Management burnout: douse the flames before all is lost

A great manager looks at the processes of the business and tries to make them better and works to help their staff reach their potential

Management burnout: douse the flames before all is lostIf you’re a manager and you feel trapped, underappreciated, struggling in a company where you have no sense of ownership or purpose, you’re not alone. It’s quite common for managers focused on achieving the company’s vision and goals to get to this state of discouragement. I’ve been working with a couple managers of different organizations…

The world needs fewer leaders and more good managers

Management is the infrastructure that allows a leader's vision to become a sustainable reality

The world needs fewer leaders and more good managersBusiness and management guru Henry Mintzberg made the argument a few years ago that businesses are asking for trouble because of their penchant for separating "leaders" from "managers" and placing leadership in a superior role over management. We are suffering, in other words, not from a lack of leadership, but from the absence of good management. Mintzberg believes that, while…

6 steps to fast tracking your culture building efforts

Tackling culture requires the same approach you apply to any other business problem: What is your goal? Where are you now? What is your plan to close the gap?

6 steps to fast tracking your culture building effortsI once sat with a small group of business owners who wanted to talk about culture. For each of them, culture ranks as one of their key human resource worries – how to shift their culture in a meaningful way, or maintain a culture they see as critical to success. One of the advantages –…

How to curb your inner Donald Trump

And stop sucking all the air from a room

How to curb your inner Donald TrumpDonald Trump may be a caricature-like and extreme example of someone who can't help but steal centre stage, but such people lurk everywhere. We have all worked on a team or sat in a room where someone dominated the conversation to such an extent everyone else started to fade into the background. Maybe you are…

Get emotional about a culture of safety

You can’t be “half pregnant” when it comes to safety

Get emotional about a culture of safetyIt was a small terraced house in a northern English city. The young couple did not look old enough to have a son in our apprentice programme. They gave me a cup of tea and I sat down on their sofa. There was no TV, just some chairs, a picture of their son and the…

Perfectionism is a form of theft

Attempting to make everything perfect steals time from your clients, your employer, your family and yourself

Perfectionism is a form of theftFor her entire career, Phoebe has really struggled with how to manage her time. She has a great attitude and the quality of her work is first-rate, but it seems to take her twice as long as anyone else to bring a project to completion. Recently she moved into a new role, replacing someone who…

Changing behaviour starts with a look in the mirror

Radical change, or change to appease someone else, rarely sticks

Changing behaviour starts with a look in the mirrorJerry started smoking when he was in Grade 5. Over the course of his life he has tried many times – once when his uncle died from lung cancer – to give it up. Then, one morning, at the age of 37, Jerry woke up feeling like an old man. He stubbed out his cigarette,…

Emerging from the swamp of dysfunctional business relationships

Anyone who tells you that they have a magic bullet, silver or otherwise, for complex and systemic problems belongs in a travelling fair

Emerging from the swamp of dysfunctional business relationshipsAs I looked round the room at my executive team, the acid in my stomach got worse. Dave, our Operations VP, was convinced that Erica from Finance was out to get him: ‘you watch what happens at the end of the quarter, she squirrels the provisions away and makes me look bad, she wants to…

Annual reviews only feed corporate paranoia

The whole employee rating process is a recipe for disaster

Annual reviews only feed corporate paranoiaI was 23 when I got my first promotion, to Acting Assistant Labour Relations Manager in the UK’s Health Service. My boss’s gift to me was my one and only report, Megan, 20 years old, grumpy, difficult and the department’s secretary. My first task in my new position was to deliver her end of year…

Painful lessons in effective leadership

The mad and the bad have no place in any organisation

Painful lessons in effective leadershipI had just joined a factory in England’s industrial heartland and my new Managing Director – let’s call him Neil – was five foot two, 240 pounds of explosive malevolence. He was an ex-purchasing director whose winning formula was to squeeze his miserable suppliers into penury and he was honing his approach with his new…