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Nike Shox TL3

Likewise, a lot of creatives are going freelance because agencies don't want to pay account handlers / planners / project managers. Speaking to the person who does the work is appealing, hence the increasing number of tiny, new creative shops.

Bob Sutton


You make an excellent point and I agree with you, as the better the workplace, the less bosses need to protect their people. But I would add that all too often, bosses work in imperfect places and they need to open that umbrella at times, as not doing it is worse.

But I agree that the worse senior management is, the more the person holding the umbrella is an impossible situation.


Hi Bob,

I don't agree with you on this one. At least partially.

I worked in a place where the CEO was a bully, and our boss "shielded" us (at least partially) from him. But this also created a dysfunctional relationship, and made me uncomfortable (I remember me saying "but I don't want to need someone to rescue me in the first place").

I understood it better when I read about Karpman's drama triangle: if you need a rescuer from a villain, then that leaves you in the victim's place.

DC Jobs

This post reminds me how tough it can be for those managers that actually care about their employees. I guess that's why it's called "sticking your neck out", because their is risk involved, and I guess that is why so few do it.

Randy Bosch

Bob, Thanks for this excellent post. Truly, "there is deep wisdom there about the relationship between a good boss and good followers -- these are mutually supportive relationships, not one way".

Too much "leadership" writing compels belief that bosses are 100% responsible for any/everything, and give the rest of the team a free pass.

As my (then future) father-in-law said, "Marriage is a 100/100 proposition" - not 50/50 or 100/0, but 100/100.

Thanks for helping us look at it that way, even when "it hits the fan."

Forrest Christian

Gen. Leslie Groves was a great example of someone who knew how to manage "creative types" and get actual product out of them. He really kept the shit from military layers above from hitting the scientists and engineers making the bomb.

michael cardus

the greatest line that is so exact about the reciprocity of leaders and followers.

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