Last week was National Boss’s Day, a day established for employees to appreciate their employers. As I thought about my present boss and all the others that preceded her, I began to think how fortunate and blessed I have been over the years. I have been given many opportunities and learned so many lessons and I am sure the lessons will continue.
As I think about my bosses, they have mainly been women. Since entering the workforce 29 years ago, I can recall having 3-4 male bosses. I’m not sure if that has anything to do with my earlier career choice or just the luck of the draw, but I have loved every relationship and every lesson.
I am fortunate because all of my bosses have been great managers. My definition of a good manager is one who is great at getting his/her employees to perform at their fullest potential. One who teaches, develops, motivates, inspires, gives honest and direct feedback, is open to receiving feedback, leads by example, has integrity, and wants to see his/her employees achieve the most. All the bosses whom I have had the pleasure of working for/with had all or most of these traits.
Thank you, Myron Feaster Sr, for giving me my very first job and the money lessons; Marji Speicher, for giving me the opportunity of a lifetime at Old Navy and being honest and direct with your feedback; my Victoria’s Secret store manager, Juliette Foy, who was a great trainer and always allowed me to shine. And thank you, Detria Courtalis and Jemyl Lindsay- these two ladies set me up for retail success. They always believed in me, supported me, gave me the extra push when I needed it, gave tough love, taught great lessons, held me accountable, and ended up being great friends whom I respect. When I had to make my decision about leaving retail, I called Jemyl Lindsay for her advice.
When I finally made my exit from the retail world, I did not know much about my current boss. My best friend was her biggest fan and he just knew that I was the right person for the job. It is now 6 years later (we did not click at first) but I am still working for a phenomenal woman and boss. Michelle Rhee has to be one of the smartest people who I have ever had the opportunity to work for/with. Some would disagree about her methods but I know her better than most and she has never disappointed or failed me. Her passion and love for kids is unwavering and I admire that about her! She has taught me alot over the past six years and the lessons are still coming!
Happy belated Boss’s Day to all!! Thanks for the opportunities and many lessons. I hope that I have made you proud!!
(Pictures left to right……Marji Speicher, Detria Courtalis, Jemyl Lindsay and Michelle Rhee)