1. Know exactly what it is your role requires of you: – the work that is mission critical; the standards and deadlines you must meet, the level you are to operate at, the boundaries between your role and others' roles.

2. Know the pros and cons of your management style and find out if that is the style your manager and the organisation as a whole, requires.

3. Identify your strengths and weaknesses in relation to the tasks inherent in your role.

 » Read more about: 5 Tips to lift your management game  »

1. Ask directly how they like things done. Determine their preferred meeting times, ways of receiving information, venues for meetings. Ask them what their expectations are of you.

2. Have the big picture, the long term view. Establishing rapport, trust and an easy working relationship takes time and effort from both parties, so stick with it to make it happen.

3. Inform. Never let them get surprises. Keep them fully briefed in the areas you are responsible for.

 » Read more about: 5 Tips to manage your manager  »

This came to mind recently who listening to someone in a senior management role describe their work practices as chaotic, as they had no structure to their day; never met deadlines, never returned calls or did what was promised; or processed work in a timely fashion. What was interesting, was the person had no awareness of or concern for how their poor practices impacted on their staff, nor on the overall functioning of their section;

 » Read more about: What’s our impact on our work environment?  »

Traditional thinking about appropriate business buildings and their location is rapidly changing in Christchurch NZ. Businesses that may have thought the CBD is the only place to be are finding that life in the suburbs isn't too bad at all. Some have realised that taking their services into the community where their clients are makes more sense than being remote from them; they're asking the big questions about their business/service delivery model and what they simply accepted as the past norm.

 » Read more about: Post earthquake innovation abounds in Christchurch NZ  »

How quickly can you get your mind around the fact that things aren't as they used to be, that our world changes all the time? How quickly can you get into a different gear, when conditions require you to do so? I've chatted to a number of people in different businesses this week and I was struck by the number who knew the recession had hit their business hard last year and the year before,

 » Read more about: Can you dance on the head of a pin?  »

In a recent The Harvard Business Review Weekly hot list, Rosabeth Kanter offers a terrific 10 minute video clip on the essential skill of zooming in and out on issues. She describes a simple technique to enable leaders and managers to see both the big and small pictures and not get bogged down in either. It's a great tutorial, do check it out: http://blogs.hbr.org/video/2011/03/zooming-how-effective-leaders.html?cm_mmc=email-_-newsletter-_-weekly_hotlist-_-hotlist040411&referral=00202&utm_source=newsletter_weekly_hotlist&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=hotlist040411

 » Read more about: Zoom in, zoom out, says Rosabeth Kanter  »


  • Know the differences between strategic plans (a high order long term plan) and action/business plans (annual, tactical plans that convert the strategic intent/goals into reality).
  •  "If you don't know where you are going, any path will do" – have clear long term goals and directions in mind.
  • Conduct strategic planning as frequently as needed to set and reset the direction. Conduct planning annually, in order to develop action/business plans.

 » Read more about: Sue’s Tips for Planning Success  »

We spend most of our life at work so getting on well with those we work with and manage is essential, if we want to get the best out of our days. Managers need to create the conditions in the workplace to enable people to be their best but sometimes, difficult situations arise and some staff may appear to be ‘difficult' to work with. Try the following tips to help you deal with difficult people situations.

 » Read more about: Sue’s Top Ten List – How to Deal with Difficult People  »