Craig Duncan posted this on Twitter on 22 July:
When you are a supposed high performance manager and your teams are failing are you now a low performance manager or a low performing high performance manager?— craig duncan (@DrCraigDuncan) July 22, 2019
I thought the tweet was a great juxtaposition of ideas. It set me off thinking about many things in performance environments. I was particularly interested in a distinction between management and leadership and how this might help us understand the dynamics of performance and performativity.
I had been thinking about issues raised by Dave Reddin and Tony Strudwick (link). By serendipity, Matthew White appeared at this time too discussing Tour de France victories by Daryl Impey (link) and Simon Yates (link).
The combination of these events made Craig’s tweet most prescient. For my part, I am intrigued by performances of understanding (link) in performance environments and the role a leader might play in facilitating performance. These performances have within them a sense of understanding that, I think, a leader nourishes and extends. Such a leader becomes invisible as the athlete flourishes but has a profound cognitive sense of direction and what might be possible.
The antithesis for me is Craig’s description of low performance management.
A friend of mine who is a professional football coach has often described his perceived ability by the public as, ‘ This week I am a good coach because we won, last week I was a bad coach because we lost’. ‘What will I be next week even though I have the same philosophy and I always aim to win?’
Delightful, Ron. It is amazing that the same coach has such diverse perceptions. This is why performances of understanding fascinate me. They uncouple (hopefully) performance from winning as an outcome. Thank you for finding the post.
Brilliant as always Keith we need a good cup of tea and we hours to discuss and expand
Craig, I am so pleased you found this post. It was prompted by your thoughts. I am looking forward to that cuppa. My best wishes, Keith.