I was driving, listening to the radio (nothing new there), and a man was introduced as “Professor of English Literature, and a poet” – and it got me wondering . . .
The English Literature professor bit I got. But what about the “poet” reference?
What I really wanted to know about was his particular genre, his publications, how long he’d been writing, who was his audience. Was he skilled in Haikus, or narrative or free verse? What words, feelings and memories were important to him? Had he written volumes? On themes? About people? In anger, after love, during torment?
And the truth is that him being described as a poet told me nothing of that.
I thought about my own situation: coach. What does that mean? If honest, I would much prefer to say about the role that I do that I support people by listening to them and giving them space to share what’s on their mind in order to find their own solutions to the issues that are challenging them.
How often do you hear someone describe their role as “leading people” – isn’t it more likely for people to say they’re a manager, or a leader? And what, exactly, when they say they’re a manager or a leader, does that tell you? Probably not much, other than an indication of their role status and salary level.
So if you were asked, how would you describe what you do? And if you are a leader or a manager, what exactly does that mean?
My ponderings took me on a 7-mile journey. I hope the distance you travel on your voyage of discovery will provide the scenery you’re looking for.