A note to all my past bosses, supervisors and managers: thank you. And, um, sorry about that.
I was reflecting the other day on the string of jobs I’ve had and the remarkable variety of men and women I’ve reported to. It all began with Dick at the Thriftway. Then there was Harry at the gas station. Then the Navy with five commanding officers, three executive officers and a passel of department heads. Then there was Greg, and then Bill, and Dana and Edie and Mac and Susan and Bob and Dick and Paul and Rick and Stan and Joe and Jim and Tim and Bob and Jane and Mark and Dave. Whew! I probably left somebody out, but you get the idea.
Two thoughts occurred to me as I considered this list. First, each one of these men and women really wanted to do a good job. Whether or not I happened (in my vast wisdom) to agree at the time with their approach and their philosphy of leadership doesn’t matter: without exception these were good people who worked hard, took a lot of stress home with them at night, and tried to fight the good fight. Not a bum in the bunch. So consider this a collective “Thank you” to bosses past and present.
The second thought is more convicting. Honest self-appraisal time: how often when I worked for these folks was I part of the problem and not part of the solution? Did I grouse more than I should have, even occasionally? Did I ever fuel the fires of complaint, negativity, or mistrust? Did I leave one job or another prematurely, forcing my then-boss to deal with the frustration of employee turnover? (Edie and Mac and Susan, I’m thinking about you here…) I’m not saying I would go back and change things even if I could — I’m simply wondering if I could have made my boss’s life easier by doing my work better and complaining less. So consider this a collective “My bad” for the times I made the boss’s life more difficult than I might have.
He who pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity and honor says Proverbs 21:21. Translation: my agenda isn’t Priority One. Behaving in a way that’s honorable, loving and diligent — that’s the goal…whether the boss notices it or not! So if this applies, take it to heart. And next time you get the chance, say thanks to the boss. He/she will appreciate it — I guarantee it.