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I Work For A Lifeguard

April 7, 2021

My boss is a lifeguard. But, we don’t work at a pool. I’ve never seen him a swimming suit. In fact, I’ve never seen him in person at all. He lives in North Carolina, I live in Utah. But, he absolutely is a lifeguard. Or maybe an umbrella. Or a shield. He might be a shield.

When you work in business, it’s important to be good at managing your team or teams. it’s equally important to manage up as well as down. Obviously your immediate supervisor is the most important person in the entire company when it comes to how well you are going to do. But, there is more to being a good manager than proper coaching and helping you overcome obstacles. Your immediate supervisor is also your connection to the rest of the organization.

Not everyone knows how to be a good manager. It’s not an innate skill. Like everything it takes practice. It takes aptitude. And it takes courage. We’ve all had managers who were only out for themselves, who took all the credit and shifted all the blame.

Or, we’ve had micro-managers. Managers who told you exactly how to do every little thing, and then became upset when you did it wrong.

But, an effective manager also needs to be courages. He (or she) needs to have the courage to let you do your job. They need to have courage that letting you take credit for your work won’t reflect badly on them. In fact, ironically the more credit you give your team, the better you look as a manager. But, that takes courage.

And your manager has to have the courage to stand up to upper management, including his or her manager. That’s were lifeguarding comes in. Think about a lifeguard’s job. The lifeguard lets you swim, or play on the beach. You can surf. Or you can go out beyond the breakers. The lifeguard will warn you if there are sharks, or riptides or rocks. And if you can handle the waves and the rip tides and the sharks, the lifeguard lets you.

But, if you get into trouble, only then does the lifeguard step in. (Or typically swim in.) They will help you anyway they need to. Maybe it’s a simple tow back to shore. Maybe it’s CPR. They will provide you support at the level you need.

And when you are recovered. They let you go back to swimming with the sharks.

As a manager, you should try to be a lifeguard. As an employee appreciate it if you happen to work for one.

I know I do.

Stay safe

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

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(c) 2021 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved

  1. Thank you

  2. I’m a lifeguard Keep up the Great Work

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