If I said to you, recall a manager you admire; how would you describe them? How have they impacted your life? Are you still learning from them today? I thought I would share a few of the managers I admire from the most junior to the most senior.
The supervisor who came out of her comfort zone
Some people may not class supervisors as a manager, but, after seeing the level of responsibilities many of them have, I’m going to class them as managers. Years ago, I advised a supervisor through her first HR process; she was scared but, determined to do a good job. She listened carefully to the steps that she needed to take and replied; I’ll do this, and this and come back to you, and she did! Her diligence to manage with integrity taught me a valuable lesson; people don’t need to know a lot as long as they are willing to learn.
The middle manager who epitomised justice and mercy
A middle manager had a serious decision to make; she weighed all of the information carefully. She decided to allow a member of staff to rehabilitate and rebuild their career. Then she went further; she took the time to counsel the individual and, offered to act as a mentor.
The senior manager who served his team while leading them
A senior manager won the trust of the team by leading by example. He demanded high standards from himself before he demanded it from others. He set out his vision, and he gave the team a clear picture of how they would operationalise it. At the same time, he invested in them; he revolutionalised service delivery bringing his team with him every step of the way—this manager modelled servant leadership to me. He could have led solely from the front, but, he chose to lead the team while serving them.
The director who spoke truth to inequality
I was sitting in the office of a director, and we were discussing equal opportunities, her response was to the point, she said, “how can we have equal opportunities if we don’t have respect?” That gave me cause to pause. What I admired most was she went straight to the heart of inequality. She was willing to ask and ponder more profound issues and speak truth to them, rather than gloss over them with a label. She is still doing that today without fear or favour.
The chief executive who treated everyone as though they mattered
I participated in a meeting that chaired by the Chief Executive. What was striking to me was how he chaired that meeting. He was hospitable and genuinely listened to everyone and respected their contributions.
Years later, I met up with him. I told him I had admired his down to earth management style. He looked at me ruefully and, said; he learned some tough lessons as a junior manager. Then he beamed at me and, credited his down to earth style to his mother who keeps him and his siblings grounded.
Each one, teach one
I am thankful to all of these managers. I have modelled what they have taught me to help others to this day. At the beginning of this piece, I asked you if you could recall a manager that you admire. For those of you who did, I’ll leave you with this question, how are you modelling what they taught you?
© Dawn H Jones
Hello, I’m Dawn. I am an HR specialist. I hope you found this blog useful if you’d like to receive regular content, we’d love to have you – press the subscribe button.