Sunday, October 22, 2017
Dictator – Leader, Do You Know the Difference?
By Alfonzo Tucker (Columnist)
Published December 4, 2008

Hello world, I trust that your holidays are being enjoyed to the fullest. Last week I was involved in a verbal altercation with my supervisor. This was the first time in my life that I matched tone and aggression with someone who could potentially cause a major disruption to my employment, thus my livelihood. I would like to think that I am understanding and behave in a compromising fashion with everyone around me, but, that could insinuate perfection and I know that I am not a perfect man. So, I try to correct myself and accept constructive criticism because I have goals that must be accomplished (if you recall, my main goal in life is to inspire everyone on this planet, in a positive fashion).

This was my situation: I've had to work under this supervisor for over a year now. From a personal standpoint I think he is an OK guy. My first impression was that his behavior is a bit more aggressive than necessary but everyone has their unique personality traits. Now, because he is my supervisor, I accept his position as the head person in charge. On occasion his comments are demeaning along with his attitude but like me my attitude is not the best when I've not eaten for a few hours. So, I try not to communicate with him when I recognize his demeanor as abrasive. Now, I'll not comment on his behavior with any of my co-workers because that is not my place to do so. Yet, I do not allow him to speak to me in a demeaning tone, which he does quite often. Don't get me wrong, the guy is not a scrooge during the forty hours a week that I see him. But he has his moments.

So, last week he questions me several times about work related topics and became upset with my responses. While in my office he asked my co-worker to leave, then he shut the door and proceeded to twist his eyebrows south and ask me if I had a problem with him. I asked him, "What could the problem be, as it appears you have a problem with me". He told me that I was not answering his questions. I responded with, "I answered all your questions, apparently the responses were not to your liking." He raised his voice and leaned a few inches closer to me. His posture was that of aggression and when I spoke he told me to "Shut Up"! Now, in about one hundredth of a second, I weighed the pros and cons of every possible scenario. Worst case, was a physical altercation. The most passive, was my walking out of my own office leaving him to his own inflated demeanor. I choose to stand my ground! I told him that I would not submit to him in a weak fashion nor would I accept him posturing as if he were trying to intimidate me. The next words out of his mouth were profane so I cut him off, again matching his tone and now standing in a position of strength myself.

With an even more escalated voice, he tells me that I will not like the consequences. I didn't know if he was referring to reprimand per insubordination or a physical altercation, either way it really didn't matter. I told him, boldly, "that I was confident in my opinions and I believed him to be a "Bully!"

According to Merriam Webster, a "Dictator" is a ruler who is unconstrained by law and a "Leader" is a person who rules or guides or inspires others. I ask all of you this question; "In your everyday life are you a dictator or a leader?" A mentor of mine once told me that everyone puts forth a stronger effort when it comes to working for or with a positive leader. He also told me that, no one wants to be around a dictator, most of the time they are there because it is mandatory.

Oh, later that day, only a few hours after our situation, my supervisor invited me to share Thanksgiving with his family; I thought that was strange.

Alfonzo Tucker is an author, poet and inspirational speaker.  Visit his website


Categories: Opinion

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