Have you noticed that every quality newspaper seems to have a business agony uncle or aunt now? The FT has Lucy Kellaway and the Guardian has least three columnists dispensing management advice. Most of the problems discussed in these columns are not about marketing or finance or IT, they are about managing people. Perhaps that’s because for marketing, finance and IT issues, there are professionals in the organisation whom you can go to for a straight answer. When it comes to people management, though, for some reason, everyone seems to want a second opinion.
One of the Guardian’s gurus, Karren Brady, managing director of Birmingham City, has just been arrested. Oddly enough, I can’t find any of her weekly ‘You Are The Boss’ articles on the paper’s website. This is a shame because I was going to refer to her recent piece on how to deal with a drunken motivational speaker. Would the Guardian have pulled her stuff already, just because of a few difficulties with the fraud squad, or is it just that its search engine is rubbish?
Anyway, if you want a business agony aunt, you could do a lot worse than read Ask a Manager. She (I think AAM is a woman, though it’s not clear from the blog) is a real live manager, rather than just a pundit, and what’s more, you don’t have to buy a newspaper or pay a registration fee to read her advice. This deathbed advice to managers is a great piece. If you remember to do all five of those things, which is easier said than done, you’ll save a lot of time and aggro.