The managers work with a specific resource: man. And the human being is a unique resource requiring peculiar qualities in whoever attempts to work with it.
For man and man alone cannot be worked. There is always a two way relationship between two men rather than a relationship between man and a resource, It is in nature of this interrelationship that it changes both parties whether they are man and wife, father and child or manager and the man he manages.
Working the human being always means developing him. And the direction his development takes decides whether the human being – both as man and as a resource – will become more productive or creative, ultimately to be productive at all. This applies, as cannot be emphasized too strongly, not alone to the man who is being managed, but also to the manager. Whether he develops his subordinates in the right direction, helps them to grow and because bigger and richer persons, will directly determine whether he himself will develop, will grow or wither, become richer or become impoverished, improve or deteriorate.
One learns certain skills in managing people, for instance, the skill to lead a conference or to conduct an interview, the skill to lead a conference or to conduct an interview. One can set down practices that are conducive to development in the structure of the relationship between manager and subordinates in a promotion system, in the rewards and incentives of an organization. But when all is said and done developing men will requires a basic quality in the manager which cannot be created by supplying skills or by emphasizing the importance the task. It requires integrity of character.
There is tremendous stress these days on liking people, helping people, getting along with people as qualifications for a manager.
These alone are never enough. In every successful organization there is one boss who does not like people, does not help them, do not get along with them. Cold, pleasant demanding, he often teaches and develops more men than anyone else. He commands more respect than the most likeable man ever could. He demands exacting workmanship of himself as well as of his men. He sets high standards and expects that they will be lived up to. He considers only what is right and who is right. And though usually himself a man of brilliance, he never rates intellectual brilliance above integrity in others. The manager who lacks these qualities of character no matter how likeable helpful or amiable, no matter how competent or brilliant is a menace and should be adjudged unfit to be a Manager and a Gentleman.
It may be argued that every occupation – the doctor, the lawyer, the grocer – require integrity. But there is a difference. The manager lives with the people he manages, he decides what their work is to be and he directs it, he trains them for it, he appraises it and, often he decides their future. The relationship of merchant and customer, professional man and client requires a parent, or a teacher. And in these relationships honorable dealings are not enough; personal integrity is of the essence.
We can now answer the question: Does it require or at least a special talent to be a manager? Is being a manager an art or an intuition? The answer is: No, What a manager does can be analyzed systematically. What a manager has to be able to do can be learned (though perhaps not always taught). Yet there is one quality that cannot be learned, one qualification that the manager cannot acquire but must bring with him. It is not genius; it is character.