Balancing the role of manager and leader


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So, you are a manager with responsibility not only for getting your workload completed but you also have a team to consider. You are probably thinking they are big enough and clever enough to get on with their job without much bother from you.

An interesting concept but it doesn’t quite work that way. When you have been given the title (and salary) of Manager or Team Leader all of a sudden you have responsibility and accountability for those who report to you.

Thinking about your typical day at work, how much time do you spend on task-focused activities? 70%? 80%? For some it can be as much as 90%. So, if you are spending 90% of your time and energy on task focused activities then guess who suffers? Yes, your team. I have no doubt also that you are taking on too much work and not considering who else in your team can help you deliver what needs to be done.

The Action Centred Leadership model, devised by John Adair back in 1973 has become a classic. He spotted three main areas that leaders have to manage – each are as important as the other and this model provides a simple guide to the 3 important aspects when managing and leading;

  • Getting the job done,
  • Keeping the team effective
  • Supporting the individuals in the team

The overlapping circles in the figure below offer a useful way of looking at the need to manage all three aspects and how each cannot stand-alone. The high-performing manager develops effective team spirit; sets good measurable targets and is committed to getting the best out of every individual. A useful metaphor to use is of spinning plates. As the manager you need to keep all three plates spinning. If you can achieve this, you will have a successful act. If you pay too much attention to any one plate then the others might fall.

It is amazing how many managers just focus on the ‘Achieving Task’ plate and then wonder why the other two come crashing down and the task ultimately fails.

Gaining the right balance between these three elements is the secret to good management and leadership. The skilful manager is able to adjust the emphasis given to each element to meet the needs of a given situation or to take advantage of opportunities as they arise.

Having a dedicated coach to help you understand where you are focusing your time and efforts and helping you to balance your role as a manager can make the difference between success and failure. Contact us at and book a session with us now.

Reference: Effective Leadership: Chris Roebuck, www. John

Sue Noble

April 2016







What difference does having confidence in ourselves make?

In my experience coaching confidence, or the lack of it, is probably the most common element in developing aspiring people. Lack of confidence seems to be more prevalent in women, often resulting in them being less likely to go for certain jobs because they feel they do not have all of the capabilities shown in the advertisement. This is in direct contrast to many men who will ‘go for it anyway’. In saying that, many people from both sexes lack confidence and it can be difficult to open up and talk to your boss, especially if you want your boss to see you in the best possible light.

All of the words associated with Coaching Insurance Professionals

We are all about Coaching Insurance Professionals

Having a chance to talk about confidence issues to a coach can therefore make a big difference especially if they haven’t felt able to talk about this to anybody else before.

I often use a petrol tank analogy saying that we have to keep topping up the ‘confidence fuel tank’. Many people don’t! They push away compliments instead of thanking people and simply letting the compliment seep into to their confidence tank. Without a coach many people don’t realise what they are doing.

Through using Prism Profiling ( ) with people who work in the Insurance sector, I have noticed a trend (perhaps not surprisingly) that many of them fall into the Gold area which implies they are very good evaluators and experts in their own right. They like to be right and therefore tend to remember times when they weren’t right and can often find such criticism as identity attacks and build up a fear of rejection. At this point they may well allow such feelings to impact their ‘confidence fuel tanks’ and ultimately this can erode their internal levels of confidence.

So what can coaching do to help increase peoples levels of confidence? Coaching invites and nurtures self-awareness so that people can start to understand and recognise their patterns of behaviour. Once someone has this level of self-awareness they can then choose to do something about it. Choice is key.

As my coaching programmes normally last 6 months we can keep assessing how well coachees are doing with their change in behaviour and the impact this is having on their confidence.

I might suggest coachees read the excellent book “Feel the fear and do it anyway” by the late Susan Jeffers. Link to Amazon, to buy Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway

Every coaching session is different and tailored to the coachee and it really helps people achieve what they want. Without confidence people have a mountain to climb and often don’t attempt to go for what they really want. With coaching and confidence they can climb that mountain.


Neil Williams

March 2016