Article | Harvard Business Review | January – February 2011

Are You a Good Boss-Or a Great One?

by Linda A. Hill and Kent Lineback

Abstract

Private moments of doubt and fear come even to managers who have spent years on the job. Any number of events can trigger them: an initiative is going poorly; you get a lukewarm performance review; your new assignment is daunting. HBS professor Linda Hill and executive Kent Lineback have long studied the question of how managers grow and advance. Their experience brings them to a simple but troubling observation: Most bosses reach a certain level of proficiency and stay there-short of what they could and should be. Why? Because they stop working on themselves. The authors offer what they call the three imperatives for every manager who seeks to avoid this stagnation: Manage yourself. Who you are as a person, the beliefs and values that drive your actions, and especially how you connect with others all matter to the people you must influence. Manage your network. Effective managers know they cannot avoid conflict and competition among organizational groups; they build and nurture ongoing relationships. Manage your team. Team members need to know what's required of them collectively and individually and what the team's values, norms, and standards are. The authors include a useful assessment tool to help readers get started.

Keywords: Leadership; Growth and Development Strategy; Management Analysis, Tools, and Techniques; Personal Development and Career; Groups and Teams; Power and Influence; Social and Collaborative Networks;

Citation:

Hill, Linda A., and Kent Lineback. "Are You a Good Boss-Or a Great One?" Harvard Business Review 89, nos. 1-2 (January–February 2011).