Far too often we bemoan the pointy-haired bosses while never remembering those few bosses who both inspire and encourage
Big companies are great places. I worked at a place with a highly conservative environment. In this world, it was important to 'tote the business unit line'.
I remember areas whose supervisor would attend meetings, with analyst in tow, carefully outlining the area's stance. After weeks of watching and taking notes, the line analyst might be offered a chance to speak, to echo those carefully outlined stances, often to an immediate feedback session after the meeting. Meetings were sometimes rehearsed in pre-meetings, designed to allow analysts to dance their pas de deux, safe in the knowledge that, with work, they might close the actual meeting with a crescendo of good feelings and team work. It was like being stuck in some very odd Kabuki ritualistic dance.
Until Lee. She was hiring an all around generalist to fill out her team, support specialists for regional IT centers.
"What is our areas's views on XYZ?"
"I don't know. What should it be?"
She had an unusual view that hired specialists, with training and experience, should lead the analysis.
Working there, I took on projects, like a massive manual rewrite from 1200 pages to 122, that continue to round out my IT views. I'm not an editor for a dozen books without writing all those procedures and collapsing that manual. I'm not versatile enough to take on UNIX, Windows, Security, and other topics without those special assignments she gave, assignments designed to clear up longstanding, deep-seated problems.
I am successful because she forced me to believe that I could be, and to quote Robert Frost, "...that has made all the difference."
Lee's retired. IT has been shrunk at that company, and no longer are line analysts corraled into a strange vow of silence until the critical stage of Epiphany. I'm able to write blogs and many other things, because of the sense of accomplishment and independent Can-Do Lee gave all her employees.
You know, you hope, you think that maybe a post like this just might reach her one day. Maybe that's not necessary.
Afterall, accomplishments before, very few, and accomplishments after, well, that is as much a very public post.
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