I have had two REALLY GREAT bosses so far in my career. Don’t get me wrong – I have had a LOT more than 2 (if you know anything about the military construct, you know that we can go through bosses like I go through candy corn in October), but of those many bosses, I have had two who were just outstanding and who I consider to be mentors. One is the super funny boss who originally hired me into my last job (with reluctance because of my youth at the time that he constantly told me he was glad I proved him wrong) in NH. The other was my last boss in NH who is oft disliked for his “overly strict” adherence to the rules. Why are they so great? In a career that has been wrought with sexual bias (even 15 years into this, there are still far more men than women in this job), intimidation and often a complete lack of faith from superiors, these two have qualities that just go above and beyond.
Boss 1 – I mentioned he’s funny, and that is an understatement. He has a great sense of humor teamed with an ability to utilize his humor to defuse tense situations – which is SO important in this high paced world. But he has so many other qualities that just make him stand out from the “boss crowd”. He is a great writer – one of those people who you regret seeing move so far up in the ranks, only because you want him to review everything you write, since he can take any nonsense you put together and shine it up in a way that makes you wish you had that natural talent. He is a dedicated family man – even though it often means hours of work once the kids are in bed, he is there for every game, play or concert (as long as he is in town), and better still – ensures that his subordinates do the same. Thank you PS for bringing me to NH and having enough faith in me to let me spread my wings – it was an amazing set of opportunities!
Boss 2 – While also funny, and well able to take a joke, this one has a quality that I simply cannot put in to words. He knows every rule of the job inside out and backwards, and while that occasionally worked against me, it is far more impressive to have someone that dedicated and willing to put themselves on the line for you because they can prove they are right. He has since also been promoted and is working in a great job at a higher level – but I am thankful to have worked with him while we had the opportunity. Thank you GW for teaching me that knowing the rules and enforcing them universally may not always be popular, but is always the higher road.
This all comes just hours short of my one year anniversary of moving to my new job, as I think of them often, and truly appreciate all that I learned from them. I am also, a bit surprisingly at this anniversary, thankful for the numerous “less than awesome” bosses that I have had. Without many of the lessons learned from those difficult bosses, I would have struggled even more than I did this year. It has been a long year, with stresses I never could have envisioned, but I wouldn’t change it. Being a part of something bigger than myself has been rewarding, and fortunately, the family is not entirely miserable either.
~”People ask the difference between a leader and a boss. The leader leads, and the boss drives.” Theodore Roosevelt