Me and my brilliant managers

Sucking up?

Sometimes it is easy to get jaded in local government, especially when referring to those above you in the hierarchy. As far as you can see your managers make bad decisions and your senior managers lack vision. You wonder how exactly they made it the positions they did and assume some sort of nepotism or the fact that they must have been there forever.

However, the more I delve into the murky world of local government the more I become impressed by many of the people I work for and work with.

Over the past year I have been making a note of some of the really cool things that managers in my, and other organisations, and others have done before and whilst they’ve been in local government.

I’ve met people who have set up their own businesses, ran other people’s businesses and worked for consultancies. I’ve met people with 20 years experience of delivering ever higher quality front line services (with amazing achievements to their name) and people whose passion for the people they serve has led them to go way beyond the call of duty to deliver the best possible service.

I’ve met people whose accomplishments outside of the workplace are outstanding. I’ve met musicians, comedians (funny ones as well) and actors. I’ve met people who run charities and people who run football teams. I’ve met people with PhDs and people with more professional qualifications than I knew existed.

Many of these people are the sort of people who, if interviewing them when they were 25, would have been described as the high fliers of their generation. Just because they’ve dedicated much of their subsequent life to working in local government does not mean they’ve become any less brilliant in their work or less impressive in their

In fact, if you really think about it takes a pretty special person to be a senior manager in a local authority. Managing 100 social workers cannot be anything less than incredibly stressful and require an immense amount of skill. What about managing millions of pounds of highways contracts? Or looking after the contracts of placements for children with disabilities? Or looking after the finances of a council going through a massive funding squeeze?

I know that the perception of council managers is less than positive and it is certainly true that we have our fair share of duff managers.

However, when I spend time with managers in local government or really look into what they are doing it is hard not to be impressed by them. And the next time I’m feeling grumpy with my bosses I’m going to try and remember that.

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5 Comments on “Me and my brilliant managers”

  1. Tom Phillips Says:

    This is a nice piece that I am sure many of us would have wanted to have written. Trouble is, many of us would be lying if we did!

  2. Squigs Says:

    I always think it’s a testiment when you look up to your boss and go, “wow, there is no way that I could do your job!” The problem is when you look up to your boss and go, “I could do a better job in my sleep.”

    I would be interested to hear from these high flyers to find out their motivations for doing a public sector job amongst the £500k jobs out there. Particularly with the negativity that can be associated with it from the community they serve.

  3. […] week on the blog we have looked at officer neutrality, council websites, local government managers and the balance between working in local government and having a young […]

  4. Mark S Says:

    A little bemused at the sentiments expressed by the author as in my experience it is brown nosing, drinking with the boss, perpetuating the self serving myth that managers and those who laughably are referred to as directors are worth a light let alone the ludicrous salaries they steal.
    I think it should be left to the council taxpayers to judge the merits and alleged quality of managers etc.

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