The Human Side of Being a Manager

I was just about to facilitate my biggest event of the year. I had been planning our Mentorship Kick-off for six months. Mentees and mentors were arriving at the airport. And that’s when I saw the news on my phone.

Twelve people had been killed at the Navy Yard. I was getting married there on Sunday. It was Monday.

I stood in front of a room of 25 people, trying my best to ignore the constant text messages and phone calls from my friends and family.

And then spent the next four days in limbo, waiting to hear if the wedding would be cancelled.

On Thursday, I picked my wedding dress up from the seamstress. I was literally in my manager’s office showing her my wedding dress when I got the call that my wedding would be cancelled. I cannot begin to tell you the emotional impact of that call.

My manager immediately got on the phone to call around to find another venue. She put in calls to her friends, called around to other contacts within the company and did whatever she could to support me. And then she told me not to come in the next day.

Years later, a member of my own team called off her wedding. It was my turn to return the favor of unconditional support and understanding.

Sometimes being a manager means going the extra mile for your people. There is no magic rule book. But your team will never forget you for it.