Fellowship and Assimilation --- T'ung Jen
Fellowship and assimilation are brought out by the charater of the manager, not by his position. A manager must skillfully and sincerely mix and assimilate with others. This true sameness with others is developmental. Do not be a fair weather fellow. Be true in good times and in bad. The manager must always recognize that there are people with whom he should not assimilate. Assimilation as a management technique is based upon correctness and other rational factors, never on emotion. True mutuality exists as a result of truly natural and productive activity. The manager develops himself inwardly while at the same time developing others outwardly. This is the condition within which the manager is able to adapt to change and to set truly significant goals. ~ Bob Messing
I typed this passage up today before I had a meeting with a landscaper to get an estimate for the next stage that our school is at in building a labyrinth. My experience with this landscaper reinforced this passage for me. Regardless of the position that one holds, it is the person's character that expresses the qualities of a manager or leader. I experienced how a person with heartfelt qualities that sincerely mixes and assimilates with others brings out the best in each other.
When I met the landscaper he was nice enough and was obviously a little overwhelmed by what seemed like a little more of a daunting task then he expected. However, upon speaking with him more and more I saw him softening up. When he gave me the quote I explained to him that I will have to meet with the school head, landscape designer and president of the P.A. before moving forward.
Before I knew it, he was asking me about the school and talking with me about his son. We spoke about the Industrial Revolution and the public school education system. Miraculously, as we were speaking he came up with an idea to use another guy he knows to help excavate the area at a much cheaper price while not compromising efficiency. Then he thought of another idea and realized that he knew someone that could donate one or two bee hives for honey production. What a wonderful experience!
If that were not enough as we were wrapping up the conversation he said, "...and so you are the head of this school." What a huge compliment, especially since that is one of my life goals, to become a school head. I of course clarified my position at the school and told him that was actually one of my life goals.
My interpretation of this experience and applying it to this passage is that if a person carries themselves a certain way and connects with another from the heart, your actual position does not matter. I met with several landscapers and we assimilated well together. While I acted consistently and gave the same spiel to each, two were simply not interested and so we did not assimilate. There is something to be said about knowing when to assimilate and to try and connect versus when to disconnect professionally and positively. I am sure it is something to work on regulalry and develop.