Was it a fabulous mind blowing experience?
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Author: Mrsblogalot | | at 8:34 PM |
Who remembers their First?
Was it a fabulous mind blowing experience?
One that you will always treasure?
Or was it a complete and horrible mess? An experience that you could not wait to erase?
How do you remember your First…..job?
What did you think I was talking about?
In most cases, our first experiences are the ones that stick with us. They make the initial cuts into our personal molds that begin to sculpt us as the person we will eventually turn out to be.
Our parents obviously are our first teachers, but they must eventually hand us off to the school system leaving us all open for a myriad of educational firsts.
I remember my first great school teachers as the ones who taught me the most.
With more adult clarity, it would now be defined as the ones that forced me to learn.
My Great Teacher category would certainly not include those whose teaching skills were halfhearted and tepid at best.
I loved the teachers that pushed me.
The ones who encouraged me to live up to my full potential,even when I did not feel like it –which was always. The ones who made me write and write until I learned to stop complaining about it and just do it.The ones who helped form my solid work and study habits that would last a lifetime.
There are a few standout teachers that I truly remember for those attributes. The others are just watery grade memories.
Entering into the real world, my teachers were eventually replaced by bosses.
As a brand new employee, I was anxious to learn and grow and I was willing to be shape shifted into anything that they needed me to be.
I was a clean slate.
I watched, listened and learned as I got a taste of how the real work-world went.
One of my first jobs as a teenager was at an all salad restaurant (ahead of its time back in the day). It was a brand new facility on the boulevard and my brother and I were lucky to land jobs making salads and dressings for the customers. They had the most awesome cucumber dill dressing that I had ever tasted.
Nothing compares to date.
The owners were strict but fair and we absolutely loved the tight ship that they ran. We came home and excitedly reported to our mother things like ‘and when you sneeze you have to run downstairs and wash your hands’ or ‘if you’re late, you can’t work your shift until the next day’or ‘If you don’t follow their dressing recipes exactly, you can get fired’.
Stupendous dill dressing does have its standards.
Who would have thought that kids relished in the pride that came from being a crew member of a tightly run ship? How lucky we were to have been given a lesson in supreme work ethic right out of the gate.
I remember them making a point of praising us in front of others and when there were directional issues that needed be addressed, always doing that privately.
Sounds simple right?
Such an easy recipe for managing people; Praise Publicly, Pounce in private.
Why is it that so many leaders forget this necessary ingredient for awesome Dill dressing?
Steady, strong and fair leadership was what we respected. We were only ever required to do the best job possible and consequently, we worked vigorously to earn extra praise each day, as an additional reward from our bosses.
Without the consistent follow up of the rules and regulations of what was expected of us, we would have all been allowed to flounder and eventually slack. OMG what a horrible standard to set! Instead we were given strict and fair guidelines and a paycheck as a reward for a job well done.
As I grew and moved on, I found that the same theories of teacher-greatness still applied themselves in bosses, supervisors, managers, leaders of leaders and owners of companies.
I have had my share of terrible bosses. They have also unknowingly shaped me into what I am today. And that is the antithesis of what they were.
Whenever I felt that I was treated unfairly or with poor choice communication, I would sock those feelings away and swear that I would never make anyone feel that same way if I were ever in their position. And eventually, I sure as hell was.
My greatest bosses, and I was extremely lucky to have a handful, were the ones who strived to make me better. These true leaders were phenomenal at developing those below them into becoming great leaders themselves. They possessed exceptional patience and a real passion for training.
They taught me all that they knew (without fear of being overthrown with all this new found knowledge) and then delegated full responsibility to me when I was ready, allowing me to soar or fall all based upon my own efforts.
They were competent and skilled managers who have been in my shoes and were specifically chosen because they proved that they were suitably qualified to lead.
As I continued to grow into a skilled qualified leader, I found myself emulating many of their wonderful qualities. My eventual success in my desired field, was a direct reflection on them and I was proud to shine on their stage.
My success equaled their success.
Am I mistaken to assume that a boss should be the same as a really great teacher? One who assigns responsibilities and tasks, enforces rules and regulations, guides and teaches. Listens? Molds? Develops? Takes suggestions without fear of losing commanding ground? Someone who possesses the lions’ share of your respective field experience, as well as the ability to pass on that knowledge in the most constructive and helpful manner possible?
This recipe for great leadership is not such a tall order. There are many statuesque individuals out there proving it day in and day out.
I will say that remembering all of your bad experiences is definitely a good thing. They will help lead you in better directions throughout your entire life. Ex-boyfriends not excluded.
Keep your eyes wide open in recognizing a good path not just for its lack of past bad attributes but for its potential future possibilities.
Many thanks to those leaders who scored the deeply ingrained pride and work ethic notches into my own personal clay.