>>>5 Best Business Lessons From Steve Jobs

Get to know your employees

Magas also points to Shakespeare's play Henry V in which the king disguised himself on the eve of his Agincourt speech to learn the true feelings about his own men regarding his role as leader. He realized that he needed to learn how to be a good king from his subjects, not from other kings, she says. (Does this sound like a precursor to today's Undercover Boss on CBS ( CBS)?)

In order to be a good manager and for employees to be most productive, take this lesson to heart. Understanding the needs of your employees and creating more employee-friendly policies is the best way to maximize employee performance.

"Your success as a manager hinges on the direct support of your staff. Just as Shakespeare's development of subplots directs our attention to the vital role of support staff, your role as a manager should be to learn from your staff, develop their potential and reward innovative ideas," Magas says.

-- Written by Laurie Kulikowski in New York.

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