My first boss was a legend. Look him up if you are the stalker type…. A nicer guy you couldn’t hope to meet. He moulded me into a confident young negotiator, and taught me that communication skills are useless unless you have thought through the message. He let me make my own mistakes, but at the same time reined me in when things were going a little too haywire. He kept me focussed on the detail when all I wanted to do was do all the fun “big picture” stuff. When I was 22 this was so important, but I didn’t realize it back then. He was my mentor, my inspiration and my guide in the world of big business when I was as green and naive as they come.
In this post, I would like to stress how important a close relationship with the first boss is. There are some out there who might say that boss / employee relationships should be kept formal, that business is done on spreadsheets and at the negotiating table. In some cases, they would be correct, but the first job is a unique situation. In order for the fledgling to develop, in my opinion, the best place for learning is sitting in a pub discussing work over a cold beer. However, this is not a post for grads. It is intended for the bosses themselves, as they are in control of what sort of relationship they will have with their employees. Here are 5 reasons why you should become best buddies……
It develops trust. Mutual trust develops quickest when you understand each other, when mistakes are explained and forgiven, and when victories and defeats are shared equally. You truly become a team and work as one.
It motivates them. They will walk on hot coals for you if they feel that you are on their side. New grads need reassurance and to feel that you’ve got their back. This gives them the platform to perform, take more risks and find the motivation to go that extra mile.
It protects them. There will be moments when they need you to stand up for them and support their ideas in front of the business. They will be more likely to ask for this assistance if you have fostered a close bond as they won’t feel that they are “on their own.”
It prevents disaster. If your relationship is strong, a young professional will approach you more readily and earlier for advice in the event of any problems arising. Often, real issues can be nipped in the bud if tackled early enough.
It is a fun journey. There is nothing more satisfying than your young protégé growing with you and then flying the nest and becoming your equal. It will not be all plain sailing, and there will probably be plenty of swear words thrown in, but there is nothing more enjoyable than helping a young person make their way in the world.
So, from my heart, thank you Jonno for all you did for me. By the way, get the beers in……
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