Soundview Executive Book Summaries

Are You In the Spotlight?

I recently attended our local high school’s presentation of the musical Singing In the Rain. There was a line all the way down the hall so that by the time we entered the auditorium we had to sit in the back, left side, right next to a young man working a spotlight. He had a script and used his cell phone to provide enough light to watch for his cue to shine the spotlight at just the right time.

There’s something about being in the spotlight that can cause your palms to sweat, and sometimes to freeze you in your tracks, unless you’re prepared to handle the pressure. It’s this image that authors Craig Wasserman and Doug Katz draw upon in their new book The Invisible Spotlight.

Wasserman and Katz contend that managers are always in the spotlight, with their employees watching, listening to, thinking about, talking about and trying to please them. The best managers are mindful of the impact they are having, and make a conscious effort to make the most of these important relationships.

Among the recommendation they offer:

  1. Good management takes anticipation and rehearsal – just like with acting, a manager must think ahead, know his or her lines, and practice the best way to deliver them. Otherwise management becomes reactionary and much less effective.
  2. Employees watch what you do more than what you say – actions do speak louder than words, and managers must make sure that they are thoughtful in all their actions, and that they practice what they preach. Actions that are contradictory to our words make us hypocrites (a Greek term for acting/wearing a mask).
  3. Your idiosyncrasies and imperfections can undermine your effectiveness. Managers need to come to terms with and overcome those traits.

If you would like to learn more about living in the spotlight, I invite you to join us on December 8th for our Soundview Live webinar with Wasserman and Katz. They will elaborate on the methods for effective management and answer your questions.


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