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Passion, People and Principles

The 2R Manager

post # 387 — June 13, 2007 — a Managing post

In preparation for a seminar I was doing, I reviewed a wonderful book called “The 2R Manager,” (Jossey Bass, 2002) for which I wrote the foreword, and which I recommend a lot.

It was written by Peter Friedes, the former CEO of Hewitt Associates, the HR consulting firm.

Pete’s basic insight is that, to be effective in managing others, we must know both how to be “requiring” of people (that’s the first R) — make sure that they deliver on and live up to the tasks they take on. A manager must also, however, do this in a way that “Relates” (the second R) to each individual.

These two dimensions can define nine kinds of managers:

The first four are the extremes:

The Abdicator: low requiring, low relating

The Demander: high requiring, low relating

The Pleaser: low requiring, high relating

The Overwhelmer: high requiring, high relating

Then there are four which are less problematical, but still less than perfect:

The Supervisor: About right requiring, but low relating

The Friend: About right relating, but low requiring

The Encroacher: About right requiring, but high relating

The Energizer: About right relating, but high requiring

The best, in Pete’s view, is someone who is about right in both requiring and relating: The 2R Manager.

Which are you? Which is your boss?


Diana Hird said:

As an exercise in applying the 2R categories, how would you all categorize the boss in the sitcom The Office? I haven’t read the 2R book (though I’m utterly intrigued) but I’m thinking he’s low on requiring. As for relating? Wouldn’t that depend on whether we’re looking at quantity or quality of relating? He definitely tries to be the pleaser but I can’t say he’s pleasing anyone other than himself.

posted on June 13, 2007

David (Maister) said:

Pete Friedes asked me to post this response to Diana’s question:

Michael in The Office is definitely a “Pleaser” and like most pleasers doesn’t please anyone. He is a severe Over-Relater and non-existent Requirer.

posted on June 14, 2007

Mi said:

Very interesting division. Sure that the book is needed to be researched closely.

posted on June 14, 2007

chris said:

re: Micheal Scott (The Office)

Though Michael Scott is ficticious, I think he demostrates the point that this 3×3 grid needs a fourth row and column — managers that are over-the-top in either relating or requiring.

Or is it the case that if you are over the top in either you are automatically deficient in the other — if you’re over-Requiring you’re almost certainly non-Relating?

No it can’t be that extreme; I’ve known some people that are over-Relating and still adequately Requiring…

posted on June 18, 2007