Before I starting working for the Department of Building and Safety I worked for a homebuilder and would go to the Department to get building permits. That is how I met Dale. Dale is the Senior Plans Examiner for the Department and when he had a job opening in his section he encouraged me to apply for it. I was not really interested in changing jobs, but out of respect for Dale I applied anyway. To my surprise, I was offered the job and after hearing Dale talk about the job and the Department I accepted it.
There are not many bosses like Dale. When you asked him a question he would show you what to do not just tell you. If he noticed you were falling behind in your work, he would work alongside you to help you get caught up. I asked Dale how he developed his management style. He told me a story about working at a neighbor's cleaning out chicken coups when he was young. He said when he showed up for work the neighbor went into town and left him alone to figure out how to clean out the coups. Dale decided that people working for him would never have to figure out how to do a job or wonder if they were doing it right.
Dale has always been interested in seeing me realize my goals. While I was pursuing my Building Inspector, Plans Examiner, and Floodplain Manager Certifications he would often ask how studying was going and celebrated with me when I passed each of those certification exams. When I went back to school for a degree in Business Administration, again Dale often checked in to see how things were going. We had many conversations about what I would do when I finished. I told him I didn't know but that it was important to me to finish.
Last year the Business Manager for the Department retired. I applied and again, to my surprise, I was offered the job. I have tried to adopt Dale's management style. It is my goal to learn what each of my staff does so that if I see them falling behind I can work alongside to help them get caught up. I encourage them to set goals and support them in seeing them realized. I try hard to model my expectations so that none of them have to wonder if they are 'doing it right'.
If you were to look at our Department's organizational chart you would see that I am on the management level, above Dale, but when I see him in the office, I still greet my mentor and my friend with a heartfelt 'Good morning, Boss.'
Submitted by Anonymous
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