It is clear that being a great leader and boss has massive appeal. Being a brilliant leader benefits companies, followers and the leaders themselves.
There is a massive market out there too, trying to help us all become better leaders… I know, I have read most of them! Yet, in all honesty, the most I learnt about leadership was from the leaders that have been in my life.
Today, I want to talk about the best boss I ever had, the reasons why I will never forget him and always aspire to be as good as him.
I only worked with this amazing man for 6 months, but he made a massive impact and here is what made him unforgettable.
His energy and enthusiasm for his work, for me, for my people… for life… was unbelievable! There was a natural vibrancy and energy that wasn’t fake or a show. He loved his life and he loved his work.
He had this power to lift your mood, energy and desire to new levels. We could be talking about what I would traditionally think of as boring subjects, yet he would create such a buzz, I would feel like a kid on Christmas morning!
He had my back
He made me and the rest of his team feel safe… I have seen so many “leaders” in the past look for a fall-guy and someone to blame if things went wrong. Never this leader… He would ensure we all knew he would protect us, if needed, and would publicly defend his team with ferocity.
What this allowed my colleagues and I to do was innovate and be creative… He gave us the autonomy to take a few risks, because we knew he would never let us fall… He enabled his team to become the most innovative and successful team in the whole company. We changed how that company did business for the better… all because we knew our leader wouldn’t throw us under the bus.
Played the long game
He always made me think about the decisions I was making on a much longer term than most bosses I have had. He used to ask me how the actions I took today would effect the business in five years time.
Most bosses think very short term… The ability to think differently and long-term allowed me to make better decisions and take longer-lasting and value-added actions.
In making me think longer-term, he automatically gave me time and space to do the right thing for my company and my team.
A boss that has the courage to allow their team to think long-term is very rare indeed.
This is a term that is used in many leadership philosophies and is obviously very important. How I saw this in this particular leader… and have never seen this since… is that he acted and spoke to me in the same way as he did to his boss or the board.
A boss who has the confidence to be themselves, in any situation and also treat his employee’s that same way he would treat the company VIP’s, was so powerful to me.
Didn’t sweat the small stuff
He always put things into perspective and never panicked, even when everyone else did. A good example was:
A team I was managing at the time had failed to correctly budget payroll for a particular month and the whole company had made this the number one focus. I was embarrassed and angry, so when I informed him I told him how upsetting this incident was.
His response? “Has anybody died? Well there is no need to be so upset then”
It brought me right back to Earth… The feelings I had about a small matter that could be rectified the following month were extreme. He taught me that making the small things seem big only caused stress and worry… It also stopped you focusing on the actual big things!
He knew he wasn’t perfect and never tried to pretend he was… It was funny, he knew very little about the operational aspects of the business… If you wanted to know how to adapt supply chain or create a maintenance job? Don’t ask this guy!
He would openly share his weaknesses… none of which were particularly bad, but most bosses would never admit too. Paradoxically, being open about his weakness magnified his strengths to epic proportions!
Epic strengths make you unforgettable!