Management lessons from Frodo Baggins

I'm no expert on J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. Far from it. To the dismay and bewilderment of many, I fell asleep in the theater during first one. Or the second one. I can’t even remember. I did eventually see them all and while I’m sure there were a great many deep messages to glean from the trilogy, the one I recall most is this:  

The power one has with the Ring is a lot like the power one has as a manager. It is coveted by many, but most people just turn into assholes when they get it. There are a few exceptions. 

According to one person that knows way the hell more than me about LOTR, "The Ring works in different ways, exploiting the individual hopes and fears, strengths and weaknesses of the characters who encounter it."

The same is generally true of all forms of power. Lord Acton famously acknowledged this when he remarked, "Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men."  

Management is a form of power and the motivations one has for wanting to manage others are very indicative of whether said person will end up being another douchebag possessing a Ring-like power they shouldn't have.  

One question that is helpful in uncovering those motivations is this:   

How would you feel about being promoted without a change in title?

This is an important question because it speaks to whether a promotion into management is desired purely for egotistical reasons. If someone won't take the position without a change in title, I suggest they need not be in that position, lest they turn into a little monster and ruin peoples’ lives, and possibly all of Middle-earth. 

 A shitty manager needs a title to bark orders and belittles people. A great manager uses more creative and mutually beneficial means to influence others. Great managers care more about leading others than they do ruling over them. If someone can’t do that, they aren’t ready for the Ring. Frodo taught us that.