My Best Boss

An irony I have noticed over the years is the unexpected response people have to my speeches and/or presentations. It is quite often humbling. For example, I may feel that I was in the zone, every sentence flowing seamlessly and the message extremely well received and inspiring. Then someone from the audience will come up to me and say: “I just loved that joke you told, could I write it down!”

“Excuse me,” I say to myself, “didn’t you hear all of those wonderful ideas I gave you about how to lead your teams, achieve your goals and live a purposeful life? Is that all the feedback you can give me that you loved my jokes?” Of course, that’s my ego totally out of control so I mentally get back to my best self and calmly repeat the joke.

Recently while facilitating a leadership session with one of our clients, I had a similar experience. This time, however, it was a request for the content of one of the PowerPoint slides we used. It was a quote from another author’s book, which we had used to make a critical point about leadership. Now ninety nine percent of the presentation came from material in my own books but this person wanted that one percent. Yes, humbling!

That being said I do understand the reason for the request and as I love the book from which the quote is taken, I thought I would be magnanimous, go one step further and share it with all of you. The book is called Rapid Re-alignment and actually speaks to the work we do with many of our clients. I thoroughly believe it should be in every corporate library and read by every leader.

In dealing with what makes an effective leader, the book refers to research done with thousands of people to define and understand what makes a good “boss.” Here are the common characteristics:

  • My best boss listened
  • My best boss backed me up
  • My best boss respected me
  • My best boss gave feedback
  • My best boss trusted me

Source: Rapid Realignment – George Labovitz and Victor Rozansky

What I now know is that these characteristics have been strategically placed on the office wall of the leader who asked for them. His motivation was to be reminded each day of what it takes to be a “best boss” as he aspired to fulfill his purpose as a leader – Inspiring his team to commit their expertise and talents to achieving the goals of the organization.

And, if he does that, my ego doesn’t matter as we all get to share in his success.

To learn about TransForm’s approach to aligning people and organizations watch the following video.

About David McNally

David McNally, CEO & President of TransForm Corporation
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