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Archive for the ‘Leadership and Management’ Category

The Leader’s Guide to Influence

How to use soft skills to get hard results by Mike Brent & Fiona Elsa Dent

This book is on CMI’s Book of Year Short List announced in October 2011 and the winner will be announced on 6th February 2012.  Here’s an extract to whet your appetite:-

The Leader's Guide to Influence

Create powerful working relationship and become a more influential leader

Creative effective working relationships is one of the most powerful ways to get things done at work.  People skills are often described as “soft skills”, but there’s nothing soft about the impact they can have on your business performance.  As a manager or leader, using your influence positively, working others and getting things done through other people is critical to delivering your business objectives.  This book shows you how to step up your people skills to get the results you want.

The Leader’s Guide to Influence will help you to understand the most critical aspects of managing your relationships at work, including influence, communication, engagement and trust.  It will give you the tools and techniques to use this understanding confidently and effectively to get things done.

Through a combination of ground rules, self-evaluation, practical exercises, case studies and no-nonsense advice, The Leader’s Guide to Influence shows you how to:

  • Increase your impact and crate the right impression on others
  • Gain greater awareness of your own communication style and approach
  • Tailor your management style to work effectively with different types of people
  • Communicate more effectively in a wide range of situations
  • Build high quality networks
  • Understand your colleagues and direct reports better
  • Put things right if relationships go off track
  • Listen and question effectively
  • Give better feedback
  • Develop rapport and empathy
  • Bring honesty, integrity and authenticity to your relationships.

Managing by Mintzberg

In association with the British Library, the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) run the  “Management Book of the Year” competition.  Henry Mintzberg’s “Managing” won “CMI Management Book of the Year 2010” which is described as follows:

“Managing: the most revealing book yet written about what managers do, how they do it and how they can do it better.”

“This ground-breaking book draws on Mintzberg’s personal observations of 29 managers in a fascinating range of settings.  What he saw – the unrelenting pace, the frequent interruptions, the lack of any tangible signs that the job is ever complete – has compelled him to describe managing as a practice, not a science or a profession, one learned primarily through experience and rooted in context.  His probing analysis of management in action allows him to offer a compelling vision of what constitutes truly effective management.”

“This landmark book by one of the world’s leading business thinkers is about managing, pure if not simple.  It tackles the big questions managers everywhere face, such as:

  • How is anyone supposed to think, let alone think ahead, in this frenetic job?
  • Are leaders really more important than managers?
  • Is email destroying management practice?
  • Are managers the only ones who can, or should, manage?
  • How are managers supposed to connect when the very nature of their job disconnects them from what they are managing?
  • How can you manage it when you can’t reliably measure it?

Managing makes sense of what might be the world’s most important job.”

Chapter 1: Managing Ahead

Chapter 2: The Dynamics of Managing

Chapter 3: A Model of Managing

Chapter 4: The Untold Varieties of Managing

Chapter 5: The Inescapable Conundrums of Managing

Chapter 6: Managing Effectively


Some quotes which resonated with me:

“The manager has to help bring out the best in other people, so that they can know better, decide better, and act better.” 

“Managing is … all of them: it is controlling and doing and dealing and thinking and leading and deciding and more, not added up but blended together.”

“… the job of managing is significantly one of information processing, especially through a great deal of listening, seeing, and feeling, as well as a good deal of talking.”

“… on the individual level, managers coach, train, mentor, teach, counsel, nurture: in general, they help develop the individuals in their units.”

“…the job of development is perhaps best seen as managers helping people to develop themselves.”

“Probably the most popular typology … has been that of Myers-Briggs … I have never been much of a fan of this (having never been able to get past Sensing vs. Intuition:  Is not Thinking, more specifically analyzing, the opposite of Intuition?  I prefer Maccoby’s (1976) simpler categories of managers as:

  • reliable craftsmen
  • power-hungry jungle fighters
  • steady company men or
  • competitive gamesman

“Let me re-iterate.  Personal style is important, no question.  But that seems to be more about how managers do things, including the decisions they make and the strategies they shape, than what they do as managers.  In this regard, the literature, practitioner and academic alike, may be vastly overrating the importance of personal style.  Style matters and context matters, but mostly, they matter together, in a symbiotic relationship.”

“Effective managers think for themselves.”

“Managing is a tapestry woven of the threads of reflection, analysis, worldliness, collaboration, and pro-activeness, all of it infused with personal energy and bonded by social integration.”

Belbin – Team Roles

Belbin Team Roles at WorkBelbin’s renowned Team Role theory is a familiar concept for managers and management trainers across the world.

Team Roles at Work is the best-selling, second book, written by Meredith Belbin, designed for any manager who wants to understand the practical application of Team Role theory.

Chapter 1 – How roles at work emerged

Chapter 2 – The qualifications mystery

Chapter 3 – Emergence of a Team Role language

Chapter 4 – Eligibility versus suitability

Chapter 5 – Coherent and incoherent role profiles

Chapter 6 – Interpersonal chemistry in the workplace

Chapter 7 – Managing difficult working relationships

Chapter 8 – A strategy for self-management

Chapter 9 – The art of building a team

Chapter 10 – The management of succession

Chapter 11 – Leadership of the modern world

Chapter 12 – The changing shape of organisation

I found Chapter 9 – The art of building a team – particularly useful:

Identifying needs:

Key figures at this stage are individuals with a good awareness of goals.  Shapers and Co-ordinators make their mark strongly in this area.

Finding Ideas:

It is often easier to formulate an objective than to decide how that objective can be achieved.  Nothing begins to happen until someone has some ideas on how to proceed.  Here Plants and Resource Investigators have a crucial role to play.

Formulating Plans:

Thinking about how it is all going to happen involves two prime objectives.  One entails setting out and weighing up the options, so providing pointers to the right decision.  The second demands making good use of all relevant experience and knowledge so that any plans developed have the stamp or professionalism upon them.  Monitor Evaluators make especially good long-term planners and Specialists also have a key role to play at this stage.

Making contacts:

No plan is ever accepted unless people are persuaded that an improvement is in prospect.  Ideas and plans need to be championed by cheerleaders who can drie home their value and win over the doubting Thomases.  This is an activity in which Resource Investigators are in their element.  But whipping up enthusiasm is not enough.  Each new practice conflicts with the old one.  Some disturbed group will need to be appeased.  The best appeasers are Teamworkers. 

Establishing the organisation:

One can never be sure that anything is going to happen until plans are turned into procedures, methods and working practices so that they may become routines.  Here Implementers are in their element.  These routines, however, need people to make them work.  Getting the people to fit the system is what Co-ordinators are good at.

Following Through:

Too many assumptions are made that all will work out well in the end.  Good follow-through benefits from the attentions of concerned people.  This is where Completer-Finishers make their mark.  Implementers, too, pull their weight in this area, for they pride themselves on being efficient in anything they undertake.

For more information:


Plant: Creative, imaginative, unorthodox. Solves difficult problems.

Resource Investigator: Extrovert, enthusiastic, communicative. Explores opportunities.  Develops contacts.

Co-ordinator: Mature, confident, a good chairperson.  Clarifies goals, promotes decision-making, delegates well.

Shaper: Challenging, dynamic, thrives on pressure.  Has the drive and courage to overcome obstacles.

Monitor Evaluator: Sober, strategic, discerning.  Sees all options.  Judges accurately.

Teamworker: Co-operative, mild, perceptive, diplomatic.  Listens, builds, averts friction, calms the waters.

Implementer: Disciplined, reliable, conservative, efficient.  Turns ideas into practical actions.

Completer Finisher: Painstaking, conscientious, anxious.  Searches out errors or omissions.  Delivers on time.

Specialist: Single-minded, self-starting, dedicated.  Provides knowledge and skills in rare supply.

Leading at a Higher Level

by Ken Blanchard et al

Leading at a Higher Level“Lead your people to greatness as you create high performing organizations that make life better for everyone.  This book will guide you, inspire you, provoke you, and be your touchstone.

Ken Blanchard and his colleagues have spent 30 years helping good leaders and organizations become great … and stay great.  This edition delivers brand new guidance on using coaching to build individual and organizational performance, plus a full chapter on how to create an organizational culture that brings out the best in people.

Discover how to:

  • Go beyond the short term and zero in on the right target and vision
  • Deliver legendary, maniacal customer service and earn raving fans
  • Truly empower your people and unleash their incredible potential
  • Ground your leadership in humility and focus on the greater good”

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and highly recommend it to anyone involved with managing / leading / coaching / mentoring.  It would be a particularly useful read for anyone studying a management qualification.

A Manager’s Guide to Self Development

by Mike Pedlar, John Burgoyne and Tom Boydell

A Manager's Self-Development“A Manager’s Guide to Self Development has become the indispensable guide for building management skills.  Now in its fifth edition, with a strong ‘how to’ approach, this practical self-development book helps new and experienced managers improve their managerial performance.

It provides:

  • A complete picture of the skills and competencies required of a manager from change management to coaching.
  • A flexible, self-development programme to do alone, with a colleague, or in a group.

Part one introduces a framework of 11 key managerial qualities.  Diagnostic activities help you to discover your strengths and weaknesses, and identify your own goals for self-development.

Part two features more than 50 practical activities to help you develop your skills and abilities.  These include:

  • Networking
  • Finding a Mentor
  • Handling Conflict
  • Managing Upwards
  • Getting to a Yes
  • Collaborative Working
  • Planning Change
  • Being a Coach
  • Using Communication Tools

Our framework of ‘The 11 Qualities of the Effective Manager’  is based on a research project [which] identified the qualities that were found more often in successful managers than in those judged to be less successful.  These 11 Qualities of the Effective Manager form the basis for the self-development programme provided in this book:

  1. command of basic facts
  2. relevant professional knowledge
  3. continuing sensitiity to events
  4. analytical, problem-solving and decision/judgement-making skills
  5. social skills and abilities
  6. emotional resilience
  7. proactivity – inclination to respond purposefully to events
  8. creativity
  9. mental agility
  10. balanced learning habits and skills
  11. self-knowledge”

Part one contains a questionnaire to enable you to assess yourself against The 11 Qualities of the Effective Manager and prompts you to set goals / target dates to help you to develop in any of the 11 areas.  To assist with this process there are 53 learning activities aimed to help with each of the 11 Qualities.

I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in their own self-development or in the self-development of their own team.

24 Carat BOLD

24 Carat BOLD – The Standard for REAL Thought Leaders

by Mindy Gibbins-Klein







“Are you a thought leader?  How do you know?  In the past, it has been hard to identify the qualities that distinguish true innovators from the rest of the pack.  In this incisive and challenging book, leading executive marketing strategist Mindy Gibbins-Klein presents an exciting, systematic approach to becoming a ‘REAL Thought Leader’ and gaining recognition and credibility.”

R – E – A – L

R = Reach

E = Engagement

A = Authority

L = Longevity


Chapter 1 – Why we need Thought Leaders more than ever

Chapter 2 – Thought Leadership is a Choice

Chapter 3 – REAL Thought Leadership

Chapter 4 – Reach for the BOLD

Chapter 5 – Good Engagement is BOLD

Chapter 6 – Be a Shining Authority

Chapter 7 – Longevity Wins in the Long Run

Chapter 8 – How to write a book the REAL way

Chapter 9 – What really stops most people from Going for BOLD

Chapter 10 – REAL Wealth


” Cream naturally rises to the top of the milk and REAL thought leaders rise to the top in our communities, businesses, politics and consciousness.”

“THOUGHT LEADER: A futurist or person who is recognised among their peers, mentors and market for innovative ideas and demonstrates the confidence to promote and share those ideas as actionable distilled insights.”

“The pressure of time encourages the busy executive to find more and more creative ways of getting more and more done.  They get better at delegating; they get faster at decision-making.”

“Thought leaders influence others’ thinking, which leads to action”

Higher Apprenticeship in Management

Chartered Management Institute (CMI) offer the Higher Apprenticeship in Management (Level 5)

“Apprenticeships are structured training programmes undertaken within a working environment. They use the skills and knowledge gained through work to provide learners with recognised qualifications. Apprenticeships can be undertaken by anyone over sixteen and provide a great way of gaining a qualification whilst continuing to earn a wage.

There is no fixed time frame for the completion of an apprenticeship, but each apprenticeship typically takes between one and four years, depending on its size and level of difficulty.

There are currently over 4 million people employed in Management positions in the UK, with a real need to encourage the new generation of young people to progress through the management qualifications to address the future skills needs of organisations in the UK. The Apprenticeship should go some way to addressing those skill needs, providing excellent progression routes through a variety of work based and off the job training, and with an abundance of further and higher education options, such as foundation degrees and degree courses.

Learn with CMI and receive more value for your investment with qualifications standards that are second to none.”

Competence Qualification

CMI Level 5 NVQ Diploma in Management (QCF)

Knowledge Qualification

CMI Level 5 Diploma in Management and Leadership (QCF)

Employee Rights and Responsibilities (ERR) Workbook
Functional Skills
Level 2 Functional Skill in English/Communication

Level 2 Functional Skill in Mathematics

Level 2 Functional Skill in ICT













“Personal Learning and Thinking Skills (PLTS)

Personal Learning and Thinking Skills (PLTS) are generic skills that are essential to life, learning and work. PLTS have a significant impact on a person’s ability to make a confident contribution, both within and outside of their working environment.

The PLTS Framework comprises six groups:

  • Independent enquirers
  • Creative thinkers
  • Reflective learners
  • Team workers
  • Self-managers
  • Effective participants

Some of the PLTS requirements are embedded within the mandatory units of the apprenticeship competence and knowledge qualifications.

CMI are conducting a further mapping exercise to map the remaining PLTS to the CMI Knowledge Qualification, details will be available shortly.

Guided Learning Hours (GLH)

The total on- and off-the-job GLH for the framework is 606 hours.

The total off-the-job GLH is 197 hours (33% of the total GLH).”