At IBM I had scores of good managers, many of whom turned out to be mentors. Of a good lot, the most superb was Hank Guckes.
Hank, an IBM systems engineer, had a rare combination of virtues excellent programming skills and wonderful people skills. He was chosen to manage the Apparel Business System/370, the very complex IBM software development project that Garry Reinhard and I worked on seven days a week for almost a year.
Hank helped us greatly by communicating effectively with IBM corporate management (keeping the brass off our backs by reassuring them that all was going well) and by leaving us alone to do the tough design and programming work. We worked harder for him because we knew he understood us.