I have been pondering an old idiom about not criticizing someone before having walked a mile in his shoes.
I developed a new appreciation for all of my teachers, both good and bad, after I created and taught an undergraduate course for the first time. I am similarly developing an entirely new appreciation for my former boss. I have learned more in one week of walking in his old shoes than I gleaned from more than 10 years of watching his day to day operations from the outside looking in. I had thought that I had understanding. I had thought that I had excellent observational skills honed from my scientific training. I had thought that I tried to observe with empathy rather than judgment. Just as it was different standing in front of a classroom rather than sitting at a desk in the class, it is quite different sitting at the top of an organizational unit rather than the bottom or safely tucked in the middle. I think I have an apology to make tomorrow for things I could have done to have been more supportive over the past decade had I known then what I know now.