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 of hands and a new manager likes to bring in some of his own players who will play the game the way he likes to play it.

The new chief executive comes with a reputation. Already one of the directors who has a national profile and is very popular with the members has been told his future lies elsewhere. The chief executive didn't use that phrase but there are lots of ways a chief executive can exclude a senior manager, make it clear he doesn't value their opinion or  simple make himself unavailable and therefore make life very difficult. Just the other day he undermined him in front of his own managers. When asked a question the chief executive turned to the Director and said perhaps Roger would like to say what our position is in this mater, forcing Roger to stand up and say that he honestly didn't know what our position was. Revealing not only that he was out the loop but made to feel uncomfortable by the chief executive's implication that he should know. The audience picked up on the message that this director was on his way out. Of course in front of members the chief executive was full of praise for the past work, skill and professionalism of the director. In private he refers to one or two previous incidents, a judicial review, a critical inspection report, some unhelpful media coverage, yes he has a national profile, yes he can be brilliant on occasions but the odd questionable decision, some resent indecision, the unhelpful impact his tendency to voice concerns had on the senior management team, was he really a safe pair of hands? 

This was a high performing authority always up near the top of the league tables but the new administration was ambitious, near the top was not good enough, we should aim to be the top performing authority. Hence the appointment of a success driven chief executive, relatively young with a reputation as a ruthless perfectionist and an impressive CV to back it up. 

There could only be one way and one voice what better way to get this across than to "encourage" the director previously assumed to be the most secure because of his experience, credibility with partners and popularity with members to "move on". The message went out no one is safe. 

Naturally the chief executive recognised that the limited opportunities under him would be frustrating for such an experienced senior manager,he would understand if that manager wished to further his career elsewhere.  Some colleagues in the professional association called this bullying but that's just the nature of the game.

Blair McPherson former director, author and blogger www.blairmcpherson.co.uk

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2 Comments

DB
Daisy R Buntin 3 Years Ago
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FM
Former Member 3 Years Ago - Edited
Managing a game is not an easy work. There must be a strong relationship between the manager and the players. The manager should understand the feelings of each members and should make them feel happy always. Then only they will gain in their games all the times. They will get a confidence when their manager act as a power between them. [url=http://earthtour.co.uk/thailand-holidays]Thailand holidays[/url]