Challenges of Being a Boss

When I started my current job four years ago, I was a little freaked out about being a boss.  I knew I could handle the other responsibilities of my job, but managing people…esp. a whole building full of women…made me a little uneasy.  I remember being introduced to Ms. Bertha (who could be my mother) and she made a comment about me being her new boss.  I was stunned into silence for a moment…I was a boss.  What in the world did I know about being a boss? 

I’ve made plenty of mistakes.  I’m sure there are quite a few current and former staff members who would agree with that statement.  However, I hope those same staff members would also agree that I learn from my mistakes and I try very hard to be a good boss.

Today was one of those days when being a boss was a little overwhelming. I think I spent about 90% of my day today just listening.  I listened to parents.  I listened to staff.  I listened to potential families.  And I did listen.  I made sure I was mentally present during all the conversations.  Although I was listening and responding, I was also trying really, really hard not to panic.  I had one main goal for today – choose and print pictures so that we can make a presentation board for the Fourth of July event on Friday.  It is 9:30 at night…no pictures chosen, no pictures printed.  I also have a long list of things that need to be done for the July 19th fundraiser.  Too bad my “real” job can’t be put on hold while I plan and organize the fundraiser! 

If you are one of my parents or staff members reading this, you need to know that I DO want you to come talk to me…just understand if I start to get a look of panic in my face! 

About emilypage

I have been married to my husband, Ed since 1998. We have two daughters, Hailey (9) and Leah (6). I have been the Director of Easter Seals UCP Stepping Stones Children's Center in Sanford since 2004. I am an Independent Senior Director for Thirty-One and I absolutely LOVE it! I was raised as a Wolfpacker but saw the light and now I bleed Carolina blue (sorry, dad).
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6 Responses to Challenges of Being a Boss

  1. Heidi says:

    I can’t imagine being in a management position. I can relate to the “real” job being put on hold- mine currently needs to be put on hold to get everything organized to go on maternity leave!

  2. Hi Emily,

    Just passing by and noted that you need help. I managed people for over 30 years, as few as 22 and as many as 1300. I used the top-down command and control approach to managing people for my first 12 years, then escaped it to the bliss of its opposite. Since that escape I have successfully turned around four disasters and in the process had a lot fun and made a lot of people love to come to work besides being very highly creative, innovative and productive.

    If you would like some help, a mentor or a coach, I volunteer if you are a manager of people. I do this for the sake of the people you manage.

    Have a great 4th.

    Best regards, Ben
    Author “Leading People to be Highly Motivated and Committed”

  3. trecey says:

    Well speaking from the point of being both a former staff member and now a parent…you have learned from your mistakes….praise Jesus…just kidding! I think during your first 6 months there everybody past and present was to blame for the mishaps. You know what I have to witness in my current job on a day to day basis with other providers throughout the county and when I say that SSCC is “poppin off” I mean it in the best way possible. Now speaking as a parent…back to what I do now…you are hands down the best Director around…believe that sista. Yes you listen but you also respond. One day you’re going to have to let me have that parent/staff meeting so that I can inform them on some of the things that other parents and staff at other centers have to endure…….think that’ll shut em up……i betcha $$$ it would. Love Ya!

  4. emilypage says:

    Thanks, Trecey/Turkeshia/Keshia! I needed that today (have you SEEN my office?…or what used to be my office??)! You can have that meeting whenever you want! Even better, maybe I can schedule some 1:1s for you!

    Now I think I have to go write a memo… 😉

    Love ya back!

  5. Loraine says:

    I’ve been in management positions for the past 10 years and half the time I’m shocked I’m the “boss” until a problem or situation arises. Then it sinks in pretty darn fast that I’m the person everyone turns to. Thank goodness, I have an “open-door policy” and I also spend a lot of time listening. I think I avoided disasters many a time!

    BTW I really needed to read your blog today … its one of those challenging days.

  6. emilypage says:

    I think the number one responsibility in every good manager’s job description is listening! I’m glad you found my blog today! I hope tomorrow is a better day!

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