The need for managers to raise their game to an unprecedented level is the stark message that jumps out of the pages of this book.
Swathes of management jobs are being cut in both the public and the private sector. It is estimated that 46 000 posts will be lost in the NHS alone, many of them managerial roles. At the same time, the UK Commission for Education and Skills is telling us that 802 000 more managers will be needed by 2017.
Managers have become the jam that is being squeezed in the middle of this sandwich. They are being asked to take on a wider variety of tasks and to achieve more stretching targets with less and less support and resources. This has big implications for the way that managers approach their role and for the skills they will need going forward.
As we move towards greater deregulation, it will become increasingly important for future leaders to take a strong values-driven approach to their roles. One of the key leadership competences will be the ability to take a vision and make it immediate and accessible so that people are not left guessing about what they need to do – and, more importantly, how they need to do it.
The need for an unprecedented level of transparency has been brought about partly by the Internet, which has meant that there are no longer any secret corners for organisations to hide in. Managers need to be proud of what they do and the way they go about their business, and leaders need to make sure that this honest, ...