The “Tough but Fair” Boss and Employee Engagement Lisa Ryan Grategy thumbs upMany of life’s circumstances are created by three basic choices: the disciplines you choose to keep, the people you choose to be with, and the laws you choose to obey.Charles Millhuff

When I saw this quote, I immediately thought of Nancy, a long-time subscriber, who regularly comments on my articles. While referring to a post about the benefits of learning from others, she told me about how much she grew with the help of a few of her past bosses.

She writes, “The accomplishments I have achieved came from some of my former bosses who were mentors.  One boss was twenty-three, challenging and smart.  He pushed me beyond what I thought was possible, which raised me above the crowd.  He gave me opportunities to take care of difficult situations I never thought I could handle.  Another boss was extremely demanding.  He was a disciplinarian – but what a sense of humor.”

Notice how Nancy was not put off by the “disciplinarian” but rather, looked for the good in him. In this case, his sense of humor. How many times do we choose to notice only the traits we don’t like, instead of looking for what we can learn from someone? By taking the time to notice and learn, we grow.

Think about your past bosses and managers and write down their good and “bad” traits. You’ll find that even with the “worst” bosses, you can find some positive attributes if you choose to look for them.


PS – When you look at everyone you meet as your teacher; you may be surprised by the lessons you learned.

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