I can’t go into all the details, but back in the day I was a mean boss. Not all the time (well, according to me, others may disagree), but I surely had my moments. I’m not a mean person by nature, if anything I’m pretty encouraging, but stress is not good for most of us, and I was one to cave under the pressure. I can’t name names here, but I might have learned it on my first job in New York City. My boss was a legendary PR woman. And she had a temper.
I remember the first time I saw her in one of her French designer suits, bustling around her agency, checking on client work, making sure progress was happening. It was my first exposure to New York “society” and I found her fascinating. Her agency represented some of the most important fashion houses in the world, she flew to Paris on the Concord, she dined at the best restaurants, and she was scary. At the time I thought it was kind of funny when she would lose her temper. I actually really liked her, and I totally respected her, but her style was something I picked up, unfortunately, and of all the good things she did that produced quality work, raising her voice to make things happen was probably not one of them.
Here’s the thing, maybe it’s age that softens a person, but I’ve changed from mean Boss to nice Boss in the past fifteen years.
I don’t think its age, I think it’s just the reality of the times (and a great marriage to a man who would never tolerate my Italian temper). You have to treat your employees the way you want to be treated. Period. And it should have always been like that. Now, I’ve had employees – many who have been with me for over 10 years - so I’m doing something right. One, who is now my client, giggled when my new employee told her the reason she liked working for me was because I was so nice.