In General on March 11, 2009 at 11:26 pm

I resigned from my job nearly a year ago, after 20 years with the same company. I had many different bosses over that time.

On one hand I had some bosses during this time that were, in my view, magnificent! They were bosses that helped me grow and develop as an employee and a person, leading to fabulous pay increases and additional responsibilities, leading me to be much happier, challenged, content, dedictaed to my company, and it was my company! At least it felt that way, and I think that’s the feeling that every organisation to should strive develop in their employees.

On the other hand though, there were some awful bosses. The last boss, and the reason I left the company I thought I would retire with, was disgraceful. fter 20 years I had risen high in the organisation’s structure, so my boss in the end was very very senior, so obviously doing something right. Right?

Yes, no doubt. She was, probably still is, enormously dedicated, extremely hard working, long hours, lots of travel, what ever it took, she’d do it. Her boss thought she was wonderful. Her bosses bosses held her in high regard also, well, to a certain extent it would seem, more about that later. Staff for the most part also thought she was wonderful. As did I, until I started reporting to her.

Having had the time to reflect on my experience, and to consider how things got so bad that I resigned, after 20 years and with such excitement and enthusiasm inside me to develop my business and team, to create more and more success for all involved. It was the most difficult decision I have made in my life, and I’ve made a couple of big ones!

I’m not sure she would have ever changed the way she managed me, but, I know I could have tried harder to talk to her about the way I liked to be managed. I kept trying to change, to be the person she wanted, and she wanted all of us who reported to her to be the same. I know that because as things deteriorated towards the end, I was being compared to my colleagues and told by her that I should be more like her or him.

I’d say though, that it’s easier for one person to change their approach than for 8 people to have to change their approach.

I’ve been a manager and leader for many many years too, at my peak, at one stage, I had 80 people under my umbrella. They weren’t all direct reports of course, but I had about six direct reports, maybe 8, and I adopted an approach I thought worked with each of my direct team members. I have to say that for the most part, I think it worked well because we achieved a lot together, they all reported being happy, we socialized, all the signs were there that they respected me and worked hard to achieve the things we needed to do.

The only time this didn’t happen is when I reported to Kim, she’ll never read this so I can mention her name. I tried to become someone I wasn’t, I tried to become the person she wanted me to be, and as a result of that, I lost a crucial staff member who reported through to me. She held the most knowledge about our system of anyone in the business. Of course we survived without her, any big business can and will, but it was difficult, and it took a toll on me and the rest of the team. If I had tried to get Kim to manage me the way I liked to be managed, and if she had done that, I would have continued to manage this girl the way I had for so long, happily for both of us, and things would not have deteriorated as they finally did.

I also know this girl left feeling towards me, the way I felt about Kim in the end, distrust, dislike and disappointment.

So now I consult to business on management practice and I’m developing a methodology for businesses to adopt that will allow them to manage their staff the way every single one of those individuals wishes to be managed, so that those individuals are happy, leading to happy teams, happy bosses and most importantly, happy clients.

I’m eager to have community input on this approach and we can develop the methodology together, so let me know your experiences, as an employee or manager, let me know what works for you and what doesn’t work, lets see if we can identify a theme here of the good approaches and the bad.


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