I flew to St. Louis for the night. I had my year-end review the next morning. During the review, everything was going as expected, until…
Let Me Set The Stage
What comes to mind when you think about your boss? Is it negative or positive? For way too many, I fear it’s negative. It’s a sad reality and a dawgon shame! We all know this kind of boss. They’re self-righteous, rude and disrespectful. They don’t care the least about you and what makes up your life. Like your struggles. Or your family. They horde praise and certainly aren’t team players. They might be successful, but they suck at caring.
It absolutely boggles my mind that there are so many of them out there. But what about the “good” boss. The one who goes out of his way to make sure that you and your family are well. They’re humble. Always looking for opportunities to lift you up. In private and in front of the team. They ultimately just want what’s best for you. And your family. Even if that means your future is somewhere else.
“I got a crooked tooth and I’m going to smile big all the time! No matter what!,” is what my boss, Chuck ‘The Legend” Chase, proudly proclaims. He’s a great boss! He’s sincere, honest, fun, kind, and he makes you feel like you can conquer the world (bring on the jokes fellas). He doesn’t feel the need to be the smartest person in the room. Or to prove his smarts to anybody for that matter. He has courage. And he loves me enough to tell me not what I WANT to hear, but what I NEED to hear.
Back to St. Louis
During the review, everything was going as expected, until… Chuck threw me a curve-ball. He sat up in his seat. Paused. Look me dead in the eye.
“Wells,” he said, “I know you know this, but you are no longer a professional soccer player. You’ve accomplished so much. But, you need to move on. You need to get past this. If you want to keep talking about it, then go play. And if not, close that chapter. It’s over. It’s done. Write the next chapter of your life!” (He said a few other things, but you get the gist.)
Emotion rushed. Anger welled up. I wanted to hit him in his freakin’ face. Then came the sadness. I could feel the tears welling up. “Get it together.” It’s still so raw and real. I miss it. I haven’t fully moved on. I’m holding on to something that will never be again. I’m hurting myself. I need to let go. I must let go.
Empathy and Genius
It was pure genius from Chuck. Or maybe it was just love? Either way, what he told me was hard. But it was exactly what I needed to hear. According to Sir John Whitmore, a leading figure in executive coaching, the definition of coaching is “unlocking a person’s potential to maximize their own performance.” Chuck was unlocking my potential! If we don’t let go of the past. Close that chapter. We can’t fully become and embrace what is to come. To write that next chapter. What do you need to let go of?
It was brave. He didn’t have to say it. It would have been easier not to say it.
No one has ever told me this. And not just anyone could have gotten away with it. But Chuck had earned the right. It was the most caring and loving thing he could’ve done for me.
Chuck’s a great boss for many reasons. One main one, he’s been led by other greats. He’s a product of them. Ryan Nelson, David Neuenschwander and Kelly Price to name a few. All from my company, NAE/NWAN. I’m so blessed to work for a company with leaders who care!
- We need people in our lives that love us enough to tell us the hard truth. The truth is sometimes hard. But no matter how hard it is, it’s still the truth. To share it effectively, model Chuck. Speak the truth in love!
- Life’s too short to work for a jerk. There are some really great bosses out there to work for. You just have to find them.
Be bold. Be brave. Keep the faith!