you secretly love?