Why does your Boss need to know your name?

Posted on 28 July 2022

Why does your Boss need to know your name?

When I first landed in Australia in November 2000, I went to work for a household name recruitment brand.

They were a very successful company, with, what you would have assumed, decent leadership.

During my time with this company (which occupied 3 levels of sales floors), I often found myself in the elevator with the CEO. Just me and him.

He was a well-heeled, well-spoken, smartly-dressed gentleman, who oozed wealth.

Conversely, I was a working-class, ex-SThree scumbag, with about 5 minutes recruitment experience, who’d spent what tiny amount of savings I had getting myself to Australia.

Even though we shared a very enclosed lift ride together, shoulder to shoulder, about half a dozen times, guess how many times we chatted?


Each time I found myself in that awkward, 60 second moving cupboard with “The Big Cheese”, I’d attempt to make eye contact, with the hope to then introduce myself.

It never happened. His mind was elsewhere. And I was too intimidated to speak up.

On most occasions, I’m not sure he even knew there was somebody else in the lift with him. He had bigger fish to fry.

Of the 6 or 7 times I found myself in that lift with that CEO, not once did we exchange words. Or even nods.

We remained strangers. I knew who he was. But he had no clue who I was.

Fast forward about 15 years, and I started working with a client that was owned by this same chap.

I spoke to him one day, and couldn’t resist.

I said “Do you know that I used to work for you, many years ago?”

He didn’t even pretend to remember me. He actually still came across like he didn’t particularly care that much. 😆 (At least he was consistent!)

It made me wonder how many other staff he had hired over the years who he never bothered to speak to, or get to know.

I recorded a podcast on Friday and the guest spoke about a very well-known Australian Recruitment Business Leader who he used to work for, who he believes always demonstrated exceptional leadership throughout his career.

And one of the main things this particular leader used to do so well, was get to know his people. Connect with them. Spend time with them. Go on visits with them. Make them feel valued and significant.

I agree.

I believe one of the most important traits of strong leadership is the ability to connect with your people on a personal level.

Only then, when they feel they know you, and they feel you value them and care for them (as humans, and not just revenue generators), will you get true loyalty from them.

Do you agree?

Have you ever been ignored by your Boss?

Or the opposite? Have you ever had a brilliant Boss who has taken time to truly get to know you?

PS: This leader is still very active in the recruitment industry, I think. We haven’t spoken for a while. 😊

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