The day I left I was pulled aside by one of my dearest and most trusted friends. She told me something that sort of shook me a bit and I have been processing it slowly over the last few days. She said, “Peter, you may not have any foundation here in DC but some people here have a foundation in you. It is effecting them that you are leaving” (not the exact words, but you get the gist).
In some ways this surprised me, but I guess it shouldn’t. I may sound a bit cocky throughout this post but this is how things seem to me right now. My role in social groups has never really been a leader in the traditional sense. I have often desired that role, but I think I desired it for the same reason everyone kind of desires power or being in the spotlight. It appealed to me but it wasn’t really where my skills and personality lie.
Instead my role seems to be one of mediator, diplomat, or someone to confide in. A sort of internal root system that keeps people together. Part of this is stepping up as leader when nobody else will but that doesn’t seem to be where I tend to be. I tend to keep the peace and help resolve problems within the group. Instead of being an external face I focus on the small internal group, which fits pretty well with my introvert personality where I prefer to have a small group of close friends instead of a large group of acquantinces.
My work history certainly reflects this. In college I was SGA Vice President who was responsible for overseeing the 40 senators, my jobs throughout college were team leaders and management positions, and my most recent position was Internal Operations Manager who basically balanced internal tasks while the Vice President focused more on the external. I guess I would make a horrible President but awesome Chief of Staff.
I don’t really know what to do with this insight as I move forward, or even if it is very accurate. All I can say is that if I shook someones foundation by leaving I am sorry, I love you, and I will always be available to help. I am confident I will be replaced, technology will allow me to be a part of your life at a physical distance, or we will end up in the same city again (hint: move to SoCal).