I miss my boss. Bad. To celebrate the good times, I want to list the best things I learned working under him.
1. Teach fishing, not eating.
John never told me to read certain blogs. He met with me and excitedly explained that I was responsible for a daily blog feed of the best marketing blog posts to be emailed to him every morning. Since my blog reading at the time was limited to Monologamist and Lovely Listing, I was sort of wary finding all the good blogs and judging the “good” ones. Three days in and I had scavenged Junta 42’s list, blog rolls, and Twitter for the proverbial cream. I never, however, would have been able to gain such an understanding if John had given me a list of blogs to read everyday, like homework.
I am a passionate person. I am moody, opinionated, dramatic and unpredictable. I also, from time to time, open my mouth when I should keep it closed. John always spoke kind words, often when they weren’t deserved, and showed poise and professionalism. It’s a learning process, but I am glad to have had a great example.
“Let’s do this!” I can see John now, with his giddy grin on his face and crew-cut shifting in his excitement. Filled with positive energy, John always had new ideas, and the discipline to schedule time and effort to carry them out to their greatest potential. I loved jumping in with his ideas or bouncing ideas of my own off him.
John was careful to think of ways to monitor social media success, define marketing goals, and plan for the future. John, as idealistic as he is, is results-driven which, I think, sets him apart. He taught me to think analytically about results, and the meaning of the numbers in Google Analytics, or whatever graph we were looking at.
5. He reminded me of me.
I used to have a saying, “Look up.” I used to say it a lot, but in the recent spiral (2009 is proving to be a pretty tough year for me) I had forgotten. “Look up” was a physical representation of looking on the bright side, or looking for ways to overcome whatever obstacle I was facing. It forced me to be positive and was that first hard step in being proactive when things got tough.