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The No. 1 Reason Why Good Managers Fail to Become Great

The No. 1 Reason Why Good Managers Fail to Become Great

Most organizations have only a few great managers. This is a sad state of affairs since many more managers are smart, capable, and could be much better than they are now.

So what’s stopping this improvement?

The short answer: the managers themselves.

Good managers fail to work hard enough to improve themselves. They reach a certain level of proficiency — good — and stop there, according to Harvard Business School professor Linda Hill and her collaborator Kent Lineback."managers"

“Managers rarely ask themselves, ‘How good am I?’ and ‘Do I need to be better?’ unless they’re shocked into it. When did you last ask those questions?” they ask in the latest issue of Harvard Business Review.

What are your first steps toward improvement? Start with a clear realization of what managers do, namely that they are responsible for the performance of a group of people. This work is achieved through exerting influence that “makes a difference not only in what they do but also in the thoughts and feelings that drive their actions,” write Hill and Lineback.

Once you understand what you do, the authors offer some great methods for managing yourself, your network and your team. I especially liked their section on what you can do right now (Prep, Do, Review) to improve performance. Read the full article Are You a Good Boss — or a Great One? on HBR.org. The authors also have a new book, Being the Boss: The 3 Imperatives for Becoming a Great Leader

Are you stuck on good? What’s holding you back?

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