This Officer stuff is not all it’s cracked up to be. Everyone wants promoted. Is it the recognition? The command over others? I truly don’t get it. I told Tai I didn’t really want this. Yet he insisted I could learn some valuable lessons here. I love this company but sometimes I think things would be so much easier if I were just another guy. I want to help. Forgive me for finding my heart is big. Maybe I shouldn’t show it so much. Look at the role models I have: Kennia, whom everyone adores outright, yet she still has a trigger temper, ready to get riled at the drop of anyone insubordinate. I don’t doubt she cares, but she has to be hard, to be respected. Anyone can see that. Then there is Sunya, whose bark is bigger than her bite. Gads, I’d never dare tell her that though. She’d be the first to smack me senseless verbally and without regret. Sometimes I think she missed her calling in a law field. She has a quick mind and truly enjoys arguing. Heck, she does it well, too.

I respect the both of them so much! And yet, does this company need another barking female running around? I fight with this daily. Alright fine, I have a temper. I prefer not to have it tripped every night of my existence. This tightrope is a hard one to walk. I want to be a leader who cares without being forced to be gruff always; one who shows compassion without being a doormat. Is that even possible, I wonder? It seems that the moment I show someone I care about their struggles, I get told I have a crush. Well what the Fel is that, anyway? Why can’t I be a caring leader and not be accused of wanting a stinking relationship?

Besides that, whatever happened to the bonds of friendship? Guys will come and go in a woman’s life and hard feelings often follow in the wake. I don’t need that crap. Plus I have to work with these people! Right, I can see the headlines now: Kya screws the company from the inside out. SHEEBIES! Not touching that with a goblin fishing pole!

So where does this leave me? I’m left in a tight spot where everything I do is misconstrued. I try to be one of the guys, not walking around primping myself all the time. I dress like a hand-me-down queen. Sunya says to pull some rank, remind ‘em I am superior. Bleah, I don’t feel very superior when someone is obviously struggling with internal demons that only they can cure for themselves. I see this side of people so clearly. They have something so drastically wrong with them, they are crying out for help. I try to give that help and it does not satisfy. I know why too. That disease is cured by learning to love yourself, not by having others love you. The latter follows the former, not the other way around. But how does one teach that by forcing rank?

And yet without rank structure, our company is weak in the sense that we cannot even pull together to accomplish even the simplest of tasks. Dear old Mom used to tell me someday I’d have kids who would pay me back for being such a trial for her. She said this while hugging me fiercely, full of love and compassion. Gads I miss her! She’d know how to show me the hard line towed with caring in the heart.

So, how do I encourage participation and initiative? How do I draw the strengths out of the Tiger Claws when they are too busy fighting internal demons? They want promoted? They want responsibility? A shift has to occur, one that becomes external instead of internal. I know at least one thing for sure. You aren’t a made leader by following your own nose. Can I teach cooperation? Can I shine a light where some will not fall continually into the pitfalls of constant need? Is resilience an inherent trait or can it be taught? Maybe tight rank structure really is vital our success as a company and only the fear of getting the big boot will teach what kind of respect is necessary for smooth operations. Maybe an example will need to be made to get that point across.

Is this tightrope walking and angst part of my path to learning how to be a better leader - a better teacher? I ask all the time of the people around me, “Is any learning occurring?” I saw a grown and respected warrior do this wild thing the other day. In battle he started swirling in circles so fast it looked like he was an octopus wielding 17 swords. What a fearsome sight! And yet afterwards, he touched the faces of the dead, closed their eyelids with respect… took their possessions and identities to send back to relatives. Seems to me no one dared question his authority after that. Maybe I should seek that training and become a whirling devilish fiend girl. I could earn the nickname “Weedwhacker” and everyone would give me a wide berth and I’d never have to worry about getting accused of having a crush ever again! Then I could go home at night and write letters to the fatherless I had made, sending their daddy’s last coin and bracers I’d salvaged, with a letter of apology to assuage my guilt.

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