"A manager, at any level of hierarchy, from line project manager, to CEO, has an emotional responsibility to their reports, or to the people who are dependent on them. Like a parent in a family, or a coach of a sports team, a manager sets the tone for dialog (open and thoughtful or defensive and confrontational?), enables or prevents a fun work environment, and interprets (or ignores) the corporate rules and structure, into a daily practice of shared work. While managers are hired to get stuff done for their employer, they also make a personal commitment to each of their reports by being their boss. The manager automatically takes on more responsibility for the career of their employee than anyone else in the organization or company. They might ignore this responsibility, or do a crappy job of it, but the responsibility is still theirs."
I wish more managers would step up to this challenge. What Scott describes are not necessarily the characteristics of managers, but the characteristics of a leader. This is hard, but stepping above the organization, the bureaucracy, the hierarchy, and the personalities is key for great leaders.
There are a great number of books on leadership. Just head over to the Business section of your local Chapters or check out the Leadership section at Amazon which has 175 pages of books. There are other books that I
My Favourite Books on Leadership
- Organizing Genius by Warren Bennis and Patricia Ward Biederman
- When Sparks Fly: Igniting Creativity in Groups by Dorothy Leonard & Walter Swap
- The Effective Executive by Peter F. Drucker (Drucker is really intense, i.e., academic and hard to read, but it is thought stimulating)
- The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Tale by Patrick M. Lencioni