Posted tagged ‘quotes’

Game of Localgov

April 10, 2012

Lessons fit for a king

The last few weeks has seen the return of the simply excellent Game of Thrones to British screens. If you have yet to watch it we urge you to crawl out from under the rock you have been hiding and get hold of season one so you are up to speed with the cut-throat, back stabbing, vicious, brilliant world the show depicts.

Watching Game of Thrones last week I found myself with a notebook in hand, frantically writing down quotes uttered by one or other of the excellent cast at regular intervals. My other half thought this was strange behaviour, but I knew that littered throughout the episode were gems which related directly to life in local government, and lessons which I would do well to remember and learn from. So here are my favourite few so far, along with a quick note for the lesson it may impart.

Robb: If we do it your way kingslayer, you’d win. We’re not doing it your way.

When preparing for a negotiation or a difficult discussion, be sure to know what you want out of it, what the other party want out of it and the most likely route you can take to achieve your goals. Put simply, know your enemy and prepare.

Bronn: Stay low.
Tyrion: Stay low?
Bronn: If you’re lucky, no one will notice you.

Understand areas in which you are weaker; everyone has strengths and weaknesses. When you find something you are not as good at others at, make sure they do what they do best and save your effort for times when your contributions will be more useful and significant. (more…)

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Manage to lead

March 26, 2012

Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things. Peter Drucker

And with this simple quote, shown up is one of the fundamental flaws in the way we value the people who work in local government.

Having been through restructures in the past, I am well versed in the intricacies of the average process.  The team or service undergoing the changes invariably ends up reviewing their structure charts, placing new teams together and rearranging workloads before or after assigning a manager for them to work with or to lead on their projects and keep things moving in the right direction.  Those higher up this chain get paid more, those lower down get paid less.

But why is this?  Why do those who sign off the leave cards for others, and who record progress via 1:1 meetings get paid more than those who actually do the work, those who make the contacts and those who lead the agenda and projects to where they need to be?

There seems to be an underlying assumption often made that leadership and management is intrinsically linked and that you can’t successfully do one without doing the other at the same time.  On many job descriptions for managers at whatever grade is the ability to lead and motivate others; how many of us are truly inspired by those immediately above us?  If you are one of thee then you are in a privileged position, as many simply are not.

However, many of us do find this inspiration from other colleagues we work with.  Some of these will be more senior than us, some more junior and some our peers.  I for one have been lucky enough to have had one or two inspirational managers, have been enthused by more junior staff and worked alongside some who have pushed me to be better than I  thought I could be before.

I’m sure I’m not unique in having known many of the exact opposite, those who’s jobs may or may not have been to inspire me but who didn’t for whatever reason.  Some of these have been superb managers, who have provided exactly what I needed when I needed it and allowed me to lead myself in my own direction. I didn’t hold this against them, in fact for me this was equally as important a stage in my professional development. (more…)