Recently, I needed to find a third-party ODBC client to install on my PC in a timely fashion. I needed to get approval for the purchasing request, but I didn’t want to lose momentum on my project if there was push back on the purchase request or other administrative issues. I raised the issue up to my supervisor, and he stepped in and took care of getting the purchase request submitted and approved. From my perspective, the next thing that happened was IT contacting me to ask when a good time would be to install the application.

That was a good experience! That felt good!

I was discussing this with a top performer who recently left our company, before he did so. “What made this feel so right?” I asked. He explained it something like this.

“You’ve got your standard hierarchy…


“…but what happened here is, you turned it upside-down. Your supervisor was serving you:


“That’s why it felt right,” he said. My supervisor had served my needs — not to give me an ego trip, but to take care of obstacles so I could do what I needed to do.


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