Weeks ago I read an article in Inc.com about the eight characteristics of an extraordinary boss. Ironically the publication of this article coincided with the news of Not For Sale’s Fellowship Director, Keturah Scott, leaving us to embark on the next stages of her life. Adventure and new experiences were calling her name, and she and we all at Not For Sale, are very sad to see her go. These are the eight examples of what K taught me during my time here in the Fellowship, and the memories and experiences I will take home with me as souvenirs.
1. Business is an ecosystem, not a battlefield.
Extraordinary bosses see business as a symbiosis where the most diverse firm is most likely to survive and thrive.
From the beginning of the Fellowship, you’ve advocated about the diversity of Not For Sale’s platforms and programs and how being a horizontal organization is what empowers and makes us unique. You taught me that to work in a continuously changing, fast paced, and progressive environment, a person has to put on and own many different hats. You’ve helped me realize which tops to put on, fostered and nurtured each one these talents, and made sure I realized my full potential.
2. A company is a community, not a machine.
Extraordinary bosses see their company as a collection of individual hopes and dreams, all connected to a higher purpose.
You’ve helped the Fellows instill that every talent truly does have a role to play in this movement, and you’ve illustrated this to us by taking an event planner, a shopaholic, a scientist, a singer, a tree-planter, and a wannabe ninja, and cultivating six incredible abolitionists.
3. Management is service, not control.
Extraordinary bosses set a general direction and then commit themselves to obtaining the resources that their employees need to get the job done. They push decision making downward, allowing teams form their own rules and intervening only in emergencies.
I recall Day Three of the Fellowship – the day we received our six-month projects. We sat down and discussed each, but then drew a blank stare of where to go from there. You encouraged us that “this is all you.” WE were to set the direction of where WE wanted these projects to go, how WE wanted to see them grow, and what WE wanted to see them become. You told us to “be the dog with the bone,” “ruthlessly execute” these projects over the next six months. You gave us direction but you never told us what had or should be done. You helped us “dig deeper,” “think bigger,” and even “get up and dance some inspiration out.”
4. My employees are my peers, not my children.
Extraordinary bosses treat every employee as if he or she were the most important person in the firm.
You’ve been my boss. You’ve been my colleague. You’ve also been my Paramedic. You’ve always put your baby birds first.
5. Motivation comes from vision, not from fear.
Extraordinary bosses inspire people to see a better future and how they’ll be a part of it. As a result, employees work harder because they believe in the organization’s goals, truly enjoy what they’re doing and (of course) know they’ll share in the rewards.
You’ve ingrained in us that “It’s not about you, it’s about the movement.” This has helped me realize what I want out of my future – a future motivated by passion.
6. Change equals growth, not pain.
Extraordinary bosses see change as an inevitable part of life.
You’ve helped the Fellows jump over the hurdles that were thrown our way – the change of SASD, change of roles and responsibilities, relationships, six-month projects – for all the times that we Fellows were discouraged, you always reassured us that these moves were never negative, and expressed we were always “pivoting” forward.
7. Technology offers empowerment, not automation.
Extraordinary bosses see technology as a way to free human beings to be creative and to build better relationships.
You’ve encouraged us to learn new things that we never thought we’d learn in a non-profit organization – prezi, GIS, Google Docs and Forms, linguistic analysis…
8. Work should be fun, not mere toil.
Extraordinary bosses see work as something that should be inherently enjoyable–and believe therefore that the most important job of manager is, as far as possible, to put people in jobs that can and will make them truly happy.
No one can deny you this one. I’ll never forget first day scavenger hunts, happy hours at BrewCo., BBQs, hiking to far off German beer gartens, BaytoBreaker’s dance sandwiches, “dreamscometrue,” chicken fights, and Battleshots that left some of us a little more wounded than others. These times in and out of the office have really made my stay here in San Fran, and I wouldn’t have had them without you.
Keturah – your leadership and friendship has helped shaped me as an individual. You’ve challenged me, pushed me to my limits, laughed, and cried with me, and I couldn’t thank you more for being my boss, and most importantly my friend. Take care lady, and I’ll be thinking about you. >hugs<