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Being the Boss: The 3 Imperatives for Becoming a Great Leader Hardcover – January 11, 2011


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Frequently Bought Together

Being the Boss: The 3 Imperatives for Becoming a Great Leader + Becoming a Manager: How New Managers Master the Challenges of Leadership + HBR's 10 Must Reads on Managing People (with featured article “Leadership That Gets Results,” by Daniel Goleman)
Price for all three: $56.14

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press (January 11, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 142216389X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1422163894
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #31,438 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Named one of Five Best Business Books to Read for Your Career in 2011 by the Wall Street Journal.

“modern classic” - Financial Times

"This book can well serve both beginning and experienced managers as a guide for their own continued development. It is engaging to read, asks the right questions, and incorporates a compendium of the best research on leadership." – Graziadio Business Report

“a well-written, comprehensive guide to finding ways to succeed on this often-perilous journey.” – Korn/Ferry Briefings

Listed under “Summer reading suggestions for federal leaders” - Washington Post

“Being the Boss gives a cleared-eye assessment of the paradoxes and complexities of being the boss and offers practical advice on the questions and techniques that can help managers become more effective. "Being the Boss" is an insightful and readily accessible book” – Forbes.com

“…engaging with a precise presentation of concepts and plenty of real-world examples.” - CEO Update

“It’s a well-presented title that should prove especially useful for those assuming management positions for the first time.” – THE IRISH TIMES

About the Author

Linda A. Hill is the Wallace Brett Donham Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School, the faculty chair of the Leadership Initiative, and author of Becoming a Manager. Kent Lineback, now a coach, writer, and collaborator, spent nearly thirty years as a manager and executive in business and government. He is the coauthor (with Randy Komisar) of the bestseller The Monk and the Riddle.

More About the Authors

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Customer Reviews

The book is a real gem.
d. ogawa
They skillfully invoke the "journey" metaphor when examining two processes: self-discovery and becoming a great leader.
Robert Morris
This is an excellent book, especially for anyone new to management.
The Rabid Reader

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 40 people found the following review helpful By John Gibbs TOP 1000 REVIEWER on January 13, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Sooner or later most managers realize that becoming an effective manager is an enormous challenge and taking a management course is not sufficient preparation, according to Linda Hill and Kent Lineback in this book. Considerable personal change is required for a competent employee to become a skilled manager, and this includes acquiring the necessary skills, knowledge, values, outlook, self-knowledge, judgment and emotional competence.

A manager is responsible for the performance of a group of people, and this means the manager must influence not only what they do, but also the thoughts and feelings that drive their actions. There are many paradoxes in what managers must do, including:

* You are responsible for what others do
* To focus on the work, you must focus on the people doing the work
* You must both develop your people and evaluate them
* You must make your group a cohesive team without losing sight of the individuals on it
* To manage your group, you must manage the larger context beyond your group
* You must do some harm in order to do a greater good

The manager's "3 imperatives" referred to in the title of the book are: manage yourself, manage your network, and manage your team. The bulk of the book is taken up describing ways in which these imperatives can be achieved. The authors help to make their theoretical advice concrete by using part of a fictional case study at the start of each chapter, illustrating a range of problems encountered by a technically competent individual who has recently been promoted to a managerial position.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By S. Alvey on January 19, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I am a leadership coach and I have found this to be a universally great book for my coachees. It provides ideas and assistance for so many of the issues they are facing: developing their teams, establishing trust and credibility as a leader, forming networks, and staying strategic while managing relationships day to day. A key issue my clients tend to face is how to build and maintain influence. This book has that, too. In fact, I have found myself randomly opening to a section of the book and finding the perfect scenario or framework for one of my clients. I like the organization of the book: Managing Yourself, Managing Your Network, and Managing Your Team. Inside of this simple structure the authors address the highly-nuanced issues that managers face. And the scenarios bring those issues home in a way that readers can identify with the issues and find a way through them. Other leadership books can be too theoretical. This one has a practical tone that allows readers to define specific actions to take, without losing sight of the overall principles that make good leaders.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By d. ogawa on January 26, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I am a mid-level manager at a global financial institution thrown into management without any training on how to manage people. I had been looking for a book that would offer me guidance on the key elements of the job. Being the Boss is just that book. It is practical, easy to read, and organized into three focused sections that cover the most important aspects of a manager's job: Manage Yourself, Manage Your Network, and Manage Your Team. The most meaningful section for me was the first. It provided me with tools for evaluating my performance as a manager in a comprehensive way, allowing me to know where I stand against real mastery of the job. I came away with a better feel for my responsibilities as a manager and how certain approaches and actions could be viewed by my direct reports as well as others in the organization. The book is a real gem.
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Format: Hardcover
The book's subtitle refers to three imperatives for becoming a great leader and all are essential: Manage yourself, manage your network, and manage your team. The material is organized within three Parts, each devoted to one of the imperatives. Note the sequence. Linda Hill and Kent Lineback are quite correct when suggesting that those who cannot manage themselves effectively cannot manage anyone else effectively. It should also be noted that they are world-class pragmatists. The material they provide in their book is based on a wide and deep body of research on managers' real-world behavior. They skillfully invoke the "journey" metaphor when examining two processes: self-discovery and becoming a great leader. In fact, there is also a third process: helping others to become a great leader.

Credit Hill and Lineback with making skillful use of several reader-friendly devices such as checklists of key points that are inserted and then discussed throughout the narrative. For example, these are provided in the first four chapters:

o The eight "inherent paradoxes" of management (Pages16-20)
o Why the paradoxes define the fundamental nature of management (20-21)
o Most common misconceptions about management (38-43)
o Self-audit questions: knowing when and how to use authority (45-48)
o Why being both a boss and a friend can be incompatible (52-56)
o Competence and Character: The elements of trust (59-70)

Hill and Lineback also provide a Summary at the conclusion of each of the three Parts that serves as a self-assessment with regard to where the reader is at this point in the journey to become a great manager.
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