Bring out the Hula hoops - BringouttheHulahoops

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Bring out the Hula hoops O.K., Newbies, Bring Out the Hula Hoops Published: June 11, 2010 Facebook Twitter Recommend Sign In to E-Mail   Print   Single Page   Reprints   Share   o Linkedin o Digg o Mixx o MySpace o Yahoo! Buzz o Permalink o
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This interview of  Niki Leondakis ,  was  conducted, edited and condensed by  Adam Bryant .   Corner Office Every Sunday, Adam Bryant talks with top executives about the challenges of leading and managing. More ‘Corner Office’ Columns » Subscribe to Corner Office via RSS » Q.   Do you remember the first time you were a boss?   A . I was in college at  UMass , and I was promoted from a server to a shift-supervisor position  at a restaurant called the Hungry U.  Q.   How did that go?   A . I took that job pretty seriously. But I would say both in that job and in my first job out of  school as an entry-level manager, I experienced what a lot of people experience, which is  being too friendly with the people you manage and learning the appropriate boundaries and  distances around certain things.  Q And some people go too far the other way, and start bossing people around.  A . I think people fall into one of two camps. I think very few people become a supervisor or a  boss for the first time and know exactly where the right balance is. Both with myself and all  the young managers I see, people seem to swing to one end of the pendulum or the other —  overzealous with power or, “I’m everybody’s friend, and I want them to like me, and if they  like me maybe they’ll do what I ask and then it’ll be easier.” 
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Q So how did that play out for you?   A . It was frankly just a long road of mistakes and learning and watching and trials and  tribulations, really, about managing people, counseling people, hiring people, letting people  go and learning through the actual process of doing all those things over and over again that  there’s a middle ground that makes sense.  Q.  Did the pendulum swing back and forth for you?   A.  When I started advancing in my career, I swung the pendulum the other way. I was at a  point where most of my peers were men and they tended to act and behave differently than I  did and came across as tough-minded and more rigid, a little more authoritarian. I felt like,  to be successful, I needed to do that, too, so I was acting a lot like what I thought successful  leadership looked like. That was in the early ’80s. For women in general at that time, we all  thought that to be successful or to be considered equal, you tried to really dress like men, act 
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This note was uploaded on 02/22/2012 for the course CSR 309 taught by Professor Staff during the Fall '08 term at Purdue University-West Lafayette.

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Bring out the Hula hoops - BringouttheHulahoops

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