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Being the Boss: The 3 Imperatives for Becoming a Great Leader

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  506 ratings  ·  44 reviews
You never dreamed being the boss would be so hard. You're caught in a web of conflicting expectations from subordinates, your supervisor, peers, and customers.

You're not alone. As Linda Hill and Kent Lineback reveal in Being the Boss, becoming an effective manager is a painful, difficult journey. It's trial and error, endless effort, and slowly acquired personal insight. M
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published January 11th 2011 by Harvard Business Review Press (first published January 10th 2011)
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3.86  · 
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 ·  506 ratings  ·  44 reviews

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Mar 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
I believe this book is a good and quite complete one - at least for me :) being a manager/lead for 2 months now when it comes on the duties and challenges of a manager.
The idea is to be aware of the 3 imperatives of a great manager:
- manage yourself: if one wants to be an effective and trusted manager of people, he/she should start with managing the self. What means to be a boss, the role, the relationship with others. Being aware it is all about results in the end, but the ones around you who n
Guylaine Roy
Nov 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A great book for new and experienced managers. One of my favorite on team management. Great examples and did cushions that can actually be applied.
Hill discusses practical tips and personal surveys to guide your development as a manager. How do you see yourself and how does that differ from how others see you?

Why I started this book: I wanted help and inspiration on how to be a better boss.

Why I finished it: Very practical, but also overwhelming as an audio book, since they are harder to skim thru or skip to relevant sections. Interesting and inspiring. I really liked the section on Prep, Do, Review and will need to include that in my life
May 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the holy grail that you need to read. A complete one, filled with all the pros and cons, ups and downs in the leadership struggle for all levels of leaders. Like many other books in the genre, this is not a book that you read once and let it get dirty on a shelf. This is something that you come back to now and then and up your game in helping people and yourself.
Andre Kubota
Jun 03, 2019 rated it liked it
Good book for high potential leaders who are becoming more relevant and are starting to manage a greater group of people.

High potential leaders might have a problem when managing people. Usually they might think that they didn’t need coaching, motivation or inspiration. In that sense, they think that a team should learn by themselves and spent little time on the teams.

~80% of the manager day should be talking to people, more reactive and with quick interactions.

It’s proven that good leadership
Greg Lacy
Aug 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was apprehensive to read this one at first because the description seemed a little remedial, but reluctantly I started anyway. To no surprise the first part about managing myself was a very elementary approach to leadership and being the boss. I pushed through it and took the attitude that I’m sure I can learn something from this book; so, I opened my mind to take in what I could. Then I entered the second stage about managing my network. THIS area has been a weakness of mine for years because ...more
Jan 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: business
This is a very readable book on management and leadership from an academic imprint. Linda Hill, a business professor at Harvard, condenses 30 years of research into "3 imperatives" -- manage yourself, manage your network, and manage your team. Along the way she tackles topics such as moving from a star performer to an effective manager, organizational politics, why mentoring and being mentored is hard as well as moving your focus from problem-solving and perfection seeking to achieving results n ...more
Ghayda Nassar
Nov 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
A good guide for new and experienced managers. Provides good tips and helps managers to be more conscious of their actions and behaviours.
The book is structured around 3 key imperatives:
-Manage yourself
-Manage your Network
-Manage your team

Each of these imperatives is important by itself but all of them together constitutes the core of Management.

The sequence that those imperatives are listed is very thought through in my opinion. Because you have to start by managing yourself before managing o
Oct 23, 2017 rated it liked it
I don't really know what to think about this book. Some parts were good and made lots of sense. However I found a lack of narrative to the book; a lack of a compelling theme that pulled the myriad of information together.

Ask me what I remembered about the book, and I'd say very little. And what's why it's not getting high marks for me.
Graham Okely
Nov 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Being the Boss is a well written book. It has a well organized structure and clear advice. I explains the three imperatives for becoming a great leader. Managing yourself, your network and your team. Highly recommended.
Jun 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: bussiness, management
Good and basic book about management. Nothing new or extra ordinary, but still worth the time. All managers not just the new can read this. Often leadership dipasears and only work is managed by the boss, which is a waste of time for both parts. This book also give some tools to manage this balance
Jul 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Focus on building relationships with your external and internal partners as well as those people you supervise. This book brought an fresh perspective that I know is important but had never read anything that developed the concept.
Dec 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I finally found a book about being a manager and leader that I can relate to and understand. It fit my personal and professional circumstance perfectly.
Yesenia Serrano
Apr 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Every new manager should read this book!!
May 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
If you are on a journey to become a better manager/boss, it's an excellent read.
Sep 15, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2011
This book is very straight-forward and practical, with concrete advice on how to be a better manager. Being hyper-critical of myself by nature, I feel like i easily master the reflective, inquisitive, planning parts of being a manager. The section on networking (managing yourself and your team are the other two) was the most interesting and helpful to me as it is the area where i need the most work. I play nice with others with a specific goal in mind, but the idea of reaching out for the sake o ...more
Allie Weiskopf
Nov 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: leadership
Purchased for my husband from his employer (Amazon), I read the book while he listened to it. As a military officer, leadership was taught in college and practiced immediately upon commissioning. I've read hundreds of leaderships books over the past 15 years and been asked to recommend them. This would be the *one* to recommend. 1) It's dual written, offering separate perspectives. 2) Each chapter opens with a management scenario, followed by a discussion. 3) The authors offer concrete strategie ...more
Jul 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015
I don’t actually want to be a boss. (I read this as part of a free class on leadership.) I do, however, want to influence people and better understand how organizations work. The book did not disappoint. I braced myself for lots of cheesy truisms and corny acronyms, but it had nothing of the sort; it was incredibly intelligent, realistic, and wise. I now have enormous respect for anyone who takes on the role of manager and does it well.

They say becoming a manager is as big a life-changing event
May 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
I just wish I had found this book a lot earlier, say a decade back when I first started my career.

This is a must-read for all those professionals keen on becoming an ace people manager, or a manager per se. Replete with practical gems and a running case study this book is just what it says: an imperative if you want to become a great leader.

Learning to manage yourself, your network and your team forms the crux of the book. And more importantly, throughout the book the authors remind the reader
Nov 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Even great managers face unprecedented challenges in an economic climate characterized by constant innovation, chaos and general unpredictability. Harvard professor of business administration Linda A. Hill and business writer Kent Lineback offer a lucid blend of cogent theory and practical strategies. They educate and inspire novice and experienced leaders who want to practice the fundamentals of good management. getAbstract recommends this deftly organized, clearly presented, practical guide pr ...more
University of Chicago Magazine
Linda A. Hill, AM’79, PhD’82

From our pages (May–June/11): "A how-to guide for managers frustrated by conflicting demands and the mire of office politics, Being the Boss offers practical advice for how to be a great leader. Centering around three principles—managing oneself, managing a network of relationships, and managing a team of subordinates—Hill and Lineback show how to accomplish business tasks effectively even under the most demanding circumstances."
Feb 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book! I got several nuggets that I will use including a paradigm shift on the value of networking, the power of continuously evangelizing your vision, the proposal to use every chaotic moment as an opportunity to do your job instead of always trying to get back to your job, and the prepare-do-review philosophy!
Jan 17, 2016 rated it liked it
3.5 stars.
Linda Hill is an accomplished academic and I got quite a bit out of her prior book, Becoming a Manager. There is a lot of good material in this book as well but I prefer a little less dry writing style like the Chip and Dan Heath or Dan Pink -- more stories and examples and even some humor to illustrate the points. That said, she knows her stuff--it's research-based.
Stephen Acton
Jun 21, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle
A good book for new supervisors/ managers. Not a lot of new information for someone who has experience managing. However, since the text is the result of studies - it is good validation of what may have only been intuition for some.
deleted d
Feb 12, 2015 rated it liked it
Learned a few good things. I liked treating employees well and not gossiping.
Biggest two were build a brand and network with people above your level

remember names, treat emloyees nicely, network with people above your level. build a brand
David Swart
Nov 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
The book reads a little dull, but after hearing the author in person, gave it a lot more life.

Interesting perspectives she shared, though not particularly new or earth shattering, still enjoyable and helpful book.
May 12, 2015 rated it it was ok
I got a signed copy of this book at my conference in Chicago. The author was a guest speaker at the conference as well. So I decided to read the book :)

She is a better speaker than author! Some good tips, but a little repetitive...
Aug 14, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good practical book on management. My team and I used it for a work book club. Some of the advice is common sense, but it gives people--particularly people newer to management--a good framework to manage themselves, manage their network and manage their team.
Milena Esherick
Dec 20, 2015 rated it it was ok
• Manage yourself: Do people trust you? Are you competent, do you have a strong character?
• Manage network – build strong relationships to be able to influence people outside direct team
• Manage your team – Build team culture, be clear about how team works, manage individuals.
Paras Kher
Dec 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book was referred to me by my corporate mentor. It has some very useful tips in becoming a great manager in handling tasks.
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