Most people have painful boss stories to tell and I don’t want it to happen to me someday. For the many years that I have been working, I am fortunate to have met good bosses who shaped me into the professional that I am today. Of course, there were also times when our work relationship was not smooth, but being a logical person helped me to get through with all the challenges and criticisms thrown at me. So, without naming names, I’d like to share my experiences with my previous bosses who had different styles and personalities with each other.
Boss #1 is every employee’s dream boss. He was supportive of his department’s career growth and encouraged each one of us to do better each year. He was our cheerleader during project presentations, he made sure that we were comfortable in facing the other bosses. He was fond of teambuilding and out-of-office activities like dining out, badminton, and for the boys’ night out. Boss #1 taught me that being a good leader does not only mean that you’re good at doing your job, you have to have a good relationship with your subordinates as well.
Boss #2 is artistic and imaginative, traits that are not innate in me. I used to view the world in black and white, there’s no in-between and other colors. To put it down literally, she critiqued my first work samples and remarked that I should use more colors to differentiate one process or step from another. She could be feisty and emotional at times and it contradicted my normally cool demeanor. I think that one of the reasons why we hit off later and became friends was our opposite attitude; hot and cold, colorful and black and white. She taught me the value of hard work and patience that I still do now.
Boss #3 proves that even a person as accomplished as him can blend with employees of all ranks and positions. He was a caring boss and the type who would get worried if one of his female staff would go home late because of work-related overtime. His sincerity and empathy earned the admiration and support of most of the people under his management. A natural comedian, meetings were never boring because of him. I learned from him that you could be a well-loved and well-respected boss if you know how to love and respect people in the first place.
Boss #4 is gentle and friendly. He was accommodating especially to the newbies. What I got from him was learning how to work effectively with the other teams by being attentive to their expectations on a given assignment or project.
Boss #5 is a macro manager. It was probably because she came to the time when the culture and system in our department section were already in place. What I loved about her was her efforts to unite the team when some of us were not on good terms with one another. I admired her patience and understanding in dealing with our rants and bickering. Until now, she makes it a point that we communicate as a team once in a while.
Boss #6 is a micromanager. I fully understood his management style because the level of our involvement and commitment to the organization was greater as compared to some. If the other bosses taught me technical skills to do my job, Boss #6’s contribution to me was sharpening my management and decision-making skills. Indirectly, he was the reason why I decided to push through with my MBA because there were a lot of things to be done and accomplished under him. He taught me to be keen on details, be precise with data, and be always prepared when the pieces of information were needed.
Boss #7 is smart and confident. She pushed her subordinates to attend personality development training in a reputable training company. I learned from her that trusting and believing in what your subordinates can do will make a big difference in the improvement of their performance.
Boss #8 gives equal opportunities to deserving people. Being an empath, his concern for the people came off naturally. In return, he was also well-loved and respected. What I learned from him was to never stop learning and to never be complacent. I learned that being mediocre is a disservice to one’s growth and potentials.
I felt good after remembering my past bosses’ contribution to my attitude and career growth. To those who might ask if I change a job very often, the answer is no—the bosses were either rotated or resigned.