A manager always understands his or her written job description, but perhaps not the unwritten requirements.
Managers are on display and subject to evaluation every single day, though not in any formal sense. Every word, every action, every decision is scrutinized by the manager’s colleagues, and the harshest criticism always comes from those being managed.
A manager’s work ethic, forthrightness, diligence, openness, frugality with corporate resources are all subject to evaluation, along with adherence to corporate culture. Falling short will impair the manager’s effectiveness with her most important constituency.
To lead, a manager must first capture the moral high ground.