A Model Manager

It’s somewhat ironic that I waxed on and on about jobs I have held for only a few years during my last few posts, and now I find the lesson I took away from the job I held the longest – 10 years as a matter of fact – is actually the most succinct.

It was at this job, with an electric utility in Indiana, that I had the good fortune to work for a guy who is, hands-down, the best boss I had in my career. These are the top 5 things I learned from him, lessons I applied as a manager and that I now apply as a consultant and management coach:

  1. If you have a productive team who are good at what they do, set clear goals and get out of the way.
  2. It is a manager’s job to make sure his/her team has everything they need to get their jobs done.
  3. Let your team show their brilliance directly to the big boss but buffer them when the big boss has an issue.
  4. Be honest, even if the truth isn’t pretty. (People know when you’re full of it.)
  5. Laugh loudly, laugh often and laugh mostly at yourself.

Cheers to you, Chris Rettig!


Post Script: Now that the new year is upon us, I am going to move away from my past-career retrospective and toward posts that examine ways to make work work better for everyone. I am currently collecting stories of workplace stress and struggle to help me build my posts. If you have a story to share, send it to me and see what transpires.  (All stories will be shared anonymously to protect the innocent and guilty alike.)

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