Jul 2, 2007

Manager's role - comment

Karthik wanted to leave a comment on the post "The Manager's role in development" but as he said, maybe it deserves a post of it's own

Quite so Gautam!

Some haunting dialogues from 'The Godfather' echo this thought.
In an attempt to placate the dethroned counsellor of the don's family, the semi-retired Vito Corleone says "Tom! i never thought you were a bad consigliere; i thought Santino was a bad don, rest in peace"
Yet another instance in the movie, when his temperamental son interrupts a serious discussion, he says "i have a sentimental weakness for my children and i spoil them as you can see! they talk when they should listen"

In 'The Gladiator', the roman emperor says to his son while explaining why he chose someone else to succeed him-"your faults as a son is my failure as a father"

I think of this role (that of a manager in development of subordinates) as one that has got to be balanced...a harmony to be struck between time spent by manager on his own deliverables and towards subordinate development.

A personal belief of mine is that the extent to which a manager exposes his work to his team can determine how fast they develop to assume larger roles. This complements another popular belief that making oneself obsolete and dispensable for the current job by coaching down-the-line team for that role is a sure-shot formula for swifter upward movement in a hierarchy!

It is truly 'leader-like' for a manager to own up and say all discredit for poor results rests with me while all credit for good work goes to my team.
Jim Collins establishes through research in 'Good to Great' (kind of a sequel work to 'Built to Last') that all leaders of Great companies had this attribute which he calls "looking out-of-the window" and "into-the-mirror" philosophy.

A great leader when lauded for excellent results says "look out of the window-its my team that shines" and when he is ripped for poor output takes it all on him standing before a mirror trying to examine what's wrong with him.