Leadership and swimming

I love the popular quote by Henry Mintzberg: “Leadership, like swimming, cannot be learned by reading about it.” I cannot agree more!

In 2004, he published a book entitled Managers Not MBAs which outlines what he believes to be wrong with management education today. Mintzberg claims that prestigious graduate management schools are obsessed with numbers and that their overzealous attempts to make management a science are damaging the discipline of management. 

Mintzberg advocates more emphasis on programs that educate practicing managers (rather than students with little real world experience) by relying upon action learning and insights from their own problems and experiences.

So many of our super talented people and technical experts are promoted into leadership roles with little to no support to help them make the enormous shift from team member to team leader. 

Managing people is hard, I believe harder than managing the numbers, and does not happen by putting the manager in a position of power. If we want our managers and leaders to succeed we have to give them the tools,  then create the space to practice applying their new skills (learn to swim, not tread water or drown) and learn from their own and others’ mistakes.

This is why all our Leadership Development programmes are conversation based. Leaders engage in these conversations with a learning community of peers – a ‘cell’ of leaders from their organisation. By working in groups, leaders are able to relate the conversations to their organisational context and challenges, build a shared language, build trust and support networks within the organisation, and accelerate their development by learning from their peers. 

We have 3 really great Leadership Development programmes, I’m allowed to say so because I have been facilitating these non-stop for the past few months! 

New Manager Bootcamp is accredited and available in-house only. 

Nine Conversations in Leadership is available in-house only. 

Leadershift is available in-house or public – the next public workshop starts on 28 March 2023. 


OD Talk – Tuesday 21 February 2023


We have some ideas that we would love to explore on this subject with you at our first OD Talk of 2023. Please join us on Tuesday 21 February

Join us to explore solutions to the “Quiet Quitting’ trend by getting this important topic on the EXCO agenda. Sign up for free and join us for an hour and a half of straight talk about OD. Join the discussion on Tuesday 21 February 2023 from 09h00 – 10h30. 


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