Harvard Business Review January 14, 2011, 1:20PM EST
Are You the Boss You Need to Be?
Yes, it's time to quiz yourself about your effectiveness as a manager
Linda Hill and Kent Lineback
Posted on Harvard Business Review: January 13, 2011 9:01 AM
How are you doing as a boss?
As a leader and manager, someone responsible for the results obtained by others, are you the boss you need to be? Are you getting the best from your people, and from those you need but don't control? Are you fully satisfying the ever-rising expectations of your firm and its customers?
Equally important, are you meeting your own expectations? How would you like to work to develop yourself? Are you good enough to achieve your own aspirations? Are you ready for increased responsibility?
These are critical questions all bosses must ask if they want to be fully effective. Why? The two of us have spent nearly 60 years in total studying and practicing management, and again and again we've made a troubling observation: Most managers grow and develop to a certain point, and then they stop. They reach the "Plateau of Good Enough." Perhaps they struggled at first as new managers, but they quickly learned how it's done in their organizations, how to cope with the challenges they typically face every day, and they've come to feel comfortable.
Unfortunately, they mistake comfort for real competence. They only ask, "Am I good enough?" when they should be asking, "Am I as good as I should be and want to be?"
If your answer to the second question is less than an unqualified "Yes!" we hope you'll follow us as we explore here what it means to be a great boss — the boss you want and need to be.
In particular, we're going to explore three critical areas:
What's required to become a great boss. It's a difficult journey that requires years, not weeks or months, of learning and steady personal growth. It's difficult because...