Just remembered a professor from a rival school of ours who had lunch with us in Castel Gandolfo last year. He has worked hard to put together this university’s study abroad program, but I found him a bit full of himself.
Why this matters, I guess, is that I have been thinking a lot lately about management and leadership. I often exist in this bubble in which I want to believe that leadership comes about from sheer competence, nothing else, and that human mentors and leaders mentor and lead in ways of which I approve – collegially, humbly, rationally, empathetically. I’m getting better at *not* being disappointed when the folks who I think should be leaders and mentors don’t act this way, but I still wonder at the possibilities.
Thus my example above – the guy simply liked to hear himself talk, and didn’t seem much interested in listening. He also wanted to be the most adventurous male in the room, posturing that to me seems sort of ridiculous, and not at all indicative of what actual leadership and mentoring entails.
I’ll have to explore later why I can’t seem to write the word ‘leadership’ without closely following it with ‘mentoring’…