Management – the realities

I asked some clients and contacts for topics for this blog and here is one set of suggestions I got back from a client I coached a few years back.

“When I first started [in management] I had really no conception of what to expect and what to do and how to handle new situations on a daily basis.

Perhaps you could include on your blog some form of guide for those new to management. (See New to Management?)

Things to include could be time management (See Where does your time go?), handling meetings Business Balls, presenting ideas, strategic planning, setting realistic goals for oneself and brainstorming, working with other departments and how to deal with setbacks but stay confident.”

What comes through from this list is the reality of doing a management job.  Yes, the core job is about performance through planning, organising, leading and controlling but there is a whole range of other skills that make up the manager’s daily role.  Above all there is the need to stay confident!

In an ideal world no-one would be appointed to a management role without having had training in handling meetings, presentations, strategy, goal setting (much more tricky that it appears), brainstorming, negotiating with other departments and so on but that is rarely, if ever, the reality.

In the 1970s and 1980s the large multinational corporates I worked for had suites of courses that people could attend and taking five days training a year was commonplace.  Somehow I fear that this is no longer the case and many people of my generation are genuinely surprised to find that the younger generation of managers has just not been trained in some of the key micro skills that enable managers to do their primary roles of planning, leading, leading and controlling.

The reality today is that the responsibility for management training and the micro skills training that supports has shifted from the organisation to the individual.  We’re all now responsible for our own self development and organisations are cutting corners.

What are managers to do who don’t have access to all of the training in the skills they require?  First of all make a list of the skills you need and prioritise them. Second seek out material on the internet that you can study in your own time.  Three find a coach who can help you develop the skills you need.

I raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society in the UK – a small donation at would be most appreciated


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