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Archive for January, 2011

Do you work for a Grey Manager?

In the article in Business week I expand on the concern I have about the dearth of good managers and prevalence of grey leaders. Leadership inspires and motivates us to go the extra mile for someone and our organisation. Managers are good at organisation, structure and transactions, but do they leave a positive memorable impression on you? You can read about it at

The Best Business Leadership from the Armed Forces

Below is the link to the feature Mikaela Roche recorded with Jonathan, which was played on both BFBS Radio and BFBS Radio 2.  Well worth listening to:

The piece was introduced by the presenter with a full cue……..

Jonathan Bowman-Perks MBE served as an Army Officer with the Green Howards, the Scots Guards and the Royal Signals for twenty years. After leaving the Army, he worked as a Managing Director and leader in business, and is now a leadership coach advising Chief Executive Officers and partners around the world.  

He recently launched a book called Inspiring Leadership that draws on the lessons he’s learnt throughout his life, and all profits from the sale of the book are going to Help For Heroes.

 Mikaela Roche went to meet him…….

The Public Sector isn’t working


A friend of mine worked in 2010 in a management role within a Government department. After 3 months he had achieved all his objectives and tasks for the following 12 months. He had exceeded all his targets. This was embarrassing. It highlighted that his superiors and peers were working at a very pedestrian pace. Fundamentally it was the worst stereotype of civil servants, who do just enough to get by, exist and wait for their final salary pension. 

Was there passion and inspiration from managers? Sadly not. In his estimates they could have reduced their staff by 50% and there would be little noticeable reduction in output.  In frustration he resigned and recommended they did not replace his highly paid post. 

Let me now add some balance. I have worked for years with many dedicated managers in the public sector who are highly intelligent and fully commit themselves. What concerns my friend and me is the lack of inspiring leadership that he and I have experienced in the Public Sector. The Private Sector has a challenge too, but not the level of the overhaul needed in the Public Sector. Ask everyone “where do you add value?”  

If they don’t add real value you should review that post and change something. It is a tragedy to waste people’s talents and abilities – move them to somewhere that brings out the best in them. Every post must add value for the tax payer’s financial investment. In the age of austerity we must stop mediocrity, “jobs for life” and question every Public Sector role.