Sunday, May 10, 2009

Thinking About the Boss

I was sitting here today just thinking about some of my old bosses. Some of those old bosses were really great. I enjoyed working for them, learned from them, and would work for them again in a second.

Of course, there were other bosses who were not so great. I not only wouldn’t work for them again, I would go to great lengths to avoid seeing them in public.

So I thought I would take the next two entries to talk about good bosses and bad bosses and to get your thoughts and stories about our old bosses as well.

Let’s start with the good bosses.

When I think about my very best bosses, a few names and stories come to mind.

Jim was a great boss. We were working on construction projects where timing was everything. When Jim first took over the organization we had a problem with missing our completion dates. Sometimes we missed by a few weeks. Other times we missed by months. These delays were costing the company millions of dollars.

Jim’s charge to us was simple. “Once we give a date for completion, we will meet that date. Once the date is set, the date don’t change.”

He posted “the date don’t change” on every wall in our building and, with that statement as our overriding goal, we got focused on a single clear goal. And, for the two years Jim was our boss, we didn’t miss a single construction date.

The date didn’t change.

Another boss named Ed impacted me in an entirely different way. He was one of my favorites because of the way he helped me grow. Often Ed would stop by my office after a big meeting and discuss what happened and why it happened. We would review what others in the room had done and what I had done. We also discussed explicitly, but in gentle terms, what I could have done better. Ed mentored me in ways that no other boss ever did. And he made me a better person for it.

So those are a couple of quick stories from me about some of my favorite bosses. Who were some of your favorite bosses, and what did they do that made them special to you?

We’d love to hear your stories.

Until next time.....

Dave Meyer
ECI Learning Systems, LLC

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