Sunday, November 22, 2009

Would you write a reference for your boss?

This week while making an application for a new employee under a scholarship program for our new real estate agency Elephant Property ( I had the strange experience of asking two former employees who had worked with our team under that program to write me a reference!

I’m in the position of still closely following the careers of both these former staff members and I was flattered and brought to tears by what they both wrote which was fabulous (thanks Emma & Clinton) but it got me thinking, how would you feel if your last boss asked you to write them a reference?

Would it be glowing? Would it be honest? Would you even bother?

In reading “Leaving Microsoft to Change the World” by John Wood (amazing book!) one story about his former boss – Steve Ballmer (now CEO of Microsoft – stuck with me.

John mentioned off hand to Steve (arguably one of the most powerful business leaders in the world) one morning that he was planning on running the Boston marathon later that year.

The day of the marathon came and immediately afterwards John caught a flight directly to an important Microsoft announcement by Steve. After the hubbub of the announcement had died down Steve, surrounded by his entourage, walked past John and as he was passing called out “3 hours 4 minutes in the marathon – sensational” (or something to that effect). When John queried how he knew this he said that he makes it a point to know everything about his team.

To me, that’s an awesome leader and if you read Leaving Microsoft to Change the World you’ll see that John Wood writes Steve Ballmer a great reference in what he says about him in those pages.

So, would you write that reference for your current boss or are you perhaps the type of boss that would have that type of reference written about you?

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By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments


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