This was the exact phrase that greeted me when I emailed Philip Allen a day after he left the office. I did it out of curiosity to see what would come back. My heart sank, but I was smiling. Only he would do something like that and it would remain for many days after as the company scrambled to fix it. When he summoned everyone one afternoon into a room to announce that he was leaving, I left, ran into the bathroom and cried.
He had gone – and within a few days of his departure, I too would soon depart. Efforts were made to keep me, but no one after (or since) has ever come close and once he had gone, I didn’t actually realise how much I missed him.
The truth is, it’s easy to be a bad manager, and very difficult to be a great boss.
But here’s what I think made Philip unbeatable…
- He asked me for my opinion in my area of expertise and valued what I said
He gave me the opportunity to shine and to have the chance to make an impact instead of telling me what to do.
- He expected a lot from me and trusted my ability to complete tasks
He didn’t need to constantly check in with me, he simply trusted me to deliver when the results are due.
- He protected me from outside criticism
Many years later I would learn that he shielded me from others who voiced directly negative feedback or criticism about my performance (I don’t think they were critical after the money started flowing in). But this protectiveness didn’t mean he would never deliver criticism.
He never told me what he was doing for me behind the scenes, he just did it. He never sought praise.
And what did this all achieve? Here are the highlights (Top 3):
- We Generated 75% of the total revenue required for the year in 3-4 months (Circa 375K)
- We attracted 7/8K subscribers to the new webinar platform in 6 months
- Off the back of that data, we delivered the first training course in the Middle East
”Adam, don’t tell me what you’re going to do, talk is cheap, just do it, results do not lie.”
I didn’t push for the company I pushed for him, I didn’t want to let him down and I still don’t.
Anyone can give an order, that’s the easiest part. Executing it so the team will follow is the real game. Philip is ex-military, and the hierarchy there starts with leadership, which provides vision, wisdom, and motivation. Then there’s management. That’s turning time, task, and purpose into action … and in my case, results.
I am proud to call Philip my mentor. I am all I am because of him.
He has taught me to:
- Question the status quo
- Follow my gut
- To always know your worth
Philip is the only person who can tell me I’m not good enough.