On October 17 each year employees, leaders and self-starters everywhere show up on social media to celebrate while showing praise and appreciation for their hard work or that of their leaders. My first job was at a day care center the summer prior to my freshman year of high school. Although I took a break to focus on my studies, cheerleading and life as a high school student, I’ve held more than a dozen positions in a variety of industries. The one thing each job had in common was leadership. Fortunately I’ve never had an unbearable “boss.”
I believe that the best leaders become the best because of their actions and here are some that separate some of my best supervisors from the others.
Quality conversations are often the start of great relationships. When those in leadership show interest in their employee’s personal and professional priorities, goals and passions, the efforts can positively impact the working relationship. Although I’ve always gravitated toward men and women in leadership, I’ve built some great relationships and learned a lot through simple conversations while folding clothes in retail, carpooling to meetings in fund-development or chatting over lunch prior to staff meetings or shifts.
Most people are taught early in life that “please and thank you go a long way.” That’s also true in the working world. There’s a well-known mindset to “do your job and go home” or “collect the check,” especially in part-time work such as the food and retail industries. There were many instances when I was completing the unfavorable tasks or thinking about quitting when someone said thank you and changed my whole attitude. Throughout my many roles as an employee, intern and volunteer those that were most rewarding were those in which I was able see and feel my value while enhancing my knowledge and skills, which leads to my next point.
While many employees admire their supervisors and their leadership skills or expertise, it means much more when they transition from a leader to a mentor. In most positions I’ve had my immediate supervisors have had several employees reporting directly to them, but I have benefitted tremendously by those who recognized my potential, identified my strengths and provided tools and opportunities for me to grow. Although there wasn’t a formal written or verbal mentorship agreement, these unofficial mentorships have given me many experiences and opportunities for me to achieve success. For that I am grateful.
What separates your best supervisors from the others? Share below.
Jasmine C. Tate