Worst Boss Ever: Third Runner Up

IMG_6736

The setting was a small not-for-profit with fewer than 20 employees. The ‘boss’ had been in place for more than ten years. She had a turnover problem. She kept firing supervisory staff.

I was brought on board to supervise. It took me about a week to analyze the problem. The boss never finished a sentence.  The one exception? If she gave a speech, she wrote and memorized what she planned to say.

I had a half-dozen explanations for her continual self interruptions. She was creative and had a gazillion ideas. Her thought process was too speedy. She’d developed this terrible end-of-sentence failure habit. She was irrevocably right brained, making her incapable of outlining–step by step–what she wanted me to do.

Bottom line? She thought out loud and didn’t take the time to adequately develop her vision before trying to communicate it.

Yes, that made her difficult to work for. I quickly learned to end her sentences for her–silently. I spent a lot of time figuring out what she might mean for me to do. I got really good at mind-reading in the five plus years I stayed in that job, guessing right about 60 percent of the time.

Her firing problem? She blamed her staff for failure to understand her vision. But she was the failure, incapable of seeing that her inability to communicate what she wanted done caused the turnover. How many people do you need to fire before you ask, “What is it about me…?”

No. She didn’t fire me. I went looking for a boss who completed her sentences. But that’s a tale for next week …

 

 

Re-Activating Face Book July 1

IMG_6671

It’s been 85 days without Face Book. I started this 90-day journey with friends and family telling me I’d miss it—meaning FB.

Not exactly true. I didn’t miss all the hoopla on FB. The politics. The ads. The creepy friend requests. The revelations of even more data breaches.

I did and do miss my far-flung friends and family, and I’m returning because of them.

So, on Sunday, July 1, look for me—and this new blog—on Face Book.

Best Boss Ever

IMG_6611

Funny story.

I planned to write this blog after breakfast out with my daughter-in-law, Mati Lamb. Mati’s in process of changing careers, from retail manager to corporate middle manager. At breakfast, she–serendipitously–told me what she looks for in a good leader:

  1. Listen to your people well.
  2. Give people credit for their work, along with public recognition.
  3. Provide opportunities to advance the careers of your people.

While she talked, I thought about my Best Boss Ever and what made him so great. Honestly, I cried when forced to move to a different job in a different state. He was:

  1. Kind. He never failed to show interest and respect for his people.
  2. Honest. He never—no not ever–lied.
  3. Discreet. He never talked to one of his people about another.

If you’re a manager take heed. People stay in jobs (and leave them) because of managers.

As for the lily, it’s my favorite. Hope you enjoy the photo of this year’s bloom.

Next Thursday–third runner up for WORST BOSS EVER.

No Power

IMG_6618

The power went off about 12:30p yesterday and didn’t come back on until sometime around 4p. So no writing got done and everything’s delayed two days thanks to Father’s Day prep. Look for worst and best boss characteristics on or before Wednesday.

Meanwhile, it was SO hot outside, the dogs had to come in. They’ve been sleeping in the house at night and to facilitate our rest and theirs, we bought them new beds with zip-off covers for washing. But would they get in the new beds? They would not.

But yesterday seemed to be the tipping point. Here’s Loki comfy in his new bed.

IMG_6614

And here’s Juno, ditto. The cat in the back is Fat Boy, who thinks he’s a dog.

 

This Year’s First Daylily

IMG_6609 (2)

Ta-Da …

I went a little crazy last year and bought a gazillion different daylily hybrids. Honestly, I don’t remember how many different kinds.

When I planted them, I carefully made a label for each, using plastic markers and permanent ink. Sad to say, the ink disappeared and something ate most of the markers.

So I don’t know most of the names. It’s sad to think I’ll have to go through the summer, showing you all these great daylilies without identification.

Coming face-to-face with this glitch in my garden design seems to have made me remember my working days. I’ve been dreaming of my four most memorable bosses–and since I dream only nightmares, not in a good way.

Gotta get these four out of my head! So instead of flower names, I’ll say more in subsequent posts about my one stupendous and three dreadful bosses. No names, of course.

Unanticipated Consequences

IMG_6602 (2)

Back in the days when I thought gardening required nothing more than design, water, and weeding, I planned a red garden. Composed of red lilies and daylilies, red columbines, a couple different red clematis, and red geraniums, I looked forward–that first year–to brilliantly red blooms.

The joke was on me. The red lilies–as seen in the photo–bloomed an orange-red. The daylilies bloomed a wine-red. The columbine didn’t bloom at all. The clematis bloomed a rich purple-blue.

Only the geraniums were red.

Oddly enough, after five years, I like this garden better. It’s full of surprises. Not what I’d planned, but good.