It's summer and those of us in the collegiate realm realize that this is the time when the vast majority of the staff take their allotted vacation. The Executive Director of our department walks into my office this week and tells me that both he and the Associate Director will be out of the office for a few days and that as we have discussed, everyone will be reporting to me during that time. "Sure," I say, "I will write up a full report of the changes I make while you're gone and be sure to appraise you when you get back so we don't miss a beat." We share a quick laugh and go about our business, but it also gets me thinking; what would I do if I were in charge? I take some time to ponder things like the areas I would keep a closer eye on and the tasks I would delegate to members of my staff. I wonder about areas for potential growth that I've seen and how I would take advantage of it. I think about all these things and more for a while, then go about the reality of my position.
The question is, do you really have to be the director of your area in order to enact positive change? Sure, you will need approvals to set some changes in motion, but this is why you were hired. You were brought on board to improve the function of your workplace, not be a bookmark for its current state. Some people look at a problem within their area and say things like, "Well, I'm not in charge" or "I don't get paid for that". These people are either ill equipped to evaluate the situation around them or just too lazy to care. The reality is that we are all empowered to bring about a positive change to our workplace, some of us just aren't motivated to do so. Get motivated. Sure, you are not in charge now, but keep this up and maybe someday soon you will be.
Shaun Bossio is the Assistant Business Manager and ProShop Manager at Boston University FitRec.
He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org