How To Replace Old Management Thinking with New Leadership Ideas


Often on our coaching and consultancy programmes, the discussions come round to new ways of thinking; that is, what do today’s managers do that yesterday’s managers didn’t?

It’s an intriguing question and one that would fill many books with the myriads of answers that could be given.

Many old-style managers still exist out there (Lord knows I’ve worked with most of them!) and they are still making decisions, solving problems and creating plans based on the old paradigm of management.
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The Wrong One: Why David Moyes Had To Go


As a neutral football supporter watching the Premier League this season, the demise of Manchester United has been absolutely wonderful to watch.

Seeing them lose at home on a regular basis and watching the once smug Stretford End cry into their pies in the stands has been a welcome change to the long-standing dominance they have had.

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Starting Your Own Business? Budget For Training!


Recent improvements in the job statistics have been assisted by a massive increase in the number of self-employed people and just a tiny increase in the creation of new PAYE jobs, experts have said. Recent quarterly labour market data, published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), revealed there were just 0.2 per cent more ‘employed’ people during the last quarter. This compares to a rise of 4.1 per cent in the self-employed sector during the same period.
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Are Great Leaders Born or Made?


I joined a lively debate on a ‘radio phone in’ recently that asked a similar question to mine above but in connection with ‘entrepreneurs’. Not surprisingly most of the contributors were entrepreneurs and nearly all of them had stories of parents or grandparents that were, themselves entrepreneurial. As a result of this the vast majority felt that their career choice was based on their ancestry and that people without this genetic influence were far less likely to be successful entrepreneurs.
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Managing Different Personalities – Part One

Understanding the people in our team is a huge part of our job as managers. In this series of four articles, we use four simple personality categories based upon those discussed in People Styles at Work by Robert and Dorothy Bolton. Learn More

Best of 2012: Our Top 10 Most Popular Management Tips

With 2012 drawing to a close, the team at MTD wanted to share with you the top 10 blog posts from the MTD Training blog this year. Learn More

25 Management Quotes To Get You Going

If you’re anything like me, you love a good quote to get you going and keep you motivated during your working week, so I thought I’d share with you my list of top management quotes to help you start your week off in the right mindset. Learn More

Where is Your Management Career Going?

Too often I see people earn the title of manager and then lose themselves in their new identity. Some will thrive and grow in their new positions while others will become stagnant after a period of time.

Most, when asked, will say they are “a manager” and my next question is always this:

What type of manager are you?

Truth be told, there are plenty of differences. We have general managers, senior managers, managers, supervisors, and – well – you get it… you could place a wide variety of different terms on the different levels or types of management. I know of one company that assigned the title of “Assistant Vice President” to every mid-level manager in the organization. Sounds nice, right? The problem is that many people don’t understand exactly what their titles mean.

Let’s take a look at a couple of those titles and their definitions:

  • General managers have a very broad responsibility, in most cases. General managers aren’t responsible for one specific part of an organisation. Instead they are responsible for the function of all areas – with each individual manger of those areas to get the jobd one.
  • Senior managers usually work in organisations with a lot of employees – those who feel as those there are so many levels they need to add additional people to the hierarchy to help keep control. Senior level managers generally fall somewhere below the general manager, but above a regular department manager.
  • Managers, in general, are individuals in charge of directing the work of a specific group of people. Managers may be in charge of an entire department, or they may be in charge of a team within a department. They’ll either report directly to the general manager, or to a “senior manager” above them.
  • A supervisor, in some cases, is considered a manager. In other places, a supervisor is someone who is in a junior management position. Supervisors may be in charge of a small portion of a team, reporting back to the manager at the end of the day as to the status of a project. Supervisors generally have very little authority, and in some cases can’t even hire or fire employees.

Where do you fall on the management mall map? Are you where you want to be, or are you aching to move up the corporate ladder?

Thanks again,


Sean McPheat

Managing Director

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Vision vs. Strategy

Having a vision is important, regardless of your position within an organisation. Your vision is your dream for your self, your team, or your organisation as a whole.

Here’s the problem, though. I’ve met dozens of people with great visions, but none of them had any idea how they would make those visions into a reality. They had no strategy in mind.

If your vision is your dream, then your strategy is your action plan. It’s the roadmap you create for yourself. If you follow that roadmap, your dreams will come true.

So you want to be the top selling sales team within the organisation? What stragety will you devise in order to help your team members achieve that goal? You want to have the best customer service reputation in the industry? What will you do to help your team members be the best that they can be?

Once you have a strategy in mind, you’ll need to implement some specific tactics. The tactics you use are the actual actions you take to make your dreams come true. You’re no longer dreaming or thinking – you’re doing. You will get up in the morning, you will go into the office, you will have a planning meeting, and you will continue by doing xyz.

Get it?

Visions are dreams.

Strategies are road maps.

Tactics are action.

Take action. Whether that means becoming a better manager or achieving some other great goal. Just do it.

Thanks again,


Sean McPheat

Managing Director

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5 Tips for Improving Your Interpersonal Skills

Interpersonal skills and communication skills go hand in hand but are not the same thing. Communication skills involve your ability to convey an idea, but your interpersonal skills convey your ability to do such in a manner that is appealing. Your interpersonal skills define they way you interact with your employees. People with bad interpersonal skills usually have bad communication skills by default.

As a manager, you shoud constantly be striving to improve your interpersonal skills. Here are 5 things you can do to become better at dealing with your fellow managers, coworkers, and team members.

  1. Pay attention to what others are saying and doing. Pay attention to your team members on both a professional and personal level. Is one of your team members having a difficult time – dealing with an illness or family tragedy? Is someone getting married or having a baby? Acknowledge both the ups and downs and show you appreciate them on all levels.
  2. Keep smiling, no matter what is going on in your life. I know that sounds hard, but if you never smile, your friends and coworkers won’t want to be around you. Try to stay as positive in attitude as possible. Everyone understands a bad day. Just don’t make it a habit.
  3. Adopt an active listening strategy. Repeat what was said in your response, look the person who is speaking to you in the eye, and offer positive responses. Make sure the people you are speaking with know you are paying attention and understand the actions you intend to take in response.
  4. Practice empathy, or the ability to see a situation from someone else’s perspective. Even if you don’t agree with a situation, an empathetic response will prove you at least understand it.
  5. Help to resolve any conflicts in your workplace as quickly as possible. If members of your team constantly bicker, bring them together and try to mediate the situation. The faster you diffuse tension the less likely it is to turn into a long-term situation.

Try your best to connect with the people you work with. Communicating is one thing – identifying with them as you communicate is another.

Thanks again,


Sean McPheat

Managing Director

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