I cannot express how grateful I am for this four day weekend. My new position at work has been an incredible time eater. In theory it is budgeted for 20% of my time and effort. At this point however I am dedicating about 70 to 80% of my time. Luckily I have great staff in my laboratory so my research is not suffering. I think that eventually it should only take 30 to 50% of my time which will be much more sustainable. I have now been in this position for about 2.5 months. As a learning experience, it is simply incredible. Did I truly understand what this job entailed when I asked to be considered for it? Absolutely not. If I had known would I have still applied? Um. Hmm. Are there days that they only thing that lets me get through the day is the knowledge that this position is “Interim”? Absolutely.
From a personal development standpoint this has been a terrific opportunity to learn more about myself. The first few weeks just about killed me. I’m a natural introvert and now the majority of my time is spent interacting with other human beings. While most of these meetings and interactions were productive and necessary, I found them to be incredibly draining. However, I have learned that stamina can be built for just about anything. While I do not think I will ever be “energized” by these types of interactions they are no longer the enormous drain that they were.
If you are into the Myers-Briggs personality types, I’m an INTJ. I think mine describes me fairly accurately, especially with respect to leadership desires: “INTJs are natural leaders, although they usually choose to remain in the background until they see a real need to take over the lead.” I would much rather follow a strong and effective leader than lead myself. If I had thought that any of the other people who wanted the directorship position would have done a good job I would not have applied. While it may be two or three years before a search for a permanent replacement is conducted, I have a feeling that if someone great is found I will have no qualms about stepping aside.
On a very positive note, I found and hired a Director of Development. She started last week and I think she will be terrific. Having done without one until now I have a much better appreciation for what I need her to do. We put together our annual report and some foundation grant applications without her. My former boss, who has taken on a bit of a development role, handled all of the communications needed to announce the death of our founder. They are working together to plan his memorial.