Said by a boss and not exactly motivational.

Yesterday, I wrote a post about “bad bosses” as one reason people leave jobs. I included some of my favorite, positive quotes from memorable bosses.

Top of mind today are a few humdingers said to me by bosses. At last count, I think the total number of bosses during my career is somewhere around 17. I promised a second post with quotes that weren’t exactly motivational for me as an employee, so here goes.

“Susan, that is a perfectly reasonable request. Let me think about it and I’ll be back in touch with you about my decision within two weeks.”
(I’m still waiting and this was said before my first gray hair.)

“Susan, would you draft your performance goals for the current year and send them to me by the end of the day?”
(Said by an HR professional who didn’t meet with me to set goals when the performance year started, and also said the day before a meeting to discuss my annual performance review for that year.)

“Susan, no matter what happens, we’re definitely going to increase your salary.”
(A waste of the joy that should come from raising someone’s pay because it was said during an interview and was a clue that I wasn’t going to get the promotion.)

Because I’m a Pollyanna at heart, I just have to end this post in a positive way. More often than not, my bosses have inspired and continue to inspire me. So let’s wrap up with an inspirational, and true, story. Once, I waited seven weeks to receive acting pay promised to me for taking on supervisory responsibility for a team. (The typical struggle was underway to get HR/Payroll to process the increase.) After the third payday came and went with no acting pay included, my boss said to me,

“Susan, tomorrow is payday and HR has promised that you’ll get all of the acting pay we owe you. But I’m here to tell you that I went to the bank today and I’m carrying around enough cash in my briefcase to pay you what we owe you if your paycheck isn’t correct this time.”

If you’re a boss, you need to care about people as individuals. Enough said. Full stop.

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Author: susantevans

Susan T. Evans is director of corporate and foundations relations at the College of William & Mary. She is a proven strategic leader with deep expertise in advancement, communications, brand management, marketing, digital strategy, technology, administration and organizational development. She is known for creative and strategic approaches to challenges within higher education, nonprofits and business.

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