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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited
Keywords: Work psychology, Leadership, Management styles
One of the best Internet sites I have come across recently is one run by an organisational psychology consultancy called the Self Renewal Group which is based in London. Like many supposed advice sites on the Internet, this does advertise its own products (in this case, books and "E-mail coaching") but this one at least does offer a huge and varied selection of really useful tips and guidance - which is more than can be said for many such sites which are often predictably obsessed with selling.
This site, titled "Managing yourself, leading others" (www.srg.co.uk) is beautifully presented, with plenty of hotlinks and lovely animation to brighten up the text. The home page takes you to a menu of six sections including "managing yourself" (covering assertiveness, self-esteem, time management, coping with change and dealing with anger and stress at work), "leading others" (the future of leadership, motivating people, building teams and leadership development), "assess yourself (assess your self-esteem, assertiveness, leadership style, anxiety at work and work motivation) and "human resources" (management assessment and development, competency profiling, performance appraisal, executive coaching and career management). When you choose a section that interests you, you will be spoilt for choice as you are whisked to pages and pages of useful advice, tips and guidelines. For instance, within the "managing yourself" section you can learn about enhancing your self-esteem, how to handle transitions at work, run meetings effectively, achieve your full potential, develop your decision-making, undergo job search or redundancy counselling and much more. Each topic leads you to a choice of several more topics (for instance, click on "handling transitions at work" and you are linked to a choice of moving job, promotion, retirement careers, transition coaching and a self-assessment quiz) which means that you could spend hours wandering in and around the maze of valuable information. Each page also allows you to hotlink to free articles of interest, other relevant links and recent book reviews of texts covering similar topics.
Within the wide array of useful material are a couple of pages of particular interest to readers of this journal. "Leading others" provides tips on empowerment, delegating, team building, coaching, fostering creativity, change management, 360 degree feedback and conflict resolution. And, for those with problems or wanting some personal advice, you can always try the E-mail coaching facility which, at £35 for one E-mail reply, might be useful if you have a nagging problem that no one else can solve. Or, for ongoing support, you can always buy three months' unlimited E-mail advice for a mere £200. Not having paid out myself, I can't advise you as to whether this would be a good investment.
Another relevant section is "human resources" which covers assessment centres, succession planning, performance appraisal, executive mentoring, developing entrepreneurs and organisational dynamics (such as learning organisations, learning metaphors and organisational culture). All in all, a site well worth book-marking for future reference.
Another site likely to be of interest to readers is "The Leadership Trust" (www.leadership-trust.org/).
According to its homepage, this Trust is a non-profit association set up for the purpose of organising leaders and leadership as a formal profession. The philosophy of the Trust is based on the premise that leadership is absolutely essential to the operation and the very existence of society. Therefore, since the well being of everyone is dependent upon it, the social institution of leadership should receive the attention, training support, leadership and social oversight of a professional body of leaders dedicated to the quality and ethics of its operation. The aim of the Trust then is the development of a strong professional leader association which will demonstrate a minimum competence to its peers and which subscribes to a code of ethics and is subject to various forms of social oversight.
Another page on the site indicates the purposes of the Trust as being:
to provide on-going interaction and communication among professional leaders;
to provide a leadership training initiative for professional training;
to provide problem-solving consultation for on-the-job problems;
to define standards of training for the certification of professional leaders; and
to form a code of ethics governing leadership behaviours.
If you visit the site, you will be able to access some interesting articles by the founder of the Trust, Dr James Farr, such as "Leadership v management: do you know the difference?" and "Supra-conscious leadership".
Sandi Mann University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK