I chose to speak on the topic The Best or Worst person I ever worked with. It required me to take a good look at my work history. So far, I have been fortunate to work with good people and for good management as a whole. One manager; however, stands out in my mind as superlative and worthy of the title “Best person I ever worked with. ” His demeanor was calm, he enabled individuals to act autonomously, and he acknowledged hard work and achievements. For this presentation I will address this person as Bob, so he may remain anonymous.
Bob’s position was director of materials and handling, and I worked for him as the departments purchasing manager. It’s been said that first impressions are lasting impressions. I remember meeting Bob during the second half of my interview. He was a tall, stocky gentleman around my father’s age with gray hair, and wore wire framed glasses. He was dressed casually in khaki pants, a striped shirt and a blue cardigan sweater. In one hand he held a manila folder, and in the other a large coffee mug. He sat down, introduced himself and asked me how I was doing today.
While a social pleasantry he seemed genuine with his question. His persona was as relaxed as his attire. I had been laid off from the airline industry for five months and my benefits were running out. At this time I had a pending job offer, but figured it couldn’t hurt to go on one more interview. Keep in mind I was thoroughly burnt out on interviewing, and mostly certain I was going to accept that offer. Bob’s next question for me was if I was laid off. I replied “Yes. ” He then shared with me that he too was from industry and that he came to this company after being laid off.
The company I was interviewing with was a health related business and I honestly didn’t see myself working for them. When he shared this information about himself it allowed me broaden my thinking. We continued to talk about the company and job position, my work experience and goals, even outside interests and family. Our conversation with each other came very natural. Bob then took me on a tour of the building and their department. We concluded our interview and I left feeling very positive about the whole experience.
A couple days later the company called and made me an offer. I accepted, and it was the best decision I made in five months. Upon taking the job I would find that my first impression held true and that Bob’s calm demeanor transferred to managing the materials and handling department. No one in the department dreaded coming into work. He was always friendly and polite. We knew that we weren’t going to have unnecessary stress while completing our work. In fact, this manager was so well liked that staff from other departments would seek out his opinion and guidance.
His calm demeanor allowed him to be rational and offer sound advice. Bob enabled me to operate autonomously. He never told me how to do my work and respected my opinion on matters that affected the department. In a one-on-one meeting he told me that he hired me because he knew I could do the job. It was up to me how to get it done. He wasn’t concerned with every step I took to accomplish it, so long as it was done right. Everyone in the department knew their responsibilities and held themselves accountable. Hard work did not go unnoticed.
Bob acknowledged my efforts in the department. After 90 days with the company, which was family owned, he gave me a bonus. He felt I was working above and beyond normal contributions. He made sure that I was adequately compensated at my annual review time and happy with my work/life balance. Bob communicated the departments plan. He was committed towards achieving that plan by leading by example. And he was dedicated to the people performing the work. Because of this he was an asset to the company, and the best person I have worked with.
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