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Lessons to Learn from Greg, Debbie, John, and Gary

March 1, 2000
Related Topics: Featured Article
Excerpted with permission of the publisher Jossey-Bass, a Wiley company, from "The 21st Century Supervisor." Copyright (c) 2000 by Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer. This book is available at all bookstores, Amazon, and from the Jossey-Bass Web site at, or call 1-800-956-7739.

We hope you have gained a sense of appreciation and respect for these four leaders. Although each followed a different path to becoming a twenty-first-century supervisor, each path will provide years of opportunities for further success.

Here are the key elements in these stories:

1. Each supervisor made a conscious decision to become a better supervisor. Whether it was going to college (like Greg) or responding appropriately to the challenge presented by another employee (like Gary), each supervisor made a personal choice to become better.

2. Each supervisor possessed a strong commitment to learning. There is no substitute for learning and acquiring more education. Whether in the area of technical skills (such as computers) or social skills (such as coaching or facilitating), learning must be continuous.

3. Each supervisor is committed to continuous improvement. Continuous improvement is not a program or project -- it is a lifestyle. If you are committed to continuous improvement, your example will naturally drive others to become better.

There are no easy answers to becoming a twenty-first-century supervisor. But acquiring the people skills, technical skills, and administrative skills will empower you to be a better leader. As you become more and more confident and competent in these three vital skill areas, you will become the kind of leader your company will need in the twenty-first century.

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