In Praise of the Mere Manager

When I type the word ‘leadership’ into Google, within a nanosecond my screen is full of blue headlines like:

“Study for a High Impact Leadership Course”

“Leadership Development”

“Future Leaders Get Ahead Now!”

“Authentic Leadership …”

Screenshot 2019-06-07 at 17.27.12
Captain Mainwaring from Dads’ Army – one of TVs most famous managers!

If I just search for, ‘good leader’, Google nearly explodes.  But if I type in, ‘good manager’ then very little comes up, with the exception of the rather dismissive, “7 Things Great Leaders Always Do (but Mere Managers Always Fear)” – mere managers, eh?

Even when I studied for my MA, I spent a whole semester studying and writing about ‘leadership’ – though my actual degree was in ‘management’.

Why are we so obsessed with turning managers into leaders and when did this happen?  

Continue reading “In Praise of the Mere Manager”

Banter, Banana Peel, and Snowflakes

The Shifting Sands of Employee Expectation

If you saw the news this weekend you will know about the incident involving football player, Raheem Sterling, at Saturday’s Chelsea v Manchester City game.   The monstrous footage shows a group of middle aged men, faces contorted in anger and hate, screaming alleged racial abuse at the young player.  Sterling, 24 (Saturday was his birthday), has been widely praised for his calm and professional conduct during it all.  He has said, “I just had to laugh at the abuse – I didn’t expect any better.” 
Continue reading “Banter, Banana Peel, and Snowflakes”

What Gareth Southgate can Teach us about Authentic Leadership

It is almost a cliché to admire Gareth Southgate’s leadership of the England football team.  The Daily Telegraph have praised his “integrity” and “quiet dignity”.  The BBC among many others praised his “compassion” for consoling Colombia’s, Uribe, who missed his penalty in the last 16 game and put England through to the quarter finals. These are not normally words one associates with football managers, or perhaps even managers generally!  So what takes us out of the realm of mere people management and into the bask of great leadership? Continue reading “What Gareth Southgate can Teach us about Authentic Leadership”

Egos and Expectations – can HR teach the England Football Manager about Running a Team

England Football Manager World Cup Football Russia
Can Gareth Southgate do the impossible this year?

The  job of the England football manager is sometimes referred to as ‘The Impossible Job’.  Football managing careers usually end in failure.  In the memorable words of words of  Howard Wilkinson (former Leeds United manager) ‘there are two types of manager, those who have been sacked and those who will be sacked in the future’. Continue reading “Egos and Expectations – can HR teach the England Football Manager about Running a Team”