Why I joined management?

boss kind lead leader Mar 27, 2022

My decision to lead


I can almost remember the day I decided to “be the boss”. I had been working as a clerk for less than 2 years and had been given extra responsibilities immediately at the end of my 90 day probation. I had a variety of bosses in that short period of time. Some good, some great, some that I wish I could forget. It was that exact boss that helped create the idea of joining management.

As a naturally competitive person, yeah I was a middle child, I enjoyed being the best clerk that office had. I felt like I was rewarded for my good work by being given more important tasks to do. Yes, I realize that this may not be everyone’s idea of a reward but for me this worked. In fact, I believe most over-achievers feel like me.

As you can imagine, I took great pride in my work. I looked at every task as a challenge to be more efficient and provide great customer service. I worked with pride and was the example employee that every Boss would die for, then Pat* walked in the door.

Pat was my first experience working for a terrible boss and my first taste of office politics. Admittedly, I was so young, naive and inexperienced that I had not really known the term “office politics” at that time. What I knew, was Pat somehow labeled me the bad employee and labeled our most degenerate employee the good one. I was perplexed.

It was apparent to me that I had to do something in order to endure this new environment. So as any strong willed person would do, I challenged the Boss by doing exactly as they wanted. It was all wrong but I did it Pat’s way, right up to the point of failure. After some fun office war games, Pat began to realize that her approach was going to get her in trouble. She finally relented and in the end we reverted to how we started but with a new boss (again).

 This terrible experience fueled with a need for more money, pushed me into stepping into a leadership roll. I knew that although I had no formal experience or education in this subject, I could still be a better boss than Pat. All I needed to do to was to stay grounded in the needs of an employee. I knew what I needed; flexibility, hours, expectations, etc. That didn’t seem too difficult to figure out so why was it so hard for some? I recall thinking what happens to these people that they forget what it is like to be the “doer”. An opportunity presented itself and I was accepted into the supervisor program.

My upbringing kept me sheltered. I had not realized what a tremendous stress existed in the workplace. As time would tell, I had to grow up real fast. I learned so much about people and the world of large corporations and sometimes that hurt. Through my tears, anger, fear and persistence, I learned. I  began to lead others by giving them what they were missing and working toward their strengths. It was different for each person. I did things wrong but I wasn’t afraid to say, “I don’t know let me find out”. I knew how to apologize and I knew how to thank people for their work. I was leading and it felt great to see a group of people who seemed so miserable now laugh and enjoy the work space.

Twenty five years later I still have room to grow. The world changes and we have to change with it. A good boss once told me how he kept good relationships. He said “ you can tell me what to do, or how to do it, but you can’t tell me both”. So  while on your journey remember these simple things and be kind to those in your charge. If you take care of them they will take care of you. Wishing you a lively work week and hope to see you soon.  


Psalms 78: 72  He shepherded them with integrity of heart, and with skillful hands he led them.

 *names were changed to protect the guilty

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