Who was the best boss you ever had – why did you rank them so high?

The 9th Infantry Division Race Relations/Equal Opportunity Team Circa 1973

After working full time for 50 years, I considered who had been my ‘best’ boss ever. It was Major David N. Boyd (The gentleman sitting down in the photo.). [I am the one on the far left – Lieutenant Gary L. Flanders]

I have thought about why I would rank Major Boyd (now he insists I call him ‘Dave’ so after 47 years of friendship I reckon I can follow that ‘order’ as well.]

*He was a good man. I realize that is a hard to define quality. And, it is rather like if you see and experience it – you know it. I knew for certain that Major Boyd was a good and decent man.

*He was fair. He didn’t care who or what you were, if your ‘word was your bond’ he treated you with respect. *He was honest. You could depend on his word. You could depend that his ‘yes’ was yes and his ‘no’ was no. He had no hidden agenda. You didn’t need to guess or play games around directions.

*He believed in me. In my first interview with him he simply asked: “Lieutenant, can you write?” I replied, “Yes sir, I can.” From that day forward all he needed to say was, ‘here’s what I need – Go.’

*He mentored me, but not in an intrusive way. He was not ‘afraid’ to say, “Gary, that was dumb, go fix it and I know you will learn from this.” *I knew for certain that he cared about me. He not only knew my wife’s name, he regularly said, “It is time for a Barbecue, what can Denise bring?” *He made sure the entire team realized that we were all in this effort together – I know it sounds mighty 70’s but we were family.

A good boss is like gold. Once you find one, treat them right. My hope is that you discover one as effective and special as David Boyd.

Lt Flanders, Private Ashford, Captain Louis Cooper, Sgt Williams, Private Linda, the best Sargent I ever knew: Robert C. Lyons.

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