Book Me For A Speech

My Writing and Ranting

Press Room

Good Books

« How to Tell When Your Boss Is Lying: Cool New Study | Main | HBR Article on The Boss as a Human Shield: 100 Free Downloads »


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Ellen O'Rourke

In the past I have managed direct reports and acted as a human shield. I had a team of systems administrators supporting outdated technology that failed to meet our business needs. Systems would fail and the executive team would quickly point fingers at my team for failures. I buffered the finger pointing and also worked with my team to develop proposals that would solve the root causes of the systems failures. I know I had the loyalty and appreciation of my team.

That said, when working on employee development, I have also found that at times I have to give them the opportunity to face the heat head on and respond to it in constructive ways. This experience helps build their management competencies. There is a balance between both strategies and knowing when I need to shield or encourage professional growth. Thank you for sharing your article.

Jake Nady

Howdy Bob, I haven't read the book, but now I might. A lot of these examples are very similar things I've discussed while away at lunch with co-workers etc. You ask if there may be other ways not included in this 7 that a boss might be able to protect his or her people. I've personally always appreciated the boss who seems to let me in on things... maybe seem to share secrets. Its a way to show that they're really on my side on many matters. It also makes them less robotic and more human.

Just a thought.


Good info. This was one of my more favorite chapters when I read the review copy.

I actually cited it in a discussion on my blog about narcissistic bosses. You've got a citation and it's not even published yet.

Thanks Bob.


Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

Asshole Survival

Scaling Up

Good Boss Bad Boss

No Asshole Rule

Hard Facts

Weird Ideas

Knowing -Doing Gap

The No Asshole Rule:Articles and Stories