Friday, March 17, 2006

Kind-Hearted Bosses

An incident today at work made me reflect on how fortunate I have been in my life in the boss department (with a few GLARING exceptions!!)

I've been in my new position for three short weeks, supporting two top executives at a national news magazine. It's a great job and I know I am going to love it, but I'm still sort of tiptoeing around figuring out who's who, how do these guys tick, what's the proper protocol, you know the drill. New job jitters.

I was surprised to discover today that one of my best friends in New York had a phone interview for a great job at one of my new company's sister companies early this morning. She hadn't realized that the two companies were related (and neither did I until I started my new job a few weeks ago).

I approached my senior boss sort of casually, told him about the funny coincidence, and asked what, if anything, I might do to put in a good word for my friend. He took me very seriously, asked several questions, and then got up from his desk and rousted my OTHER very busy boss out of his office. The two of them discussed it at some length around my desk, trying to discover for whom my friend would be working, and in the end they both encouraged me to find out the name of the executive in charge of the division. My boss said, and I quote, "I'd be happy to make a personal phone call to that executive to put in a good word for her, if you can get me a name." Then he gave me a big, kind smile over his glasses and shut his office door.

WOW! I was totally astonished and dazzled. This is a man who knows how to inspire loyalty! I literally felt my jaw drop open and had to focus on deliberately and gently closing my mouth.

It may not magically help get my friend the second interview and/or the job , but you never know, it just might. In any event, it was an act of genuine helpfulness on his part with no immediate payback, offered to someone he doesn't know terribly well, apparently just to be nice. Another thing: the whole thing was handled so matter-of-factly, with so little ado, that it was clear that this is just the way he is. It's not unusual at all for him to be generous with his time, energy and influence.

I'm so grateful to be working with and for people like this.

Meanwhile we are frantically googling like mad to find out the executive's name! Please send good ju-ju!


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