And the winner is . . . not you.

In my last blog just before Christmas, I talked about my book The Psychological Manager being shortlisted for the forthcoming (now outgoing?) Chartered Management Institute Management Book of the Year awards (#Managementgold).

I didn’t win.

I didn’t want to, obviously. It’s the taking part that counts and being shortlisted was quite enough. Honestly. This attitude is, quite frankly, why I would be rubbish on The Apprentice (add to that too old, too grey and just too nice – I’m quoting my wife here, incidentally).

What has pleased me about this whole process, however, is that other people (particularly those lovely judges) felt that I had a point. Many managers, often through a lack of skills, interest or confidence, only actually and actively manage their people once the day job is done. Which never does get done.  So neither does the people management.

Learning this stuff isn’t hard. It just takes knowledge, practice and curiosity; curiosity about your team’s hopes, aspirations, what motivates them and what doesn’t, and ultimately how to get the best out of them so that everyone wins. But before all this comes the attitude that managing people is the day job.

It’s a situation I come up against time and time again; “I would spend more time with my staff but I don’t have enough of it – I’ve got a job to do”. No acknowledgement there of accepting the short-term pain of delegating, mentoring and coaching for the long-term gain of empowerment, sustainability and engagement for them. Funny how those same people seem quite happy to take the managerial pay/grade/status, however.

Just saying.