By Welter Benicio

God give me humility to accept that I am light-years from the role models described in the books and articles destined to help people become better managers;

Give me strength not to feel abashed when I compare the long list of traits and behaviors that a “true” leader must have, as described in numerous books on leadership, with my simple portfolio of abilities and skills and average emotional intelligence, typical of someone whose parents were stern, educated in a time when cars had no air-bags (no seat belts either, in some cases) and when politically incorrect jokes were just jokes;

Give me wisdom to be able to select what to read amid this torrent of information, tips, statistics and advices during my ever dwindling free time and the ability to mitigate the guilt if I choose (re)reading “The Catcher in the Rye” instead;

Give me energy and help me block my thoughts when I notice that my boss, his boss and so forth, who talk all the time about life-work balance and how we should pursue it, have even less free time than I have, live and breath work and when I have a glimpse of my future sitting in their chairs, in a moment of weakness, I feel my stomach and remember immediately the to-be-broken promises to the family;

Forgive my anger when I notice that, despite the speeches, not enough (or no) quality time is dedicated to talent selection, development, retention and performance reviews in the organizations and, most importantly, forgive myself for making the same mistake sometimes, despite the belief that success depends on that, and for falling in the trap of vanity and telling people what to do all the time instead of leading by questions and for hearing, but not listening to people;

Forgive me for being relieved in the staff meetings when I have not achieved my financial targets, but there’s a peer in a much worse situation and he or she receives most grinding, but help me understand that my turn will come if things don’t improve quickly;

Thank you for the HSE (health, safety and environment) and compliance programs implemented, spoken, defended, but followed without passion by some, and give me patience to wait until both pay-off in a world where not all organizations other than my own play by the same healthy rules;

 Thank you for making me seeing that luck plays an important role in anybody’s career, but help me avoiding to use it as an excuse for my failures in influencing the people and events that can increase the likelihood of success and whose influence was within my powers;

And finally, thank you for I realized (I don’t mean accepted, yet) that success is not always measured by numbers, positions and power attained, but by acquiring the capacity to hire and promote people smarter than I am, by truly helping develop my subordinates, by happily congratulating my peer who just became my boss, by recognizing that my boss does have qualities and by being genuinely generous. However, forgive me if my generosity vanishes when my annual bonus is meager compared to my peers’;