Recently a colleague and I were having a philosophical conversation about the current state of the job market, and he told me about a friend who was in search of a job after relocating to a new city due to his wife’s career move. His friend’s an older guy and was hesitant to start a new search in a world where wisdom and expansive experience are undervalued. So he decided to use a different tack, thinking, “what could it hurt?”
He’s an accomplished artist and designer, super creative and one of the smartest people my friend has ever met. But he didn’t have the energy to approach the job market in a traditional way — so when he thought about what he really wanted, it boiled down to, “I want a great boss, who gets it and gets me, and leaves me alone to do my job, that’s all I really ask”.
His concept was then to campaign for A Great Boss instead of A Great Job. And his story and positioning went something like this…
Great Boss Wanted
I am an experienced web designer, videographer and communications professional…blah blah blah.
If you are a great boss with these philosophies, skills and competencies, I am interested in talking to you…
- You’re the type of manager that knows your job is to get clear on your vision, strategy and objectives; effectively articulate them to your staff; and then leave them alone to deliver on the objectives.
- You are emotionally mature and trust that you’ve hired competent and talented people who can run with it.
- You are on point to discuss progress, barriers or ideas at any time your staff needs you. Until then you stay out of their way, unless you witness egregious acts or evidence that they are completely missing the mark.
- Rather than micro-managing out of fear, and anticipation of failure, mistakes or people not doing things exactly as you would — you assess whether things are moving along at a high level as they should. You do not see the need to involve yourself with the details (unless truly necessary), as that’s not your job.
- You protect your staff – while you yourself may have to manage up, deal with politics and attend meeting after meeting; you protect your staff so they don’t have to, and you have their backs at all times. In a nutshell, you focus on removing barriers for your team’s needs, and assume the best in your staff’s abilities and approach (unless you have hard evidence of failure or misalignment, at which point you step in to help get them on the right track).
- You listen to and know your team well, and organize according to strengths, weaknesses and/or personal goals so that everyone feels set up for success and inspired to do their best.
- You pay attention to what’s going on with the work and how it’s progressing to meet business goals – and communicate regularly to share and discuss your assessment with the team. You also foster collaborative thinking and innovative techniques to solve major problems, solidify new ideas, get critical tasks completed in a team-oriented way, etc.
- You’re the type of boss everyone wants to work for. In fact, there’s a waitlist because of your fabulous reputation.
Are you qualified to apply for this job? Food for thought.