One of my slides says, “Credibility is the foundation of Leadership.” One of my clients once told me that credibility is so crucial in leadership that being new in the team is not enough reason for them not to know their team’s process. Credibility, like trust and respect, is not something that you get overnight. It’s something that you earn, day after day, week after week, month after month… Sometimes, because there is a constant need to prove yourself and remain consistent, it feels like it never ends.
And the truth is… It really doesn’t.
How many of us can truly say that we have had the chance of choosing our boss? I’ve never had that opportunity – and so I have had many, many moments with the different characters whom I have directly reported:
- Elaine, Team Lead – my very, very first supervisor. I didn’t really understand why she became a supervisor in the first place (although now that I train speak about leadership so much, I am willing to keep an open mind that management saw something in her that I obviously didn’t), but for most part, I knew her heart was in a good place. Unfortunately, it’s hard to take your leader seriously, especially when your lasting memories of her were the words “Thank you for calling _______, this is Arwen. (laughs) That’s right, Arwen. (laughs again) Yes, it’s a strange name.” and “That’s ‘f’ as in ‘phoenix’.”
- Meow, Account Manager / eventually Senior Account Manager – Meow. Meow, meow, meow. She and I were destined to spend many, many painful years together. She was meant for me… Perhaps as a punishment. Meow had several things going against her from the beginning:
- She was an external transfer. Although from another technical account, it was not evident in the way she did things.
- Our business processes remained alien to her despite being immersed in it for 6 years
- She perpetually spells “lose” (verb, as in cannot find something) as “loose” (adjective, as in not tight)
- She has memorable one liners that are funny as bloopers but damaging to one’s reputation as a manager (i.e. “
name undisclosedwas muggled in a bar…”, something-something, something-something, is in it? (meant as “isn’t it?”, “adding salt to injury”, etc.)
- She was my one and only manager to whom I said, “You have to understand,
real name not used, respect doesn’t come with the position” while pointedly staring at her.
- Mr. M, Account Manager / eventually Senior Account Manager / Mentor – In a nutshell, Mr. M. was very awesome. For more details, read this previous post.
- Patrick Star, Operations Director – Patrick Star, similar to his cartoon namesake, leaves a lot to be desired. Often an example in my leadership classes, he will forever be part of my lectures… As something all leaders should avoid doing.
- MagBu, Operations Director – In the beginning, MagBu was a light at the end of a very long and very dark tunnel. I went from Patrick Star to MagBu and, just like what they say about the grass being greener on the other side of the fence, I stepped out of the darkness and, as my ability to see went back to normal, I realized that the grass on the other side of the fence was just as green and dirty. And full of shit.
- Father Bangs, Senior Account Manager – In comparison to MagBu, Father Bangs was a breath of fresh air. Although admittedly competent and in possession of people skills, Father Bangs also had the bad habit of only giving attention to those managers to are desperate for it. I was under Father Bangs during my last days in my first company. I always wanted to tell him that a part of me really wanted to thank him… Because it was under his management that I actually became a better trainer than I already was. But it was also under his management when I felt the most worthless in my entire career.
- Queen D, Training Manager – Queen D was a very, very good manager. I could see why top management loved her. She was, however, not a leader (at least not for me) and I could also see why the people – err, did not like her. I can’t say much about Queen D because I was only really with her for five months and we could go without a real conversation at weeks at a time. Also, when you’re the Assistant Quality Manager and your boss tells you, “I really don’t know quality. I haven’t even looks at the scorecards and I’m really not interested,” you kinds lose interest after that.
- Mother J, Position Not To Be Disclosed – I loved Mother J. When I met her, the first thing I thought of was, “I want to be like her when I grew up.” I was only with Mother J for three months, but she did make such a big impact in my life. If she only knew that she was the person who changed my life in 2010.
- Great Mother, Position Not To Be Disclosed – I have always been a half-breed. I am the child of Operations and Support. I am the child of art and logic. I am both a drama queen and an ice princess. With Great Mother, I became the child of both substance and form. Great Mother is eccentric (in a good way). She is passionate and over-reactive and she uses the most colorful words. She has unbelievable standards and she will push you and she’ll make you cry. But if you take it as it is, if you see the Big Why that she’s running towards, she can make you better than you ever thought possible.
But this is not just a story about the Bosses that I’ve had and the many, many ways that I see them. This entry is a rant. It’s about that one non-EQ moment when I lost it while writing and I broke the number one rule that I always teach: I lost my temper.
I wrote a nasty email and, without proofing it, pressed “send”. Interesting, no? But time has run out right now.
The nasty email is another story and I shall tell it another time.