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Management is a passion killer

Blair McPherson - former Director, Author and Blogger

Have you ever wondered why a less experienced, less talented, less committed colleague gets promoted and you don’t. Did you think it was all about hard work and ability. Now your not so sure. Could it be you’re too passionate?

Despite the advert for that management post referring to the desire to appoint someone who is ,”passionate” about improving services or   “committed “ to making a reality of the organisation’s Equality and Diversity policy the person most likely to be appointed is rational and pragmatic.  Senior managers are weary of passionate candidates.
Passionate to them means idealistic, unwilling to compromise, unable to appreciate the wider picture, possibly angry and probably too outspoken. What those making the appointment want is a safe pair of hands and a track record of embracing change.
If you’re passionate about improving services you probably have some concerns about the latest efficiency initiative. You may feel the proposed reorganisation is finance driven not practise led. Whilst you’re happy to wholeheartedly sell unpopular  changes to working practices to your staff where you can demonstrate the result will be a better service you’re less enthusiast where the aim is simply to reduce costs.
It’s a similar story in championing Equality and Diversity your commitment is applauded but not when that leads to criticism of recruitment practices, demands for Unconscious Bias Awareness training to be mandatory for managers, or generally making senior managers in the organisation uncomfortable and nervous by opening up discussion in areas they would rather see closed down.
Senior managers see the role as minimising the risk of bad publicity so seek to avoid controversy and the board want managers who can be relied upon to say the right thing. This is what is meant by a safe pair of hands. Like wise embracing change means being wiling to implement unpopular changes irrespective of whether this improves the service or advances the equality and diversity agenda.
Rather than enhance your chances of promotion your passion may undermine it.

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