The Correct Definition This sounds obvious - but it is rarely done. For even effective executives tend to misdefine a 'manager' as someone who is responsible for the work of subordinates - the definition of 50 years ago - and thus tend not to perceive that they have any responsibility for the boss's performance and effectiveness. But the correct definition of a manager - as we have known it for at least 40 years - is someone who is responsible for the performance of all the people on whom his own performance depends.