Management

A manager by any other name…

I came across yet another article this morning arguing the difference between management and leadership.  This one was called Ten Signs your Boss is a Manager — but not a Leader. It suggests that managers watch people to make sure they’re doing what they’re supposed to be doing, and continues: “The concept of traditional supervision is … Continued

The workplace curmudgeon

I’ve recently been watching re-runs of the TV series House, in which Hugh Laurie plays a prescription drug-dependent, unconventional, misanthropic genius. I’m also been watching the latest series of Sherlock, in which Benedict Cumberbatch plays a drug-dependent, unconventional, misanthropic genius. The similarities are of course deliberate – they even share the address 221b Baker Street, although one’s in … Continued

Trust at work

Having completed my planned series on wisdom, courage and compassion at work, a conversation on LinkedIn prompted a new member of the collection (who knows, this series may run and run). I’ve long been a fan of Patrick Lencioni’s leadership fable, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team.  In this short engaging book, Lencioni reveals five … Continued

Compassion at work

Making tough decisions is an unavoidable part of being a manager. It takes courage to cut staff, to tackle poor performance or to kill a much loved but no longer viable project. But that doesn’t mean you have to become toughened and uncaring about the people involved. There’s absolutely no reason that courageous decisions cannot be … Continued

Courage at work

I’ve seen a lot of managers driven by fear at work. Fear of doing the wrong thing, fear of getting into trouble, fear of being judged and found wanting, fear that one of their team will outperform them, fear of conflict, fear of ending up at an employment tribunal, fear of losing their job. The … Continued

Wisdom at work

According to Confucius, wisdom, courage and compassion are the three universally recognised moral qualities of men. They’re also regarded as key elements of Buddhahood. But where do they fit into management? While it might seem obvious that managers need all three, we tend to be reluctant to use this kind of language at work as … Continued

Why am I here?

Don’t worry I’m not having an existential crisis – it’s far too early in the day for that. I recently read a discussion on an HR forum about the problems of retaining staff in a small business where promotion prospects are slim. My initial reaction was ‘well tough, you can’t’. Let’s face it, if an … Continued

Bad apples

I was recently talking to a group of managers and the subject of employee engagement cropped up. As often happens, the discussion ended up focusing on ‘getting rid of bad apples’. This seems to place the blame for disengagement firmly in the the employee’s court, with the heroic manager needing to fix it through robust … Continued

The Truth about Millennials

“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth, and then some time later created emoji . One of the most widely translated works in history has been given a 21st-century update with the publication of the Emoji Bible. Described as a great and fun way to share the gospel, it interprets all 66 … Continued

DUMB Objectives

Like it or not, SMART objectives appear to be such a staple part of performance management that there are probably very few organisations where managers aren’t encouraged to discuss these on a regular basis with their direct reports.   There are however strong arguments against the whole Management by Objectives approach popularised by Peter Drucker in his … Continued

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