Bad Bosses.

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That title is a clickbait.

This has been a choir for most to talk shit about their bad bosses. This time around, I do not give the credit to a convulsion of unworthy pack of shitty people.

I would like to focus on the great bosses that I have been ever so grateful and fortunate to encounter. Circumventing the saying that in 99% of what you’ve done right, everyone will see the 1% that you’ve done wrong, I will focus on that precious 99% that was right. THE BEST BOSSES.

My first boss gave me so much wisdom and knowledge that got my career started right. Firstly, she said that “Everything rises and falls on leadership” (John C. Maxwell) and even gave me one of Maxwell’s books. I took that very simply – that being a leader is a huge responsibility. It is based not on power but wisdom to drive an objective. But indeed, there’s more to it than this.

I was green. I started my career at 21 years old. As an artist riding the corporate world, I have no inclinations as to what may come. I was gullible, naive, impressionable. Given a blank canvass, my boss took a chance and painted me with complex brushes of values, ethics and empowerment. She never let me compromise on what I can be. She let me shine. She let me be me.

That is a leader, a great boss. They elevate and make most out of their people. They grow and they let everyone grow with them. They never compromise their team’s expense to gain their own. Even at their worst, all they do is to show their true character of resilience, honesty, strength and humility.

She told me to learn from her mistakes but do not copy them. Take all the good things about her and learn from the bad things about her and make it better. I still take that up to this day, 18 years down the road and going.

Having said 18 years, I always look back to this #bestbossever. She just attended my wedding a week ago. We have been friends from the day she interviewed me for a job. It is such an extra. Her impact will always stay with me and I am proud to say that because of her, I try everyday to be a good leader. I won’t stop here. The bad bosses can shove it up their arse but they are not worth anything but pity. The best bosses always win.

Tricky Characters volume 1*

Career experience is not enough to judge a person’s body of work. It requires a deeper look into their perspectives and the way they learned beyond their in-the-books background. The idealism and realism are both powerful notes on how you could hire or work with the right people within your organization.

I was mistakingly judged by a younger executive that I won’t like a fast-paced working environment. Says who? My clear statement that “I easily get bored so I always have to feed fuel to my fire” may not be as clear as I thought. My problem is that I use metaphors and creativity to explain myself which usually gets lost in translation if the other party I am talking to possesses English only as their second language. From which, I have also communicated how important life-work balance for me is… to a 28 year-old young, single, restless and energetic executive. Hence, a bad conclusion. Like a mixture of bad cocktail drugs of [mis]judgment.

Beyond professional or personal factors, it is common to hear what you wanted to hear within any situation. That makes someone misjudge what is being truly said within the context of the whole conversation. Ever wonder why one negative statement could destroy the 999 positive things that you have done? Because personal opinions have not been segmented objectively. People jump quickly to conclusions without having to ask more, if uncomfortable, questions.

Emotions based on personal opinions are tricky. It clouds judgment and action. Yet they also spark the best creative ideas and passion. It is complex. Professionally (personally too), you just need to strike a balance.

– What is the objective?

– What are the major focus of this particular agenda for you to be able to come up with the right conclusion?

– Why do I feel this way, and is this feeling important to the matter?

– Did I really understand what has been discussed?

– Should I ask for more questions to reassert?

Judgment is a very strong word. But it always comes up anywhere. You can’t avoid it as much as you could try so why not just manage it? Just make sure that you won’t embarrass yourself in the process– or you should. It is, after all, a good mistake to learn from.

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Instinct is the gift of experience. The first question you have to ask yourself is, ‘On what basis am I making a judgment?’ … If you have no experience, then your instincts aren’t any good.

Malcolm Gladwell

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*This will be a series.

Affirming Validations of Seeing You In Person.

I’d like to share with you the full version of my recent published contribution http://meettoday.org/wishronquillo/

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I have attended a pop-up shop cocktail event – during Valentines – hoping to meet and say hello to one of the people in the magazine industry that I admire. I truly believe that these influencers deserve to know how great their works are, motivating and inspiring people around them. Most thrive through feedbacks and criticism, as humans who need certainty to validate their goals on why they do what they do. An encouragement from his colleague to approach him gave me a go-signal that he is what everyone think he is.

But he is not. He brushed me away without batting an eyelash saying that “he can’t”. I turned away, look at everyone around me, who kept a meter distance from him and another 2 companions despite of the small outdoor space in the pouring rain. I kept on treading my way indoors and kept on hearing the crowd conversations that “He is there…”,  “He’s great…”, “He’s near yet…”, “He is…”

I had realized that it was brave (or foolish) of me to walk through that ‘gap space’ between him and the crowd who’d wanted to come and say hello as well. He obviously did not get his own event’s theme of “good conversations.” It demystified the personality of the public figure that disappointed me severely. That 5 seconds will change me for the rest of my life.

It was rather a timing while I am collating my thoughts on what to write for @Michael Beddows for the Trendr blog, that this came about. Surely not a good experience but indeed a great ground for what my thoughts are regarding personable, face-to-face meetings. That unfortunate event armed me with substantial, but simple facts.

Senses tell your gut what and whom you are dealing with.

No man is really an island. Humans have a lot of sensory perception that guide (or misguide) their judgment of the person or situation. There are lots of apps and technologies that may simulate productivity in virtual meetings but the eye contact in real-life encounters mean as much as a real handshake. I am sure that most of us could determine a person’s demeanor through the grip of their handshakes, which virtual productivity tools cannot provide.

The sensory factors carry us through the foundation of trust, respect and familiarity. It is also an affirmation of our judgment and comfort when we apply the foundations before and after meeting in person.

It also avoids misconceptions, miscalculations and doubts. You could trust your instincts better looking right through the person you’re meeting with. As simple as a jitter, stutter, blush– that which you could say signs of insecurity will give you a better basis about the person. In my case, it made me realise how naive I was to “assume” the greatest goodness in the people that I don’t really know, mostly public figures. Lesson learned.

Reality is realized faster.

Most misunderstandings are technicalities coming from the lack of expression and tone of typed messages. “This is urgent.” and “This is urgent!” could only say so much. Is it angry? Is it demanding? Is it sarcastic? Is it excitable? Emoticons could only impose an idea of what you mean, which conceals more of the real truth behind what is genuinely being said, aside from their unprofessional usage in a business setting.

My former boss told me more than once that, “when you cannot solve a teamwork problem, book a ticket and go there!” We used a lot of virtual meetings but dealing with colleagues of different languages, and English is only their second or third spoken language, it takes your presence to make things efficient and functional. It avoids many (mis-)apprehension of one direction, skewed by different interpretations of what is being said virtually.

Body language is a sign language.

Apart from your senses dictating better judgment, communicating with eye contact, hand gestures and such give a better picture of what you are trying to say. Cannot find the right local word? Cannot express what you envision in words? Act it out, Pictionary-style, or however you know would convey what you can’t just say in words, phrases or sentences. Heck, dance if you need be to get your real message across.

Getting Involved and Demystify.

Meeting people face-to-face gives the first initiation of familiarity and trust. And it gives you a better sense of what is happening within a particular surrounding. You donate to a charity, and visit that institution eventually or do it hands-on. It gives better impact on yourself and others. You lessen blind spots and mysteriousness that may delude you into thinking of a fantasy, instead of realities of your own experience. This is my latest acquiescence.

Tighten your bonds.

With these, you form better bonds and foundations. Your perception is wider and you tend to ‘see’ things clearly. Strong bonds are in the eyes of a beholder… and the rest conclude a better basis.

From which, I carry on and hope to always experience the best business networking and meetings out there. My latest experience will just arm me with better awareness.

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“There is no such thing as a virtual beer. It is for this reason that face-to-face meetings will remain viable for the future, despite recession-induced drops in attendance.”

Corbin Ball

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VOICE-OVER: Meetings, working from home, virtual vs physical are a big ball of conversation. I will trickle down a few posts as we go along.