The chemistry has to be right

  Appoint a good manager and the results will improve. Appoint a great manager and success is guaranteed. Well that's the theory in practice past success doesn't guarantee future...

Why more people with a business background would be good for local government

  Donald Trump US president is appointing people with a business background to key posts in his administration because he believes government would be better if it was run like a business...

Let's do a deal

    Donald Trump the new US president with a business background has appointed people to his senior posts on the bases that they are good at "doing deals". Is this a new and...

Make my day punk

If only you were in charge you could sort this mess out. You know what needs doing and you know how to do it. But how long before you turn into Dirty Harry the Clint Eastwood anti hero  who...

Mansplaining

Mansplaining comes from combining the words “man” and “explaining”, and refers to situations where a person (typically a man) explains something to someone else (typically a woman), often in a...

A failure of leadership

The Virgin take over of health and adult social services in Bath has received little media coverage. This is a hugely significant  development. As a former director I am very...

Vampire managers

  Some chief executives want blood. They demand loyalty, ruthlessness and total commitment. Whether deliberately or by default they creat a culture of intoxicating machismo. The aim is...

How to kill enthusiasm and stifle initiative

  I once stood up at a large meeting of managers to announce that the social service department was going for Investors In People (IIP) accreditation for the whole department. I said...

The nature of the game

The relationship between a local authority director and their chief executive is like that between a premiership goal keeper and his manager. We all know how much a manager values a safe pair...

What was once successful now is not

  Charismatic and autocratic have had their day - well almost. Driven by austerity and made fashionable by the success of a high profile few this type of leadership was in demand. This was...