Saturday, January 9, 2016

Philosophy of Management

I’ve had a lot of jobs in my life, and therefore I’ve had a lot of bosses.  Awesome ones, crappy ones, and everything in between.

Like the bar manager who was half-nuts and undoubtedly quite crooked, but everyone loved him because he was so laid back.  He was unmoved by—well, pretty much everything.  He spent every evening just leaning against the bar, telling hilarious inappropriate jokes and giving us complete autonomy to do whatever we wished.

There was the retail manager who marched around military-style on sky-high heels and made commands to everyone in her way, looking so formitable and terrifying that we all did exactly as we were told.  Customers included.

And the catering chef who wouldn’t let us servers eat any of the leftover food at the end of an event; instead, she packed it up and took it home to her family.  When we protested, she suggested we eat at home before arriving.  “That way you won’t be hungry at the end of the night,” she said slowly, using the tone a parent uses with a particularly dense child. 

And the principal who had something in her personality—I’m still trying to figure it out— that made people want to please her.  Everyone seemed to fall all over themselves volunteering to help, do, produce, present.  Whatever she needed, there were five people behind her begging to do it. 

And many more.  I could write fifty blog posts about bosses I've had.  

Each one of my supervisors has contributed to who I am as a leader.  I’ve cobbled together little bits and pieces of each of them, and I’ll continue to do so when working with my future bosses.   And I’ll continue to think about things other successful leaders say about their work.  Like this gem: 

I really like that—the idea that there are things we can buy and things we have to earn.  I'm going to spend some time thinking about what I've earned, and how to earn more of it.  

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