Keep in mind I am an INFJ. Tears come easy and I’ve wiped a few. This morning, my former boss and I exchanged recommendations on LinkedIn. It was my honor to write these words for Robert Donnell …
“If you could choose the person you’d work for a career lifetime, who would it be and why? If that question were posed to me, the answer is Robert “Bobby” Donnell. The “why” began in October 2010 when I first came under his leadership. Bobby is a strong man – emotionally, mentally, and compassionately. He leads with kindness and respect. In all of the five and a half years I referred to him as “Boss,” I did not hear one co-worker say a negative thing regarding him. He guides and encourages. He gives autonomy to employees and allows them room to grow. I bloomed under his leadership. It was in quiet talks in his office, and sometimes not so quiet because of laughter, where I gained confidence in my abilities as an instructor working in our specific – often challenging – environment. I watched him. Modeled my own behaviors after his. Lead with kindness and use a firm hand as needed. Bobby is the leader that commands respect without demanding it … and that is the greatest lesson I have learned from him … be the servant leader with a quick and ready smile. Speak with gentle words and maintain the dignity of all around. Use good judgment in working with people. Bobby is all of this. With alacrity, I’d jump at an opportunity to work for him again! He’s always got my vote!”
With all of my career-minded self, I mean these words. Bobby is a Shepherd – and it saddens me to know that more than likely in this lifetime, I will not work for him again, though now I consider him a friend, a colleague, someone I can laugh with on a personal level. It’s nice. I’m so blessed to know him – as are the people he comes across every day.
Why tears? Well … in writing those words, I found myself emotional, but then … he returned with the following and the sides of my eyes no longer acted as flood gates, but rather slip-n-slides.
“Dacia Wilkinson is one of the best instructors I have ever had the opportunity to manage. When a graduate from an Electrical Mechanics program comes back and tells an instructor from two years prior that he still takes 30 minutes each week to free-write because of how it makes him feel, you know that is a teacher who changes lives. This is just one of hundreds of accolades I have been witness to since 2010 when I hired Dacia. She puts her all into her class and her students, transforming them from “trades” guys and high school drop outs to successful college students and graduates – students who come to a “Gen Ed” class not because they have to, but because they WANT to. She is a pleasure to work with and leads a team even if she doesn’t have a leadership title. Other instructors look to her for guidance and she freely gives it. She is a true asset to any organization lucky enough to have her.”
I tell my students on the regular to use LinkedIn, because it is a holding place for all resume type information and reference letters. To be able to exchange these and let them sit on the internet as testimony to character is a beautiful thing. Even more so … because of this idea I share when we discuss Interview Skills in class …
Do not just read the recommendations that are left by others for the candidate you research, but read those that the candidate has WRITTEN. Get a taste of the writing style – what language choices does the person make? What is the person willing to say? Many words? Few words? Get an idea about who this person is from their writing. Writing always gives away the author.
Love this twist.
So, the recommendations I compose … I intend them with care. Always stating truthfully the character of the person and my interaction with them as well.
Thank you, LinkedIn for this feature. Thank you for the smile and the tears brought to me today over your platform. You rock!