An Acid Test for Every Boss

Rick Wartzman
Rick Wartzman

In his latest online column for Time magazine, Drucker Institute Executive Director Rick Wartzman writes about a “deceptively simple methodology” being used to measure the effectiveness of management in organizations.

Recommended in the latest issue of the MIT Sloan Management Review by Julian Birkinshaw, a professor at London Business School, the assessment hinges on a single question: Would your employees recommend you?

“The measure, Birkinshaw’s ongoing research has shown, can be highly useful,” Wartzman writes, as it sheds light on the “overall workplace climate” of an enterprise while also providing valuable feedback for individual managers.

“So how do you ensure that your employees would, in fact, recommend you as a boss?” Wartzman asks. Peter Drucker, he notes, “wrote dozens of books on what it means to be a good manager, but I bet he’d start with a handful of core principles.”

Among them: Make sure that everyone who works for you is crystal clear on the contribution he or she is expected to make—but set these goals through dialogue, not diktat; when appraising someone, concentrate on building on their strengths, not correcting their weaknesses; and set your sights high, for you and your team.

“When you do that,” says Wartzman, “folks can’t wait to tell others that they’d be lucky to work for you.”