I had the privilege of attending a memorial service for a former manager of mine. Deb had recently passed away peacefully at her home. She was diagnosed in 2010 with pancreatic cancer and she bravely and courageously dealt with this before her struggle came to an end last month.
I was in a conversation recently with someone and the subject of leadership came up. There are certainly different styles and traits that make up leadership. I think a good manager will often figure out their strengths and parlay those to use in a leadership role.
When I first met Deb I immediately liked her and said to myself that I could definitely see myself working for her as my manager. It was a major factor, if not the deciding factor, when the opportunity presented itself and I accepted the offer.
Yes, Deb exhibited some of the things that most good managers possess. She provided feedback both formally an informally. She delegated tasks and assignments fairly. She provided recognition to individuals on a job well done. She didn’t micro-manage. She let you make decisions on how an assignment should be done and gave you the opportunity to learn and grow.
However Deb went beyond what most would have expected. She showed gratitude to others in the organization that did not work directly under her and in her department. She did things to make the work environment more enjoyable and upbeat and a positive place. There were little things that didn’t take a great deal of time and money but the effort put forth did not go unnoticed.
She was actively involved in events and causes that benefited organizations and individuals including the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. She was a colleague, mentor, leader, giver and friend. She had character and heart.
Deb treated people well. While her life on earth may not have a long one, it was one of quality.
While I thought she was a good manager, I thought that she was a good person even more.