Leaders and Leadership – Employees and Workers

Hi All

I’m doing a bit of reseach at the moment and looking for anecdotes (please don’t include names), and information on which to base a questionnaire. I’d be interested if you could address either or both of these questions:

Who was the best leader you served and why?

Who was your best worker/employee and why?

Thank you in advance and I look forward to sharing the results of the research with you.


3 Responses to Leaders and Leadership – Employees and Workers

  1. Marilyn Domenech June 9, 2006 at 1:40 pm #

    Having had one restaurant for 30 years and one for 10years, we have had some wonderful employees. If forced to name one though, it would have to be Alastair McLeod. He has worked for us for 8 years, starting as a lowly 3rd Chef at Baguette and ending up as Executive Chef/CEO at Bretts Wharf. He is loyal, honest, intelligent, hard working (and high energy). Alastair has an insatiable desire to learn and be better. He commands respect from the 100+ employees under him (a born leader), though he has had to learn the psychology of how to get the best out of them.

    This week I was speaking with Hugo Martin, a respected colleague — who told me that most of his key managers (when he headed up a large restaurant/catering company) stayed with him for over a decade. This is unheard of in hospitality which generally has a big turnover of staff. I asked him the secret, and he said that he made coming to work fun (you have to have at least one belly laugh a day), don’t work your people too long hours and upskill them. So even though these staff would have been offered more dollars elsewhere, they chose to stay where they were appreciated, treated with respect and at the end of the day had a laugh.

  2. Brad July 3, 2006 at 1:57 pm #

    The best boss I ever had was a real hard taskmaster for the first few years when I was a very green manager. In fact I thought he hated me.

    I guess he must have decided I had finished my “apprenticeship” and his attitude changed completely. He gave me my head to come up with the most preposterous plans, but was ready to listen to them and gently guide me on a path I thought was my own, but in reality was heavily influenced by him.

    He backed me 100% whenever I needed it and contuinually encouraged me to do better and look for every possible solution. He never sweated the small stuff after the first few years and trusted me completely. In return I never let him down – keeping him informed if things were likely to go pear-shaped.


    On the other hand the best subordinate I ever had worked hard, had a very mature attitude to personal realtionships, and had the ability to read people very well at 21 years of age. It might have had something to do with growing up in Northern Ireland.

    If he did stuff something up, as he did occasionally, I never got mad with him because of his energy, attitude, personality and willingness to do whatever it took to get the job done.


  3. Julie Miller July 3, 2006 at 4:53 pm #

    I was very fortunate to have a boss who was also a true mentor. She took the time to work through my plans and she listened very well. Although she may not have always agreed, she gave me the opportunity to test my ideas, and often dealt with the consequences with great patience, allowing me space to learn from my mistakes. Her encouragement and belief in me, in turn, helped me to believe in myself, which made me a better leader.
    I remind myself constantly that to have that type of humility is a strength. I try to have patience with my direct reports, even though I may be stressed with alot of responsibility, I take the time to listen to their views and empower them to be happier and stonger leaders. This is not always easy, but the result is that you have a loyal team around you.