We’ll Follow the Old Man Wherever He Wants to Go
post # 234 — November 7, 2006 — a Managing post
In â€œWhite Christmasâ€ (the movie with Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye), the plot turns on the loyalty that the troops felt towards their leader, General Waverly, even long after the war had ended. â€œHe ate only after we ate,” Bingâ€™s character said, â€œHe slept only after we slept.â€
Back in July, I wrote a blog post about Jay Bertram, president of the Toronto office of TBWA, the global advertising agency, who asked all his people to evaluate him as a manager and announced to all his staff that if he did not improve in their ratings – by 20 percent within one yearâ€”he would resign!
It makes the case why effective managers must run a process that:
- Clarifies their role
- Gives them feedback
- Demonstrates the crucial principle of commitment to continuous improvement and
- Reduces the emotional distance between “us” and “them”
By the way, if you don’t know it, ChangeThis is a unique online magazine, inspired by Seth Godin and run by 800-CEO-READ, with an editorial board dedicated to what they call “thoughtful, rational, constructive arguments about important issues.” Their contributor list includes Tom Peters, Guy Kawaski, and Malcolm Gladwell. Earlier this year they also published my article “Strategy and the Fat Smoker.”
Back to our topic: Iâ€™ve asked this before on this blog, but I have no apology for asking again: Do any of you have examples of managers who led by force of personal example and willingness to go first? Managers who have been prepared to be personally accountable for their role?