“People may hear your words, but they feel your attitude.”
~ John C. Maxwell ~
The Human Side of Managing People
I have worked with and for many different people over the years. I promised myself that given the chance to lead and manage people, I would always treat people like people. This along with an awakening of sorts led me to this point in my life.
For many years I felt trapped by my experience in jobs which I was good at but were not fulfilling. I thought I was doing that again eight months ago, until I came to realize that it is not what you do; it is how you do what you do that matters. As Eckhart Tolle would say, combining my inner and outer purpose.
Soon after starting this job as Distribution Center Manager I was asked point blank “so, how long are you going to be here?” It was apparent pretty quickly that these people have been through the ringer in the past and trust was not going to be won easily.
I made it my mission to earn their respect without fear, create a team atmosphere, and be the boss that my employees deserved. I do not take the use of the word team lightly and I don’t mean “my team”, we are all a team. Are we perfect? Of course we are not, I have yet to meet a human being that was perfect but they know they have my support.
I obviously do what is best for the business or I would not be here, but I never do that over what is best for the person or people. I’m sure that it would be less stressful for some to take a more detached approach with employees, but that is not me. In a couple of cases I cared more about them keeping their jobs than they did and they were given a chance to pursue other opportunities.
In my interview I was told by the (now seeking other opportunities) VP that I was going to have to rule with an iron fist, threaten and fire a bunch of people, and that my way would not work. I am not one to disregard and ignore what a boss tells me to do but…I did it my way and it works. I am not their friend and I have high expectations of each and every one of my people but would not ask them to do something I would be unwilling to do myself.
I can’t say enough how lucky I am to have the boss that I have because he has allowed me to mature as a leader more than I even knew that I could. He allows me to make decisions, mistakes, and grow which has done wonders for my confidence. Teaching and sharing my knowledge from many years around warehouses is only a small part of my job now and I don’t feel like I am wasting my time or missing my calling.
Thank you as always for reading my ramblings! Until next time remember that everyone is fighting their own battle so be kind.