Do You Have What It Takes to Be a Great Boss?

Do You Have What It Takes to Be a Great Boss?

Chapter 1

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Do You Have What it Takes to Be a Great Boss?

Inc. magazine:

Integrity, poise, humility. Would your workers ascribe these qualities to you? However you see your role as boss—a parental figure, a coach, a general—your job ultimately boils down to directing people and, in some sense, serving them.

Source: Rod Kurtz, “How to . . . Be a Great Boss,” Inc., 26 (October 2004): 90.

Questions:

What is your personal experience with great (and/or not-so-great) managers? What enduring management lessons did you learn from what they did right or wrong?

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It’s a Wired, Wired World

The very ubiquity and addictiveness of the Internet is spreading the online world even deeper into every area of communication, commerce and human interaction. Don't try Googling the answer to where this will take us. We've long ago strayed off the map.

Source: Steven Levy, “No Net? We'd Rather Go Without Food.” Newsweek (October 11, 2004): 14.

Question:

In terms of your own work and leisure activities, what do you see ten years down the road for the Internet?

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Back to the Opening Case

Question:

What evidence of the eight managerial functions can you detect in the Bruce Birnbach/Rowe Furniture case?

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Back to the Opening Case

Question:

Which of Wilson's 12 managerial skills did Bruce Birnbach demonstrate in the Rowe Furniture case? Cite your evidence for each.

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“I really don't like you, now let's get the job done.”

A survey of 173 managers found “Building relationships with people I dislike” to be the number one (73% ) source of personal discomfort and stress.

Source: Adapted from “Do I Have To?” Business Week (July 7, 2003): 14.

Question:

Putting yourself in the place of a manager “fresh out of school,” how would you handle this challenge?

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The Sink-or-Swim School of Management?

Michael Watkins, a Harvard Business School professor and author of the book The First 90 Days:Critical Success Strategies for New Leaders at All Levels, has the following concern: Most new managers fail because they don't have a plan, they are not clear about the business situation and they assume that what made them successful in the past is going to work in the new job. . . . They lack the insight and support networks needed to succeed, and corporations lose millions of dollars due to the high failure rates.

As quoted in Gail Johnson, “Sink or Swim,” Training, 41 (July 2004): 13.

Question:

What could cause a very successful college student to be a flop as a new manager? Explain.

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Got a Good Business Idea? You’ve Got 45 Seconds

According to new-venture expert Elton B. Sherwin Jr., entrepreneurs who are trying to raise venture capital should be able to answer these “Seven Sacred Questions” in 45 seconds:

1. What is your product?

2. Who is the customer?

3. Who will sell it?

4. How many people will buy it?

5. How much will it cost to design and build?

6. What is the sales price?

7. When will you break even?

Marc Ballon, “Hot Tips,” Inc., 21 (April 1999): 104.

Question:

Can you pass this 45-second test with your idea for a new business? Give details.

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Look out below!

Fred Smith, founder and chairman of FedEx:

Being entrepreneurial doesn't mean you jump off a ledge and figure out how to make a parachute on the way down.

As quoted in Matthew Boyle, “Absolutely, Positively, Slow the Hell Down,” Fortune (November 15, 2004): 196.

Question:

What is the practical significance of Smith's comment for would-be entrepreneurs?

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