In our jobs we typically have a manager such as a line manager. In a way we have come to rely on our managers to help us be the best that we can in our professions.
Sometimes this means that we rely on the manager to:
- Lead by example, rolling up their sleeves and doing some of the difficult jobs with integrity.
- Show flexibility, sometimes we are performing badly or need to leave early for a good reason.
- Look out for us, using their experience to point out the problems so we can avoid them.
- Squeeze us, sometimes a little pressure can go a long way to focus our attention.
As with a Dharma teacher, it is through their actions that they set the example. They can use this to lead by example and bring out the best in the people that they manage. The qualities of a Dharma teacher are described in the previous article.
A friend of a friend (FoaF) had a negative experience where their manager made multiple statements that were intentionally vague. One exchange went something like this:
Manager: I am going away. Could somebody pick-up calls for me this weekend?
FoaF: Are you going away on Friday night?
Manager: No, Wednesday night.
FoaF: Okay, but you get back on Sunday night?
Manager: No, Tuesday morning.
FoaF: So you want somebody to pick up calls for four and a half days?
Manager: Well, yes.
The work involved was significantly different from what was first indicated. The friend of a friend felt that they hesitated when they made an agreement with the manager, because they do not know what they really agreed to. Unfortunately, the trust had gone from their working relationship – trust that would be difficult for the manager to win back.