I do not
between management and leadership. A manager who cannot lead
is just going to be ignored and a leader who cannot manage is as useful
as a chocolate teapot.
As far back as I can remember, British management has always been bad -
divisive, confrontational (bullying), elitist, anti-intellectual, and
infested with Northcote-Parkinsons’ “injellitance” (a lethal mixture of
incompetence and jealousy) - all residues of the old ‘us and them’
class system and the
very English view that being able "to do things" is not . . . er . . .
Sadly, it seems to
be getting worse from what I read –
and see. This is no trivial matter - decent management means
fundamentally that people are happy to go to work, and the benefits of
this are massive because it is the employees who run the business. With
bad management, everyone loses.
To be a good manager you need to:
Realize that :
Everyone seeks to stand out -
to control their own destiny – but also wishes to be part of a
It’s not a paradox, it’s a balance – it's what we are - pack animals.
Progress is more
and intuitive than rational.
We’re all idiots (the
Dilbert Principle), we make mistakes, get over it - we still
Care about people and
love what you
Listen to your customers. They may not always be right, but
the customers – your livelihood! It’s also cheaper to keep one than get
a new one. Find out what they want and be happy to provide
Get off your behind and walk about – find out who’s who and what’s
what. Listen to your staff and encourage them to talk – they
company better than you do – they run it – they’re full of talent and
your eye out for it.
Praise and encourage – reward, don’t punish – people who are punished
don’t improve, they just learn to dodge and
then you have someone who knows the business, at best dragging their
feet and at worst working against you.
Push autonomy as near to the
shop floor as you can.
Avoid paper-pushing ‘staff support’ groups etc and if you really
communicate by writing, keep it less than a page.
Get on with it - encourage innovation – don’t fret
about ‘failure’, learn from it. That said, don’t buy
don’t know how to run. It is an all too common but profound
error to imagine that if you can manage one organization you can manage any.
To be a bad (typical?) manager you need to:
Demoralize the 95% of your work force who act as adults by designing
systems vainly trying to deal with the 5% of lazy bastards who don’t.
Avoid change that might spoil your ‘systems’.
Be a ‘Yes, but . . . ’ person.
Stay in your office.
Fuss about details and ‘tidiness’.
Cower - Start letters with, “I am instructed . . .
” or “It has been decided . . . ”
Use consultants, solicitors, accountants etc who can be blamed when all
It won't happen - they'll run rings around you!
Rely on technology, which can also be blamed when all goes
Keep records to ensure that blame is clearly placed elsewhere.
Hold meetings instead of working.
Think that a box ticked is a job done, and a target set is a problem