Monday, November 26, 2007

The Old Boss

The old boss was a real pistol. If he had a problem with your performance, he'd get right with you and declare in no uncertain terms what the deal was and what he expected. In five minutes, the storm cloud would have passed.

You're very different. You won't yell at all but will quietly lower the boom months or even years later when it's time for a performance evaluation, a pay raise, or a promotion.

The old boss had a nutty love for the product. He'd get misty-eyed just talking about what had been invented or tried years ago. Can you imagine that?

You don't get very emotional about anything; in fact, we all suspect that if the company shifted to making square ball-bearings tomorrow you wouldn't blink an eye.

The old boss knew everyone in the plant and would even squander time talking to the characters in the mailroom.

You know everyone "who counts" and it's clear you don't have time for idle chit-chat. You're a very busy person.

The old boss could be a little rough around the edges. He seldom wowed the promotion boards.

You're on to that game and make a point of socializing with the people who will be selected for those boards.

The old boss took college classes at night as well as plenty of workshops but never completed his degree.

You got your degree years ago, seldom attend workshops, and save many of your evenings for schmoozing.

The old boss would speak up at company meetings if he thought something was wrong.

You diplomatically test the waters and don't make a scene. After all, you want to keep your options open.

Hey, it's certainly good that old boss and his strange ways have gone.

We can learn a lot from a modern manager.


Anonymous said...

One of the great blessings of my life is that I got to work for one of those "old bosses" early in my career.

Michael Wade said...


You're right. Those old bosses taught us a great deal. One of their lessons was the importance of being genuine.