Personal effectiveness

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

How to be the person everyone wants on their team

One of my friends who’s an opera director was recently tagged in a post on Facebook with a link to an article listing 20 Ways To Be The Actor Everyone Wants to Work With. At first glance most of it seemed entirely theatre-related; with only a little imagination however, several items on the list could be translated … Continued

7 ways to get unstuck

The poet Charles Bukowski said “writing about a writer’s block is better than not writing at all”. So here I am, overcoming my struggle to write my blog by writing about struggling to write my blog – or perhaps about becoming unstuck in general. One of my favourite starting points is to pick a subject and see what … Continued

Four things to do with surprising feedback

Every now again someone gives you some feedback that in one way or another completely stumps you. My own particular favourite was someone who wrote on their workshop evaluation sheet “Tim is very tall”! When faced with something as left-field as this, what are your options? 1. Ignore it Sometimes the only sensible thing to do is … Continued

Time to get really angry

People who don’t really know me might be surprised at what a seething mass of anger boils beneath this hugely tolerant exterior. All sorts of things get me going, but most of the time I keep a lid on it and only those closest to me realise that not everything’s as calm as it seems. And … Continued

Are you a Moss Piglet?

There seem to be quite a few TED talks available on the subject of resilience. This in itself is an interesting indication of what working life must be like for many people these days: if so many speakers dedicate time and effort discussing the ability to cope with extreme pressure and bounce back, it must surely be something … Continued

A day of resolution

There’s a lot (and I mean a lot) written at this time of year about making New Year Resolutions. Most of the time, I avoid the whole resolution fever as I think that if you want to start or stop doing something, there’s nothing magical about 1st January that makes it any more likely that you’ll transform your life.  … 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

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