The Best Boss We Never Had
Written By TotalTrust
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If you are lucky, you get to work for a great boss every once in a while. We have been blessed to work with someone who would have been a great boss, if we had stayed at GM. Instead, we have had the opportunity to learn from him over the past 25 years (or so). If you know us (or have read our books), you have heard us talk about Bob Lintz, the former GM plant manager at Parma, Ohio. Bob is now a trustee of the Cleveland Clinic.  If you have not heard about Bob, here is a bit about why he is the best boss we never had.

Instead of moving around GM hopping from promotion to promotion, Bob made it his career to lead the Parma plant, and to keep it open and make it world-class in terms of cost, quality and productivity. Even after his retirement, this plant still maintains this distinction. He showed his employees the true definition of loyalty and excellence.

For those of you who know about internal communication, Bob was the original internal communicator. Even though he had a plant of 5,000 people (10k at the peak), he had an open door policy for anyone at anytime to come in and share their ideas or concerns. We know this because we were once asked to leave his office when an employee needed to talk to him! In addition, Bob had a habit of walking around the plant to check in on his employees to see how they were doing. We had an opportunity to walk the floor with him to see him in action. It was right after he had surgery, and while he was focused on helping his employees, they were more worried about him and his health.  His concern for his employees came right back to him.

Bob is a courageous, humble and authentic leader.  He has told us and our students that he never knew all of the answers but instead, would look to his team for the best answers to problems.  He is also just himself: no fancy suits and ties, no executive dining room, no special parking spot–just an authentic man with an optimistic view of the future.

For all of the things we teach our business students, the most important are the qualities to be a trustworthy leader like Bob: humble, smart, kind, forward thinking, team-oriented, open & honest, and positive.  If we create the next generation of business leaders in his footsteps, the business world will be in great shape.