Just over a decade ago, I had a new boss. Our company was undergoing enormous change and we were all under great pressure. As tough as it is to have a new boss, it's even more difficult when you know your very job is also on the line.
We had a huge opportunity to demonstrate excellence for the company. My new boss was certainly looking for a chance to shine in his new position. He offered me a challenge and listened to how I would meet that challenge. We launched the plan. If we failed, we would fail in front of nearly 300 people including those who decided the fate of our jobs. We rehearsed endlessly, staying up late rehearsing the night before the event. I swear I pushed a single button 1000 times before he called it a night.
The next day, the event went off without a hitch and everyone involved in the preparations was called into a room with the top brass to assess the event's success. They offered applause to my new boss and he literally stepped aside and pointed to my team. In my career, I had never had a boss who did not take the limelight for himself. In that moment, my whole perspective of the relationship between a manager and his or her subordinates was transformed. This man was a builder of something bigger and longer lasting than one moment in the limelight. And for more than a decade, we worked on bigger and better things for our company - together.
I never dreaded seeing him or getting a call - any time of the day or night or on a weekend. I knew - I trusted - that if he called, it was important and it was always for the good of the company as he believed when he called. I did not worry about ulterior motives or poor judgement or poor timing or any other concern. Always I trusted that we had a job to do and would work together to that end. I trusted that he would hear my concerns, value my perspective and let me use my skills to best serve the company.
I am thankful for having that experience. I am hopeful that I will have that experience again in my career. I am determined to offer those who work for me, that same experience.