Most of what we call management consists of making it difficult for people to get their work done.
I just finished reading a blog posting from Daniel Pink, author of the recent book, “Drive”. In his most recent posting he asks the question, “Are you a good boss or a bad boss?” This naturally gets us thinking about two things: 1) Are we a a good boss, and 2) Is my boss a good boss?
While I don’t believe there are very many “perfect’ bosses, I feel very fortunate to have had worked for some amazing people who were very different. I also feel very fortunate to have worked some whom were quite the opposite of amazing. I wish to share with you lessons learned from my observations of a few of those people whom I have worked for.
Mo. I worked in restaurant as a server. The thing about Mo that makes me think he was amazing was that once you declared your standards – he respected them as completely as you respected them. What that means is those people who lived and worked in accordance to core values felt respected, honored, and appreciated. Those who tried deceit and manipulation were rewarded with tough work conditions, and thus left. Mo was amazing because his style attracted those with high integrity, strong team work ethic, and win-win attitudes, and deflected liars, cheaters, and lazy workers.
MJP. I will admit, I currently report to MJP. (I will still say these things when I don’t.) The thing that stands out the most with MJP is this persons capability to appreciate humanity. This connectivity to humanity is more than just compassion and sympathy. It is a deep awareness of what motivates people, what we will compete for, and where we are best suited to contribute in the organization. In summary, MJP has a tapped humanity to drive human behavior that has resulted in intense loyalty to company and team, employee ownership of delivering results, and a unique feeling of workplace camaraderie.
Not so amazing
RS. RS is a friend of mine on Facebook. He might end up reading this and when he does, he will know what I am talking about. About 7 years ago this organization underwent serious financial trouble that eventually resulted in it going out of business. At one point this organization had been a consecutive 3-time Inc. 500 company. During this time of I was called into RS’ office and was chewed a new one because a relative had used the company toll-free number to reach me. (this number which had been plastered by the company in dominate spots on the website, on marketing collateral, and audio CDs). I had never given any work number to this relative, and so when I recieved this butt-chewing from RS the result was the opposite of engagement.
I think RS was a horrible boss at the time because at a time when the company needed financial growth and stability – it treated its employees as enemies of the state rather than as potential solution holders. This company had loyal and passionate employees and created enemies. (keep in mind – I love this guy to death on a personal level, one the funniest and most personable people you will ever meet.)
What about your bosses? Have any Dilbert-like stories to tell? Do you have the perfect boss? What makes them ideal? Please share.
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