Being the Boss | Linda A. Hill

Summary of: Being the Boss: The 3 Imperatives for Becoming a Great Leader
By: Linda A. Hill


In a world of constant innovation and unpredictability, managers at all levels face increasing challenges. The book ‘Being the Boss: The 3 Imperatives for Becoming a Great Leader’ by Linda A. Hill, a Harvard professor, and Kent Lineback, a business writer, offers practical advice for both neophyte and experienced managers. With a focus on responsibility and influence, the book walks you through the importance of understanding authority, fostering trust, and building professional relationships. The authors present strategies for creating a strong team culture, navigating organizational politics, and learning how to manage up effectively.

Mastering Management

Harvard professor Linda A. Hill and writer Kent Lineback provide practical strategies and cogent theories to help middle managers navigate an unpredictable economic climate. Their guide is a valuable tool for anyone aiming to become a great boss. The authors understand that management involves responsibility and influence, and they offer clear and compelling advice for achieving success in this role.

The Power of Trust in Management

In their book, Linebeck and Hill emphasize the importance of understanding your role as a manager. Managing a team can be challenging, but you have to be accountable for your employees, manage the present and the future, and cope effectively with cultural differences and generational gaps. The authors advise against relying solely on formal authority, as trust and authenticity are what truly create effective management. Bosses who try to befriend their subordinates often make the mistake of compromising their own authority. Instead, the authors suggest building an authentic and caring professional relationship while still maintaining boundaries. Groups become teams through purpose, goals, and clarity, and managers need to be in the midst of their staff. Trustworthiness and character are crucial to gaining managerial influence. Your staff will observe your words and actions to see if you practice your values daily. Understanding and practicing trust is the key to becoming a successful manager.

Networking and Managing for Success

The book advises on developing and nurturing networks as an essential tool for new and middle managers in handling the complex organizational environment. Managers should understand that conflict is pervasive and interdependence with other people is crucial. To resolve these issues effectively, they need to establish an “operational network,” “strategic network,” and “developmental network” and leverage them in four ways that include getting and sharing information, group integration, coalition building, and discerning trade-offs. While managerial failure is a guarantee when one eschews corporate politics, managers are advised to create, nurture and protect their sphere of influence and interact adequately with other managers and units. They should negotiate, communicate needs and accomplishments, and protect their group’s best interests while learning to manage up by examining their relationship with their boss, fulfilling needs, communicating career growth ambitions, and maximizing strengths while reducing limitations. Because management begins with a manager as a person, they should continuously grow using their developmental network.

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