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The Finisher, or, Pay for Print

April 18, 2008

Yesterday I went to the first meeting of the Pay for Print committee. We are going to implement a test system in the computing center at main in about six weeks. At this first meeting we decided who is doing what on the committee. The minutes of the meeting are available for everyone to look at on the DC’s wiki.

I wanted to write here about the beginning of our meeting. I was so impressed by the way Sean started us off. He said that in workgroups/ teams, there are various roles and it is important to identify who fills each role in order to have a successful team. The roles are:

.

-leaders/coordinators/facilitators
-detailers
-finishers
-moral boosters
-visionaries

Hearing this made me instantly feel more at ease on this committee, because I know very well which of these I naturally fall into. I am a detailer and a finisher. I like to get down to the nitty-gritty of the actual work that needs to be done, and I like to finish things up to tie up loose ends. I thought it was interesting how Sean described finishers: they are the people who finish up the work when everybody else is done and tired of the project. A person is needed to finish the job and may have to depend on the morale booster to get the motivation to do the finishing.

Although I have come up with ideas and I have gotten creative and even been a leader, I do not think of myself as either a visionary or a leader. I’ve often felt a sort of failure for not being better in these roles, especially when I started going to the ACPL management team meetings. I never felt quite comfortable with planning out goals and objectives, writing our mission statement or even thinking about it. I always enjoyed just getting my “hands dirty” in the work of librarianship with patrons, books or other aspects of operations. Sitting in management meetings where people are doing the important work of policy-making and other stuff, frankly, bored me; and I felt that it must have been because I just wasn’t smart enough to come up with any original ideas.

Having seen a different philosophy of groups and teams, I now feel that I understand my own talents better and I have let myself off the hook for not being something I’m not really meant to be anyway.

I don’t ever want to say I can never be a leader or a visionary, but I will enjoy the challenges that I face as a detailer and a finisher. There will be plenty ahead!

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