The governor of New Jersey has a reputation for straight talk that's earned him the respect of both Republicans and Democrats. We like politicians who tell it like it is — a breath of fresh air from the normal political posturing.
This is The Confident Career blog, and when it comes to confidence, Christie has few rivals. This has worked well for him throughout his career, propelling him to Governor, with Presidential aspirations. The recent "Bridgegate" controversy got us thinking, however…would Chris Christie make a good boss?
Here are three attributes of a good boss that Christie appears to have:
- The honesty to "tell it like it is." The best bosses always let us know where we, and our companies or organizations, stand. We'll take direct criticism over false compliments any day. We doubt that Christie gives many false compliments.
- The confidence to let his employees succeed. Leaders give others room to shine, and are not threatened when their employees accomplish great things. Christie knows he is often in the limelight, and doesn't appear to worry about anyone else stealing it.
- On the way up. A boss who is "going places" creates more opportunity for us, whether it is the chance to fill their position after they are promoted, or the opportunity to follow them to another organization. Including the Oval Office.
On the other hand, the way Christie handled Bridgegate pointed out a few of his less attractive attributes:
- Publicly "selling out" your employees. We understand that sometimes you have to fire employees who act poorly. But, the best managers don't tell the world why. Maybe politically Chris Christie had to announce that he terminated an employee, "because she lied to me," but it doesn't sit well.
- Being overbearing. Direct talk is great. Browbeating isn't. We don't know how Christie actually deals with his employees. But, if it is the same way he deals with other politicians, reporters, people who ask questions at Town Halls…he may not be the most empathetic manager.
Overall, like many managers, Christie is probably a great manager for some people and a poor one for others. Playing in the political arena puts many constraints on how he manages, and conversely his behavior has been honed to success in politics.
What are your thoughts? Would you like to have Chris Christie as your boss?