Posts Tagged ‘Management’

chasing-tail200x233According to Robert E Quinn, “Leadership is not a position – it’s a state”.

The professor of business and management at the Center of Positive Organizations at Ross Business School, University of Michigan, also advises that you ask yourself this:

What results do you want to create?

By doing so, he believes, you immediately put yourself in the future instead of solving problems from the past.

When you are stressed or in a low mood, you automatically try to find the root of the problem and the reason why you feel the way you do. You might get stuck in your attempt to explain the problem and twist and turn different solutions to it.

Sometimes the ‘problem-solving search’ leads to more problems and negative emotions, and you end up chasing your own tail. A classic example is when your thoughts begin to revolve around the ‘why’, which research suggests is part of the problem. Read the rest of this entry »

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Leading in tough times

28 Oct

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      LeadingToughTimes200x233When a team is up against it and defeat feels depressingly certain, it’s often the quality of leadership that dictates whether it sinks or swims.

      At some point, all leaders will be severely tested as they nurture a variety of personalities. To get the best out of your team when times are tough, it’s important to have strategies in place.

      I have these three suggestions to help you.

      1. Coach performance, not results

      When he managed Wigan Athletic, Roberto Martinez had a very limited budget at his disposal. Remarkably, they survived in the Premier League season after season and were finally relegated at the same time as being crowned FA Cup champions. Read the rest of this entry »

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      TapIntoTeamPotential200x233“What a wee little part of a person’s life are his acts and his words! His real life is led in his head, and is known to none but himself. ” - Mark Twain

      How relevant this quote is to business life. As a business leader you do all that you can to facilitate the best performance possible from your team. Clear goals, appropriate reward, comfortable environment, the right systems and processes. Yet you’re not seeing the optimum performance you seek. So why aren’t your people delivering peak performance?  Perhaps you haven’t thought about a key factor – the thoughts, feelings, perceptions and motivations that influence and inform their behaviour as they react to their experience.

      We’re all subject to the same processes and can certainly develop ourselves by becoming more self aware. In doing so, we create the possibility of consciously making choices about how to react. Perhaps you’ve already experienced that route to developing your leadership – but what of those around us? Read the rest of this entry »

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      StrategicManagers200x233Another day, another manager telling me that they want a job ‘that is more strategic’, or a CEO asking me to help a manager to ‘be more strategic.’ I have no problem with such desires, but what does being more strategic mean?

      If we look at the definition of strategy, we find it means: “A plan of action or policy designed to achieve a major or overall aim.” Being more strategic must mean more time spent planning things, but doesn’t a manager tend to do that on a regular basis? Is it not the very core of effective management to plan and organise? If planning is the key, then a project manager must be incredibly strategic and yet I doubt that’s what managers mean when they talk about being more strategic.

      Does the day-to-day get in the way of innovation?

      While the dictionary might guide us towards planning as being a key aspect of strategy, managers tend to think of strategy as being more forward-thinking and broad ranging than operational planning. It could be looking ahead years and involve that wonderful ‘blue sky thinking’. It’s spending far more time thinking and mulling over possibilities and far less doing stuff. Day-to-day operational management involves dealing with crisis, customers, and listening to the concerns of employees. Management involves having eyes in the back of your head, being able to predict the future and dealing with the stress and strain when things go wrong, so a more strategic role must mean far less of all of this. Read the rest of this entry »

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      According to the Council for Excellence in management and leadership, only one in five managers is qualified in management. At a time when management tasks are increasingly performed by people who are not professional managers, there is a greater need than ever for good quality people management advice.

      Unfortunately, there is so much on offer (online, in books, courses, magazines, from gurus and advisors) it means that it is hard to identify the most relevant and select the best.

      Take books. How many times have you tried to buy a book on people management and found you couldn’t choose, or ended up disappointed? When I talk to managers and CMI members, the same story emerges: there is simply too much choice. So how can you identify the books that will actually add value?

      CMI’s book of the year

      This year, the Chartered Management Institute’s Management Book of the Year was awarded to Richard Newton for The Management Book. Focusing on the people side of management, The Management Book identifies that there are still many businesses where managers, even at a senior level, don’t know the best way to manage and get the most out of their staff. It offers advice on issues like how best to control and meet the evolving expectations of the team, which is a big issue for many managers. With nuggets of ‘management gold’ including: “uniform treatment is not effective or efficient”; “the cost of not making a decision is often higher than the cost of making the wrong decision”; and “your behaviour must be consistent with the vision”, it is an accessible and highly practical read. Read the rest of this entry »

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      Men and women like to be managed in different ways, but  in a climate of equality in the workplace, how is this possible? As the director of Capp (a global organisational psychology firm), I worked with Emma Trenier (consulting psychologist) to look at what women want from their managers, and what can be done to address their needs.

      Recent research conducted by Capp has highlighted a number of key management behaviours, which make a real difference to women. These largely focus on attitude, relationships, and are not just about getting the job done.

      With information from over 1,100 participants, Emma and I have used our research to compile a list of seven ways to get the best out of your female workforce: Read the rest of this entry »

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      Having spent many years working overseas, I’ve attended my fair share of cultural awareness training. The typical agenda goes something like this: an introduction to the country, it’s population and religion, followed by my favourite section – a list of dos and don’ts.

      Am I saying we shouldn’t offer these sessions? Absolutely not. They can be extremely valuable for the intrepid professional embarking on their first adventure in a new part of the world. But what if you’re an experienced manager, who has inherited a multicultural team?

      Read the rest of this entry »

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      Leading with your strengths

      08 Jun

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          Marshall Goldsmith, winner of the Thinkers50 Leadership Award 2011, believes too many leaders are stuck in their ways. His presentation: ‘What got you there won’t get you there’, and recent research conducted by people management consultancy, Capp, suggest that the failure to realise this results in ineffective management and burnout.

          At a time of increasing pressure to get more women into the boardroom, fellow Capp director Alex Linley and I offer examples of how female leaders can align their leadership strengths to situations and strategy. In this way, we ignite leadership performance and resist overplaying strengths.

          Read the rest of this entry »

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