Management or Leadership Development?

What’s best, management or leadership development? Where should I put my energies?

Good leaders are really important. They give an organisation drive, focus, spirit and hope. But good leadership can’t make up for poor management. If the boss is terrific at cheering on the team, but incapable of dealing with an individual’s poor performance, then the whole team suffers. Or if the boss is great at inspiring followers but hopeless at communicating what actually needs to be done, then nothing gets done. An inspiring vision wont help a team that is at loggerheads.

Peter Drucker is quoted as saying

“Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.”

Management is often seen as a poor relation to leadership – certainly the price tag of leadership training and coaching would suggest that. But fundamentally managers need to manage well; to do things right. The right things, yes, but in the right place, in the right way, at the right time.

And they need to be able to manage themselves; manage their time, their critical thinking, their communication and their assertiveness.

What’s the Answer for Janet Webb Consulting?

Excellence in management can have a significant impact.

So I have nailed my colours to the mast and decided to concentrate on helping managers be great managers.

Yacht masts decorated with colourful bunting.
Yacht masts decorated with colourful bunting.

How I do that I’ve written about in various places, including here.  They’ll almost certainly pick up some good leadership skills along the way; if they are concerned about managing well, then they’re half way there.

I’ve worked for really amazing managers who were shy and unassuming. And I’ve worked for poor managers who had an excess of charisma and passion. I know which I preferred and I know which environment I thrived in. It certainly wasn’t the one where we got a daily dose of guano; manure is really only good for the roses.

Taking Risks To Grow – What Can We Learn From A Hermit Crab?

I absolutely love hermit crabs; I have since childhood.  They are so intriguing and they have a lot to teach us about taking risks in order to grow.

A hermit crab not taking risks but staying put.
Herman Hermit in a compact and bijou “house.”

A Hermit Crab’s Life

Unlike other crustaceans, Hermit Crabs don’t grow their own shells when it is time to expand. Instead, they take up lodgings in a shell that has been cast off, such as a snail shell. It’s an efficient system, made more so by a procedure of co-operation and management of resources. This BBC video, narrated by the wonderful Sir David Attenborough, shows how a housing chain is set up when a large “des res” becomes available.

 

All the time that the Hermit Crab remains in its shell it is safe, but it will eventually need to take a risk and move to a new house, if it is to grow.  Whilst it is moving to another shell it is vulnerable to attack. However, if it doesn’t move it will die, as the shell becomes too small for it.

What Can We learn?

Our Hermit Crab taking a risk and moving house
Herman is taking the risk and making his move.

To grow, survive and thrive, we have to face up to taking risks:

  • to try something new
  • to say no to a request when we usually say yes
  • to say yes to an opportunity when we usually say no
  • to change jobs
  • to leave a relationship
  • to challenge bad behaviour
  • to move house

All these things take a certain amount of risk as we step outside of what is familiar and safe. Taking a risk stimulates our Limbic system and we feel fear – as if we were under threat of death.  I’ve written about some of this here.

But unless we face these things, we stagnate, shrink even. Our outlook shrinks, our options shrink and our opportunities shrink. To make the most of what we have, we need to take chances and risk what we have. Sometimes we lose, but even if we lose, we gain learning.

 

So What If We Do Lose?

Mark Twain said

“Good judgement is the result of experience and experience the result of bad judgement.”

When we get things wrong we learn. When we get things right we grow. But if we never try we gain nothing.

Our Hermit Crab settled into a new house
Hooray! Herman has moved in and loving his new life.

A Hermit Crab hides in its shell for safety, but sometimes it leaves that safety in order to gain something new and of value. We could learn a lot.

 

 

 

Cartoons by Janet Webb, who had a go at something new.

Welcome…

… to Janet Webb Consulting. I’m an independent learning & organisational development consultant, specialising in developing leadership and management skills, in the secular and spiritual arena.  I have a number of streams to how I provide this:

  1. Mentoring senior leaders who don’t need management training but do need some help.
  2. Developing new managers who are exploring a whole new skill set.
  3. Working with those called to spiritual ministry, who have been trained well in interpretation of spiritual texts but struggle with being assertive, running a meeting or managing staff.

What I am interested in is how our brains work and therefore have an impact on how we behave.

Headshot of Janet

Leadership and Management Development

What I chiefly focus on is developing understanding:

  • for those members of staff who are just great at what they do and so get promoted OUT of what they do well and into a job managing a team. My job is to help them make this transition.
  • or for those who have the technical expertise to do the job but need help with understanding human behaviour (their own and others’.)
  • and for anyone who needs help performing more effectively

Consequently, together we make ripples; ripples that affect lives, businesses and communication.

My job is to help you and your team to do your stuff, by doing my stuff.

And so what is my stuff?

  • Supporting leaders and managers at all levels through transition
  • Learning design & delivery
  • Team building events
  • Coaching people in public speaking and other high octane situations
  • Psychometric testing for development and stretch
  • Sometimes, it’s helping people to do the things that they thought that they couldn’t.

You can find out more about me here.

My LinkedIn profile will give you more information about my professional background.

Here you’ll find a different sort of CV with the words of those who have worked with me.

My blog, which is about all sorts, can be found here on my Damp Ink Page.

And my occasional spiritual blog is found here.

What do you need? Share your story with me and let me help you explore where you are and where you are going. Call me for a chat and let’s see where it takes us.