While I couldn’t get tickets for the Broadway show Hamilton, I did have an energizing experience last month in NYC. I stopped by the studio at The American Management Association and filmed a few short video clips. We were prepping for the upcoming free webcast Managing Opposites: How Introvert and Extroverts Can Achieve Extraordinary Results Together scheduled for 12:00 P.M. EST on June 22, 2016.
I wasn’t expecting the question, “Who Was Your Favorite Manager” but I didn’t have to think long about the response. At a Fortune 50 company Sue hired me to help build her learning organization. She was, like me, an extrovert but VERY Type A – intense, hard-driving and decisive. She knew how to keep our department vital and aligned with the business’s needs. She went after what she wanted and usually got it.
Sue pushed me in ways I didn’t know possible and helped me grow my speaking sea legs. However, her desire to push me did go a bit far at times. When I found myself up in front of the classroom teaching statistics to a roomful of experienced engineers, I silently cursed her and thought she had lost her mind. But this experience and others forced me to reach into the far reaches of my left brain. I also had to rely on my peers for after hours tutoring and gained confidence from doing what I never thought I could do.
Sue helped me to play to my strengths. I designed a creative leadership and coaching program and drew from my extroverted side to sell it through the company. It ended up being replicated in other divisions.
I will always have the image in my head of running after her as she rushed to her next meeting or outside for a cigarette break. She was focused on my questions, clear in her responses and even smiled a few times at my quirkiness. Today, I don’t talk with Sue often but when we do chat, she still loves to tease me about our different political views and my choice of “sensible shoes” vs. her stilettos. But I will never forget this boss who more than any other, helped me to believe in myself.
Who was your favorite manager and why?
If you are interested in seeing the other short video clips we made that day at The American Management Association, here they are: The Genius of Opposites and The Best Career Advice for Introverted People.