If I work for you, I expect you to protect me when I’m attacked unfairly and defend me when I am accused unjustly. Your failure to do this means I lose confidence in you and the quality of my work begins to suffer immediately. In most cases, I begin looking for a better environment in which to work.
Let a good supervisor–the manager of a business, principal of a school, or pastor of a church– learn this most valuable lesson.
I was a year or two out of college, newly married, and pastoring a tiny church up the highway 25 miles. During the week, however, I was the secretary to the production manager of a cast iron pipe plant on the outskirts of Birmingham, Alabama.
My boss was 65-year-old Clyde Hooper, a cigar-chewing Methodist layman who could teach sailors a few things about plain speaking. He had paid his dues in coming up the hard way, and was so tightly bonded with the 300 men working in the foundry that they would have died–or killed–for one another. Mr. Hooper wore a crisp, starched white shirt and beautiful tie to work every day. I adored the man.
I also emptied his spittoon in the corner of the office.