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Leaving No One Behind
By Vanessa Cobb and Sammie Jones
Postmasters, who will you bring up behind you to make sure the Postal Service remains prominent after you retire? We have employees who want to become leaders in this organization; what are we doing to ensure that happens? How many of us are just sitting back, being content and doing our time until we are out the door, but not focusing on who will lead when we’re gone?
Postmasters, we have an important duty to the Postal Service to ensure we leave this organization in the hands of knowledgeable and capable individuals. Even though we are preparing for retirement, we can’t take our postal knowledge into retirement with us. It’s crucial for us to identify who’s coming behind us and convince them to step up and join our management team.
We are going to have to share our knowledge so those who follow can learn as much as possible from us and be successful managers. To guarantee this happens, we have to be willing to share our postal knowledge, coach, mentor and encourage our employees to seek upper-management. How do we do that?
First, we need to find an employee who has potential and is career motivated. Then, take that individual under our wings and start sharing all the knowledge we can with them. We also have to allow them to make mistakes so they can learn and grow from their mistakes while we are there to support them.
Second, we need to coach them. We have to find their strengths and weaknesses and tap into their strengths to get the most from them while requiring high productivity.
Third, we have to mentor them by sharing information about our own career paths, as well as providing guidance, motivation, emotional support and role modeling. This powerful development tool can enable persons to achieve or exceed their life’s goals and aspirations.
Finally, it’s time for us to encourage these individuals. We must give them courage and confidence to do something that might be out of their comfort zone, but always letting them know that, no matter what, “they are enough.”
Now, ask yourself, “Who do I see in my rearview mirror? Who will I not leave behind?”
Vanessa Cobb, Columbus, GA, Branch 281, is postmaster of Thomasville; Sammie Jones, president of Gainesville, FL, Branch 405 and district 1 vice president of Florida State Branch 911, is the retired postmaster of Trenton.