No I don’t actually mean the plumbing in your house … I mean those you spend your time with! 
 
Maybe it's time to refelct on your plumbing as you rea this ... 
 
You know the sorts .. the ones who are always miserable, see the worst in every situation, don’t want you to do very well because they aren’t. They suck your energy. They are DRAINS. 
 
The other sorts are the folks around who are always inspiring you, they may challenge your negative thinking, seeing the positive in every situation and just make you feel good. They lift you up. They are RADIATORS. 
 
I do love a good quote. Yes, while I might not profess to knowing much about football, I did always enjoy hearing what Brian Clough had to say next. He’s responsible for one of my favourite quotes to date: 
 
“I wouldn’t say I was the best manager in the business, but I was in the top one.” 
 
While Cloughie bristled with a well-intentioned level of arrogance (he did christen himself Old Big ‘Ead when awarded an OBE after all), he did have the stats to back it up. He was a great manager, taking Nottingham Forest and Derby County, two of my local sides, to unprecedented levels of glory. 
 
Like I say though, that’s football. Not my forte. But what about management? What qualities are needed to make a good manager in the workplace step up to become a great manager?  
 
Here are a few small tips that can yield big results: 
 
There's a question. It's a bit like driving a car I reckon. You learn the knowledge and do the basics to get through the qualification and then you learn HOW to do it. 
 
Great ...and that really works IF you are in a large organisation with a tiered management structure of HR professionals but what if you are in a smaller business and there is just you? 
 
What actually if you have never 'learnt HR' and are just 'given it' as part of your job? 
 
So you have decided that the way forward is to employ your first person. 
 
Congratulations! 
 
It may feel really scary but actually take a moment to think of the achievement this signifies in your business. It is likely that you started your business doing your thing and all those other things we as business owners have to do, as there is no one else and cash flow doesn't allow us to outsource or employ anyone. We then get a point where we can outsource and then BOOM we have to make the decison to take someone on ... like a proper business.  
 
Of course I am not for one minute suggesting your business has not been 'proper' but that's how it feels right? 
You know those days when you just wished you knew the answer. 
Well it’s Ok isn’t it, because you can just type the question (or whatever you are looking for) into Google. Can’t you? 
 
Well yes but sometimes you also need to have the confidence that the answer you get is the right one. 
Jane always wore black. She sometimes added a muted coloured scarf but generally she wore black. I’m not convinced black was her colour, if you’d have asked one of those colour analysts they may have agreed with me, but it was her colour of choice. 
 
So why did she wear black all of the time? 
You know those days where everyone wants a bit of you, your running around in circles and putting everyone else’s needs and requirements above your own list of stuff to do? 
 
There was a time when I used to get to work with my ‘to do list’ ready and end the day having achieved zilch, nothing, not a sausage! I seemed to be at everyone’s beck and call, in meetings that didn’t produce any outcome, people popping into my office to have a ‘non meaningful’ conversation or people just needing to speak to me now because they, quite frankly, were not organised! 
 
Well I decided it was time to take back the control of my time and stop those time vampires. 
You're probably thinking what a ridiculous question from an HR profesisonal. Of course rules are 
there to be adhered to and upheld or else! That's true isn't it? 
 
Well I reckon it depends on the rule! 
 
Of course there are some rules which are implicit in maintaining a happy and motivated workforce 
and are used for appropriate management where non compliance may lead to corrective action 
being taken. 
 
However I am not actually talking about THOSE rules! 
 
Networking - what's that then? Well the definition is 'to interact with others to exchange information and develop professional or social contacts'. Simple enough really then. Its about communication, getting to know people and sharing information. In a business... 
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