How many bosses have you had in your life? Few of us have worked only one place our entire life and even fewer have only worked under one boss. We probably remember all of our bosses. We would say that some were bad and some were good. How many of those were really outstandingly rememberable.
I have had many bosses in my life. As a teen I worked in a drug store before and after school and on weekends. I did everything from cleaning, stocking, waiting on customers and even filled a few prescriptions. I had two bosses. One was fun, caring and supportive. The second one had a temper, demanding and never pleasant. Oddly enough, I learned more from the second bosses than from the first.
The ill tempered one always said to me, “You do excellent work but hate making the decisions.” He was right, I never knew what would please him. But I learned something important, MAKE DECISIONS based on your best knowledge and what YOU THINK is right. That early education has served me well to this day. He also never liked the thought I was going into ministry. He always encouraged me to consider nursing. (Times were changing and it was a new field for men and paid well.) I also took it as complimentary of his high regards for my intelligence and abilities. BUT, I made my decision, it was my calling!
Today, managing even the small staff of Hillside, you can’t imagine how time consuming it is. Finding that balance between making sure the needs of the congregation are met, being compassionate of the staff, and helping the staff to be better people is challenging. Research has found eight qualities that make a great and unforgettable boss. Jeff Haden writes:
1. They believe the unbelievable.
2. They see opportunity in instability and uncertainty.
3. They wear their emotions on their sleeves.
4. They protect others from the bus.
5. They’ve been there, done that…and still do that.
6. They lead by permission, not authority.
7. They embrace a larger purpose.
8. They take real, not fake risks.
Perhaps in all of those characteristics we can find a way of being better people regardless of whether we are bosses or employees.