Sunday, October 8, 2017

BIG AL - A Look Back

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The story was, you hated him, feared him or loved him…I was all three.

His name was Al. 

Al started in retail when he was thirteen and fifty years later died in action.

Al was an old school retail manager who believed that no one could be trusted and everyone should put his or her career first before family.

Al worked 80 hours a week, was a master micro-manager and believed that his day was not over until he fired someone or at least made an employee cry.

Okay, so you ask, WHY did I love this guy? Not for any of the above things, that is why I hated him and feared him. I loved him because I was able to translate his prehistoric management style into lessons that I still utilize today.

Three Lessons from Big Al

1). Al used to say, “The best and easiest recognition program is to have NO recognition program at all.”
            Translation: Employee recognition programs must be managed,  be fair and be consistent or your results could actually weaken employee morale.

2). When Al said, “Just because I’m pissed off at you, doesn’t mean you can walk around here with your tail between your legs.”
            Translation: Wear a smile and have a positive attitude; no one wants to work for a “Debbie-Downer” manager.

3). One day Al looked me right in the eyes and said, “I’m too old to change now Gambone, what you see is what you get…”
             Translation: I always knew where I stood with Al. Al taught me that leaders need to be right up front with people by providing balanced,  fair and concise feedback.

My 18 months as Al’s co-manager was very stressful, yet very rewarding.
Take a few moments to reflect on your old boss, teacher or coach…dig deep and I am sure you will find a few sunny days somewhere in that storm.
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