The Best Manager I Ever Had
You don’t have to like someone for them to be *exactly* what/who you need in your career.
When I first started my recruitment career, there was this one senior director that *everyone* was scared of.
He was intense.
He had a piercing stare that seemed to go through you, and had a habit of making you question your very existence after he’s done with you.
Everyone was on edge when he came to the office – his visits were dreaded.
He had no room for losers, only winners. He was feared and respected in equal measure.
Worryingly, he seemed to take a shine to me. Maybe he liked my work ethic and rebellious streak.
It didn’t last long though. Six months into the job we were in a team meeting and he went for me.
I made a joke about his age and he took it badly. VERY badly.
I was 23. My young-man ego didn’t back down…I remember the words leaving my mouth without me even thinking:
“Really? You think *I’m* rude?? You’re the rudest person in the company and everyone knows it!”.
There was pin drop silence.
I’d never seen so many grown men and women look so scared.
I can’t remember what happened next exactly, all I know is that my manager was beside himself and didn’t know what to do with me.
I fully expected to get fired… but somehow survived.
My relationship with the director changed after that day and we didn’t speak again for some time.
But, after my manager left, I rang him to say I wanted to show him that he didn’t need a replacement.
He gave me a chance and soon afterwards he was holding my team up as the example he wanted the whole country to follow – we’d come full circle.
However, I still didn’t like him.
But he gave me a chance when others wouldn’t have and I respected him for that.
He was very much the opposite of a modern-day manager, but his standards were exacting and he was bloody good at what he did.
And he got results, launching many successful careers.
He was, without a doubt, the best manager I ever had.
A pain in the arse is sometimes exactly who/what we need to get up from ours and achieve previously unthinkable results.