Do not judge the Book by its Cover…
I have heard that saying far too many times, and like everyone else I claimed to know what it means – and I do. But how many have really experienced what the old saying says…or come face to face with it. For me…I just recently had.
He had made a name for himself as one of the strictest officer there was in the organization, and in an organization that is para-military that is saying quite a lot. In a work environment where you obey first before you complain, Sir Ed (allow me to call him that as I cannot really divulge his name) made a refutation for himself as being hard-headed, driven and a very work oriented. Most personnel fear him and certainly most offices are apprehensive at the thought of having him as their boss…and we were no different….and how wrong we were!
I remember almost audible groan most of us made when we found out Sir Ed was going to be our next boss…we’re in a uniquely work environment where we’re actually two offices merged into one; so we have the big boss and the little boss who’s actually the work horse of the big boss and the one who manages the offices. Now the little bosses usually stay about a year or so..but never more than 3 years. And the big boss? Well, they stay shorter and usually not more than a year and a half. We are actually, one of the 4 offices within the organization that changes the head of office so much, it’s sometimes emotionally draining. You get to know one boss and like him and after a few months he gets pulled out and in comes another one who you want to kill (if you can..) but that’s how it is with us.
So back to Sir Ed, well, the first day he came to our office – everything changed. He imposed strict discipline and everyone followed and yet no one resented it because we became proud of what we do. We took pride in knowing that we’re functioning better than other offices do. Then Sir Ed started renovating the office…the lounge areas, the kitchen, little boss’ office – and on supplies…we were always well provided. Our team buildings were the best, food was always plenty AND our bonuses were always hefty. We through it all our office never asked for additional budget…Sir Ed was using what was there all along even when the benefits were never given to us. He might be a stickler for the rules but his heart and mind was always with the personnel and their families. He was always thinking what was best for the personnel…what was best for their families…
So maybe Sir Ed was a hard man…but he has a heart for his people. That was something we found out first hand. Many offices still fear him and not us, to us we’ll take him any day he wants to come to us. Sir Ed has moved on now..blessing another office with his presence and imposing strict adherence to the rules…but I’m quite sure they will soon learn to see that the book maybe covered in rough leather but the pages were made of smooth, shiny linen.
In this organization we have come to know far too many bosses already but very few have really made their mark. Truth be told, I could only name 4 or 5 who really made being there worthwhile.