This morning I read an article on Harvard Business Review about leadership from Linda A. Hill, a professor at Harvard Business School, and Kent Lineback, an ex-executive in business and government. They discussed about how to be a great boss. They wrote, too often managers underestimate how much time and effort it takes to keep growing and developing. They argued becoming a great boss is a lengthy, difficult process of learning and change, driven mostly by personal experience. As a result, so much time and effort are required. It is like a journey – journey of years.
They added, what makes the journey especially arduous is that the lessons involved cannot be taught. Leadership is using ourselves as an instrument to get things done in the organization. No doubt, it is about self-development.
As a manager, usually we face chaotic workdays, day by day. To deal with the chaos, we need a clear underlying sense of what’s important we and our group to be in the future. Management is responsibility for the performance of a group of people. Management is defined by responsibility, but done by exerting influence. They argued, to influence others we must make a difference not only in what the staffs do, but also the thoughts and feeling that drive the actions. The question is: How do we actually do this?
They wrote, the answer is very simple, we need overarching, integrated way of thinking about our work as a manager. But what is an integrated way of thinking? Linda and Kent proposed an approach, based on their studies, observation, and knowledge, which they called it three imperatives, i.e.:
- Manage ourselves;
- Manage our network; and
- Manage our team.
If you want to know more about the three imperatives, these are the indicators:
- Manage ourselves:
- Use formal authority effectively;
- Creating thoughtful, but not overly personal relationship;
- Others trust us as a manager;
- Exercise influence effectively;
- Manage our networks:
- Identify systematically who should be in the network
- Build and maintain network;
- Use network to provide protection and resources for our team;
- Use network to accomplish our team’s goals;
- Manage our team:
- Define and constantly refine our team’s vision for the future;
- Clarify roles, work rules, our team culture, and feedback about performance of the team;
- Know and manage people as individuals as well as team members.
However, the last one that is also important: We should use daily activities and problems to pursue the three imperatives.
But note: back to first paragraph, becoming a great boss is a long, long, process. You should maintain the sustainability to be a great boss. For maintaining the sustainability, it is very important for you to maintain your health condition first through sport, meditation, and praying. So, go for Friday praying now!