On Tuesday 22 May we are running a workshop called ‘Manager Excellence’.  I have begun to worry whether it's the right title.  I have a tendency to use the terms manager and leader interchangeably. I have been called out on it. But I maintain there’s a place for both terms and a need for both skillsets if you have ‘people responsibility’. Management involves giving direction, providing a framework, setting clear expectations and ensuring legal and other compliance where necessary. Leadership speaks more to psychological buy-in – it’s about fostering engagement and enabling personal development. The workshop looks at both.

At the start of the workshop I ask a question to get participants in the right sort of mindset for the day.

Perhaps…“What are the hallmarks of a great manager?”

Or… ”What is most important to you as a leader?”

What would your answer be?

Rarely (at the beginning of a workshop) do participants volunteer the idea that it is about how well their people do.

I guess there’s trick in the question – the question is about you... but I’m looking for a response that is about someone else. But whether you see yourself as a manager or a leader, you need to look to your people for the measure of your excellence.

I think it goes against received wisdom to draw a parallel between manager/leader and team and parents and children but… it’s kind of the equivalent of asking a parent what they think would make them a success in that role and the answer coming back “doing everything I say, making me look good now, and looking after me in my retirement”. **

Being a good parent involves accepting it’s not about you. The same goes for management/leadership. Being responsible for people is about creating a platform which enables them to be the best they can in the role they have – both by giving them clear expectations and by building engagement. Co-incidentally it usually works out rather well for the manager/leader too.

[**I haven’t completely nailed it yet (after 14 years in the parent role it’s still not an area in which I claim expertise) but I think the answer to the parent question is about the kids being happy and fulfilled…]

If you, or someone you know, would like to improve their skills and build their confidence as a manager and leader please do book a place on our Manager Excellence Workshop.  https://www.byrnedean.com/event/tuesday-22-may-manager-excellence-one-day-workshop/?doing_wp_cron=1525936104.4997160434722900390625