Tuesday, August 4, 2009

...how would you like to be
The Boss for awhile?*

"It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer. Charlotte was both."
Charlotte's Web, E.B. White
I consider myself lucky that the best boss I ever had also became one of my best friends.

Apart from the fact that we have very similar personalities, there are three reasons why I think of Chico as my best boss:

1. He's an extremely intelligent person - who didn't lose his common sense along the way.

2. He understands the importance of making decisions at the right time - even when you can't be sure the decision itself is right.

3. He knows that the most important part of any organization - is the people.

For someone in a position of authority, this last point is critical. It has become a cliche in job interviews to make a statement like "I really enjoy working with people" - but how many who make that statement really mean it? Or, to look at the point from a different perspective: Who wants to work for someone who really doesn't value other people? (Not me.)

I've learned several valuable lessons from Chico over the years - both as boss and friend. Here's a few of my favorite bits of Chico philosophy (some are pretty much direct quotes):

- I would never screw you for the company; I would only screw you for my own personal gain.

[The importance of people over organizations reduced to a nutshell - and leavened with a believable measure of self-interest and/or humor.]

- The people who run the world are the people who show up.

[As they say with some give-aways: Must be present to win.]

- In a dispute with a woman, sometimes it's best just to ask her - "Honey, what's the right answer?"

[A close companion to that strategy is this idea:
Some things are more important than being right.]

It's not often that someone comes along who is a good boss and a true...
Oh hell - you get the idea!

Thanks, Chico. And to all you loyal readers and listeners out there -

Take care.

*Title courtesy of Randy Newman


Middle Aged Woman said...

One of my personal favorites, "I enjoy accumulating power...and then not using it."

Mama Dawg said...

There are bosses like this out there? Where?

Jess said...

I sure do like your boss! I love my boss too, but he does not impart such wisdom...just beer. He has imparted lots and lots of beer upon me.

sunshine said...

I've also had some pretty good bosses in my life and some very crappy ones as well, which makes you appreciate the good one even more...

And it's so true; who really wants to work for someone who really doesn't value other people? But in fact who even really wants to have a relationship at all with somebody that doesn't value other people, right???

It makes life so much better when you have a good boss...

Cathy said...

Seeing as I am lucky enough to be Chico's daughter (I guess that makes him my boss too, well, maybe former boss) I too grew up learning the mantra "the world is run by people who show up" and also "what is the right answer honey". One more thing I would like to add that I have learned from Chico (this is really advice for men), every single night, you should say "another excellent dinner dear"

Jim Styro said...

MAW: That's a good one, too. He's got a million of 'em.

Mama D: In this case - Detroit, Michigan.

Jess: Chico has never been one to deny companions a beer - but wisdom lasts longer and is much harder to come by.

Sunshine: It does indeed make life better. Well said.

Cathy: I tried the "dinner" thing tonight and got punched. I guess I should have waited for her to actually cook dinner.

Captain Dumbass said...

Still looking for that boss.

Jim Styro said...

Cap't: Hang on.
You've got the Supreme Leader - and you want ANOTHER boss?! Are you familiar with the term "masochism"? [That's not the same as "macho".]

~The South Dakota Cowgirl~ said...

This is priceless and made me nearly spit my coffee out when I read it:

- In a dispute with a woman, sometimes it's best just to ask her - "Honey, what's the right answer?"

I'm glad, however, that I'm not one of those women.