I’ve started examining my answers to the question “Do you consider yourself a leader?” I’m trying to create a visual representation of the key themes expressed by my central participants, as shown above. I have a long way to go clearly.
What is interesting, however, is the logic behind some of these statements, there’s almost a spectrum of reasons behind the reluctancy. I’ve tried to demonstrate the breadth of issues by examining key statements in the table below.
|Media and Events||“Yes, absolutely”||Only unequivocal answer|
|Theatre||“I consider myself a collaborative leader”||Not a ‘boss’
|Music||“I feel kind of sheepish saying I’m a leader, god no man would say that.”
“It’s an outward expression of ambition that makes me uncomfortable.”
|Advertising||“I’m a reluctant leader”
“Winning stuff means you back yourself”
“I think I’m already doing it, I just don’t recognise it.”
|Digital Design||“I consider myself a leader…in my formative years”
“Within my discipline I am, not a business leader”
“I still feel like a kid in the room”
|“I’m working on it”
“I have the capacity”
“I’ve done the learning, but I’m not leading.”
|Visual arts||“In some ways I do, I advocate, champion, comment”
“But I’m not senior enough”
“I don’t feel paternal”
|Film||“Yeah I think I do now”
“Not on set as I don’t make films that often”
“I feel I have a voice out of proportion with what I’m actually doing”
|“I don’t want to be up myself”
“I’m gaining traction, I see my influence and inspiration and I think maybe I am”
“I want to remain humble and not be a maniac”
|Tall poppy syndrome
There’s no gender correlation to willingness to embrace leadership identity, but one female participant did acknowledge that a man would less likely to demonstrate reluctance. Those outside Melbourne and Sydney were more willing to be seen as leaders, and I wonder if the sometimes supportive nature of smaller arts communities influences this, but I suspect it actually has to do with the strong communities of practice these subjects work within.
Lots to play with here.