Roosevelt used to say “The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint to keep from meddling with them while they do it.” I had the honor of working under very good managers and it seemed they used to follow what Roosevelt underlined above in the message. Well, you reciprocate the same as you grow up the ladder making it a better work place for you, your manager and even your subordinates. And that’s where I think people say “I look up to my manager and is a role model for me”.
The comic strip Dilbert's workplace was started to satirize technology, workplace, and company issues. Dilbert portrays corporate culture as a world of bureaucracy issues for its own sake and office politics that stand in the way of productivity, where employees' skills and efforts are not rewarded, and busy work is praised. Much of the humor emerges as the audience sees the characters making obviously ridiculous decisions that are natural reactions to mismanagement. Scott Adams puts across the mismanagement issues in a concise manner in the comic strips portraying what should not be done - but on the bright side people just laugh it off as a good joke not really prodding their own views or behavior.
Jokes apart, wherever the macro trends are headed, the ability to engage and retain talented employees is a critical skill for managers and the firm. Most of us aspire to leave our mark in the world in some way, to be remembered for something. Involuntarily you tend to sow the seeds of the legacy through one of these:
- Improving skills and capabilities of your peers and subordinates by your actions (coaching, developing or creation of roles)
- Mentoring people in the breadth of the organization. I wouldn’t term on the quantity but the quality of the people mentored across the breadth of the organization.
- A better giving and receiving feedback framework.