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Submitted by timbarcz on


Often times in the podcasts Mark or Wendii will mention the boss' #2. If I am understanding this correctly it means, the boss' second in command, even if that second in command has several peers. "Greatest among equals" comes to mind.

If my understanding is correct, the question I have is: How is this viewed by the broader professional community? Is this something as a manager/director/VP, we should be identifying a #2. How do you do this and not breed resentment among your other directs (spoken or unspoken)?

JonathanGiglio's picture
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Good managers become good executives by getting people promoted.

I would say it is more unnatural to NOT have a Number #2. It's not favortism, it is effectiveness.

Clear communication can help. And if worse comes to worse, rotating the position might also work. Ideally the #2 would take on new roles or opportunities. Perhaps they have an involved project for a quarter or so where the #3 can take over.

As for the resentment? Is a high performer on your team someone who can't recognize the effectiveness of this dynamic? Those who would choose to be less effective in not being chosen are unlikely to be more effective if they were the #2.

Hope that helps.