This post is made in honor and appreciation of my favorite manager at my current job. This list is in no particular order, and for anonymity purposes we will call this manager, Tom* (*=Not his real name). Hopefully, we can all cultivate these characteristics in our own lives, and not only if we want to become a manager or some type of boss over people:
- Tom gets along with almost everyone.—Sure, like everyone else, Tom sometimes has conflicts with people, but he never really lets them eat away at his soul or personality. He even tries to get along with people that anger or annoy him. He doesn’t seem to hold grudges against anyone, at least in my job. I’ve only heard one person ever really complain about him, and that person is no longer with the company. Almost everyone at work I know has at least some respect for him.
- Tom is honest.–He doesn’t tell associates only what they want to hear, but has the decency to shoot straight with them when necessary. When someone asks how he is doing, and he is feeling badly, he doesn’t just tell people fine, as 90% of us would do. He would tell you honestly that he is feeling badly. I appreciate that kind of frankness in him, because it shows that he can be trusted.
- Tom has a good sense of humor about may things.–I believe that Tom’s humor shows up even when things are terrible or stressful for him. For instance, his job is often long, tiring and stressful. However, he still takes time to joke (well, in this case, only half a joke) with me, and I with him, about him needing a nap. I would say, ” Do you need a nap?,” and he would reply, ” Yes, I really need a nap.” in a half-jokingly way. Also, when I was straightening a particular area of the store, knowing and believing I did well, he tells me in a mock-stern voice, something like, ” I need to talk to you.” Not knowing him well at the time, I got scared that I was in some type of trouble. Knowing I was scared, he says, “I’m just kidding. You did great on [name of particular area here]!” Then, we both laughed.
- Tom is organized.–We used to (sometimes still do) have nightly store meetings, so the associates know what section to straighten for the night and any new news that we need to know about the store’s operating procedures. Tom doesn’t have long-winded discussions or take a long time rounding up people to come to the meeting. He does things fast and efficiently, so we can be more productive at work.
- Tom has reasonable expectations for everyone.—He knows that some associates need to complete their computer training in a timely manner, so he allows them some time to do them so they can get caught up if they are behind. He is understanding if someone has an illness that prevents them from doing certain things in the store, or if they have a family emergency that prevents them from being at work for awhile. However, he also knows if people are trying to trick him into giving them more leeway than they deserve or if they are just being lazy, and he doesn’t tolerate that.
- Tom is able to keep his cool in front of people.—I’ve never seen him yell at a customer, and I have only rarely heard him yell at an associate. When he is upset, he knows to not say or do something he would regret as a manager or a person later. He is very level-headed and doesn’t let his emotions eat at him. This is something we, me included, could really learn from him.
- Tom is fair to everyone.—He doesn’t only help certain people all the time, and not others. He helps everyone who needs his help the best way he can. He also doesn’t show he favors one person over another.
- Along with having reasonable expectations, which I already discussed in #5, Tom has clear expectations of what he wants of associates. — He gives clear directions on how and what he wants done. I don’t often leave confused as to what he expects out of me. He has expectations, and sticks to them. For instance, if he wants us to greet a customer who is within ten feet of us, he expects just that. He won’t waiver on that.
- Tom knows his limits.–When he is too tired or stressed, he knows to go home to his family. Also, he knows to make time to spend with his wife and children whenever possible. He doesn’t stay at the store all day, if he has other obligations, unless upper management requires that of him.
From these characteristics, we can see that Tom is a good boss to have. He is not just a good boss, but a good person as well. May we all see something of value in Tom and apply one or all of these characteristics to our own lives.