Friday, July 3, 2015

The Forum - Vol. 95 - Leading & Following - Implications


Hi all.  I hope you have already begun a fun and relaxing Independence Day weekend.  At least those of you in in U.S.  Though it also is holiday season through much of Europe. So, I hope a majority of our community are off having fun right now with friends and family.  I decided to get an early start on this week's topic, because I will be tied up on some other things tomorrow but didn't want to get into the habit of skipping weeks. And, of course, last week's topic was drawing such a pitiful response, it seemed best to just put it out of its misery.
Part of this week's topic relaates to one of our recently closed polls, which asked:

I am [Male or Female] and Outside the Home I prefer to:
Female - Prefer to Follow
  2 (2%)
Female - Prefer to Lead
  5 (5%)
Male - Prefer to Follow
  48 (55%)
Male - Prefer to Lead
  36 (41%)

The responses form the wives were pretty low, but to the extent they are statistically significant, we seem to get more "naturally dominant" females visiting this Forum, than those who prefer to follow the lead of others.  The male response surprised me a bit, and it shows the danger of projection, i.e. of assuming that because you feel a certain way or come at things with a certain motivation, others do as well.  Outside the home, particularly at work, I prefer--strongly prefer--to be in charge.  Evem my submission at home does not come naturally. But, it is something we do because it helps the relationship and helps us both balance out our natural tendencies.  But, from the poll responses, it appears that a majority of the males (those who responded), are really following their "true" natures when they submit to someone else's authority at home.  (I am assuming, of course, that if a man is visiting this blog and taking the time to fill out this poll, then he probably is either participatiing in a DD or FLR relationship or interested in one, but that seems a fairly reasonable assumption.)  I have always believed that many DD males are attracted to it because submitting at home is a reversal of their more dominating role at work.  But, these poll results seem to suggest I am wrong with respect to a majority of the males in our community.


For the topic, I will make this a bit of an open microphone and invite people to comment on the poll results. But, I will also suggest this area of focus: does submitting in one part of your life make other parts of your life easier, or harder, when it comes to leadership and authority?  I will give a concrete example.  As I said, I have a pretty dominating personality at work.  It gets me in trouble with colleagues who outrank me in way or another.  But, the challenge has really been playing out with a particular customer.  "The customer is always right." True enough for any business or profession that rises and falls based on the quality of service it provides.  But, we all know that in reality, customers, clients, buyers, etc., are not always right.  For the last several weeks, I have been struggling with one who not only isn't always right, he's really just a complete asshole.  But, he also controls a fairly substantial amount of business.  Not enough that it would kill me if he walked away, but enough that it is certainly in my interest to continue to take his shit if that also allows me to continue to take his business.  But, I really am not very  good at that.  Submitting to someone else's authority, particularly someone who is being a jerk, just goes against every instinct.  I also can't say that submitting more at home is helping much at managing the situaiton, at least not in terms of making me able to submit more naturally.  Where it has helped, however, is I did ask my wife to make losing this particular customer a spankable offense, if the loss results from my temper or unwillingness to submit.


This issue can also cut the other way.  If you submit at home, does it make it harder for you to exercise authority at work or in other situations where authority or commanding others is required?  On this aspect, I feel like DD and FLR actually may be making me a better leader. I've always been weak at holding people accountable.  While I have a dominant personality, I also don't like exercising power over people.  It just isn't my thing.  So, when someone screws up, I tend to fume inside but outwardly accept whatever excuse they offer.  But, I'm finding myself being more direct lately in addressing under-performance.  Less willing to accept an excuse for failing to do something the way it should be done.  It's hard, but it does extend from an increasing sense that I am increasingly being held accountable at home when I fail to meet my wife's stated expectations.  I can choose to perform, and if I don't then I am, in effect, choosing ot be spanked.  If I am accountable for under-performance, then why shouldn't the people I work with be equally accountable? This whole dynamic also gives me increasing respect for what we ask of our Disciplinary Wives when we ask them to take on a leadership role that includes rigorously holding us accountable.  


Finally, given the majority of respondents who said they like to follow outside the home, do you feel like that holds you back?  Is it harder for you to succeeed at work, get a promotion, a raise, etc., if your natural inclination is to be a follower and not a leader?  And, if so, in the broader scheme of your life, is DD and FLR a positive force, or something that exacerbates and reinforces a natural inclination that isn't serving your larger life goals particularly well?
That one turned out to be a bit longer, and weightier than expected.  Conveniently, I gave everyone an extra day to consider it!

Have a great holiday, and please be safe!

Dan

12 comments:

  1. Hi Dan, I was thinking about your situation with the 'jerk' with whom you do business and I have a 'mind trick technique' that might help. First, think of a scenario where a guy purchases the services of a lady wherein he may appear dominant and in control. If he is paying her, is her really in control? Now maybe your 'jerk-client' thinks his business enables him to be a jerk (unless he's just one of nature's natural jerks). On one hand, his business does enable his behavior.....but....you are only accepting that behavior because it profits you to do so. In essence, you may be emotionally tolerating poor behavior, but ultimately you are the one profiting from this guy. Remember the old adage, "laughing all the way to the bank" ? In this case that's you, so the next time you feel you are taking crap from him, just think inside how this ass is smirking at his assumed power, when in fact he is just a nice source of income.

    As to the question of submission outside of the relationship? Well, I don't do that. In fact Rosa loves to tease me about being a real SOB at times, but that I am an SOB that ultimately submits to her. She loves that too. She feels it's way more of a power trip to have authority over an aggressive person than over a meek one.

    Also, since we sort of model our FLR on a knight in service to his lady, she likes that I can be her knight that others may not wish to screw with. In a past relationship I had another dominant lady say almost the exact same thing. I think if my FLR did render me more meek overall, I could very well end up less attractive to Rosa.

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    Replies
    1. Hi KD. I agree in princple with the "laughing all the way to the bank" approach. But, it's sometimes easier said than done. Like you, I can be a real SOB at times. Well, maybe most of the time, at least when challenged. And, when someone likes "the jerk" challenges me, it's really hard to maintain that sense of discretion and larger purpose, even if I know it is in my financial self-interest to do it. Which is why I hope that DD may, eventually, help me become more open to other authority -- at least when it is in my own interest to do it.

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  2. Dan
    This weeks column from you has been the topic of more than one conversation with Peter and I this weekend.
    So although I am writing this to you today it is a product of my chats with Peter and is as much his opinion as it is mine. Because his bad behavior has hampered his career, when he began to see that bad behavior at work was putting in jeopardy his ability to support his family, I felt that punishment needed to be extended to more than his behavior at home. This involved Peter sharing with me his frustration before he exploded. For Peter
    a harsh caning on saturday morning prepared him for the following week. In doing this he came to realize that
    part of his frustration was that his employees were doing less than they could out of fear of him losing it with them.
    When he began calming down with workers, listening and guiding them much as he does with our boys when he is teaching them how to toss a ball, the employees worked harder to please and in so doing relieved Peter
    of many of the pressures and slowly began to turn in better work. Peter said to me last night, this took him listening to other ideas and considering them
    Does it work all the time? NO of course not , but its better and our marriage is better. At our 4th party several
    workers were saying how Peter had calmed down. Little did they know he was standing at the bar most of the
    day because he had been punished that morning.
    You need this we both know it. Give yourself a break and those around you and accept that the discipline isnt
    a sign of weakness.

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    Replies
    1. Hello Anna,
      I am just cruising by here quickly but want to tell you how inspiring to me the love you have for your husband and your constant efforts to balance discipline with nurturing. Peter is to be congratulated also for recognizing how much he needs discipline from you and accepting it with much grace. But you are making it work with your consistency and commitment to firm and loving discipline.Many young wives must be reading this blog and learning from you. I am
      Marisa

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    2. Marisa
      Thank you for those kind words about my Anna. They are all true and i give thanks always for her eternal patience with me.

      Anna's Peter

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    3. Hi Anna. And Peter. And Marisa.

      Anna, I don't disagree at all that the discipline is good for me, including discipline related to behavior at work that isn't helpful to the larger goals What I have a harder time accepting, and would to hear more about, whether here or off-line, is the fact that the peformance of Peter's employees got better as he became less domineering. That is one thing I am really struggling with right now, as I feel one reason certain people on my team keep screwing things up is because I don't hold them personally accountable as much or as rigorously as I should. Basically Machiavelli's quandary about whether it is better to be loved, or feared.

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    4. Dan
      I will answer here because I think you have answered this in your opening statement, without realizing it. You stated you dont like to exercise power over employees. As long as you act like that they will under perform and because they do under perform you take on more than your share of the labor which of course creates stress and unable to hold your temper. You dont have to be an ogre. Anna says like training children you have to give them the rules and the consequences and most of all take the time to correct their mistakes. Or as Anna would say more directly " Stop being such a know it all "
      When I walk into my office I think to myself the rules Anna has for me at home apply here. When I
      fail I tell her. At the start she would check in daily with me to see how I was doing. It was a reminder I truly need her to guide me. Think of submitting to the pain in the ass client as a task
      that your wife has given you. If you fail you will have to report that and know you will be punished.
      Know of course Dan I still struggle daily . Your friend always

      Peter

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    5. Hi Peter. I agree and know it in my heart to be true. I resist the premise of exercising power not only because I just don't like holding power over people, but also because the outfit I grew up in was a really flat organization, with very self-motivated people. Everyone was smart, worked hard, and pitched in without having to have someone riding them all the time. It's taken me a long time to appreciate just how rare that is, and that even in very high-performance professions, there are many, many people who simpl do not like making decisions and are really more comfortable being told what to do.

      I have been trying hard to emulate the example set by you and Anna, in terms of being accountable to her for work issues just the same as home issues. AS you say, it's a daily struggle. As always, thanks my friend.

      Dan

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  3. DAN
    Forget to sign this!
    Our best
    Peter & Anna

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  4. I'm not sure if I answered this one or not, but my answer (like me) is complicated. While I often take leadership positions in the outside, I'm what you would call a "reluctant leader." I wind up in those positions because nobody else is willing or able to do it. I take over in hopes that my example will inspire others to take the position later on. I spent 7 years in a leadership position because I can't say no. (Don't laugh!) I finally asked someone I trusted to take over as President and I volunteered to be VP so I could take a "break." It worked, although I served as President somewhere else during that time. This year, for the first time since 2007, I'm not holding a leadership position. I'm resting.Given the choice, I'd rather be in the background, but I know I'll wind up in a leadership position again simply because I'm not good at refusing.

    When it comes to BDSM, I'm definitely the Dominant,and I don't hesitate to take over. Oddly enough, when it comes to sex, I tend to be submissive. In fact, I rarely initiate sex, because I want to feel desired, so unless Shilo or Stitch tales the initiative, I wind up waiting. Yes, I will sometimes say that I desire sex, but I don't make them do it,

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    1. OK, you have to admit it is pretty damn funny that you keep getting roped into leadership positions because you won't lead by saying no. :-)

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    2. Yes, it is funny Dan. I completely agree with you. Part of it is that I really do love the people, and I'd hate to see it end simply because everyone is too old or lazy to take over. At this point, I'll let it die a quick and painless death because I'm genuinely TIRED!

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