Mr. Sculley, what makes a good manager?

An interviewer asked John Sculley, former Pepsi exec and Apple CEO;

Mr. Sculley, you’ve said you aren’t a great manager. What makes a great manager?

Sculley’s answer:

Really good managers want to turn one-off projects into as much of a routine process as they can.

I am a project-centric leader.

I like to work on projects and solve tough problems.

Whereas a really good manager will say, “How do we replicate the processes so that when a problem comes up like this again we can routinely solve it?”

That is a very different skill set.

It takes both to run a successful company.

I always tried to complement my creative problem-solving skills with people on my team who had more process and management skills, so as a team we were very successful.

It’s important to understand what you are really good at and weak at so you can fill out the leadership team with all the needed talent to be successful.

So, are you project-centric or process-oriented?

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