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Flying V

You’ve heard it before – people don’t leave companies, they leave managers. The value of having a great manager cannot be underestimated.

One of the key indicators of a successful manager is how they help their employees grow.


Sometimes it is just one small moment with your manager that changes your thinking and sends you off on a trajectory towards greater success.

When I was working in Banking, I had an incredible manager who taught me the expression “persistence beats resistance”. It is such a simple phrase, yet is something that has stayed with me to pass on to others I manage.

The phrase encompassed my manager’s energy and enthusiasm, and is a constant reminder to stick with it – a universal premise that applies to any workplace, be it Banking & Finance, Recruitment or many others.


Throughout my working life I have gained inspiration from colleagues that influenced me as I built my own management style.

Another manager I greatly admire is that of English Premier League team, Tottenham Hotspur - Mauricio Pochettino.

A Spurs fan going back 35 years now, I have ridden the highs and the more often lows. Pochettino took over the reins three years ago and has been hailed for his people leadership. His management philosophies are similar to my own:

“I've spent many hours with experienced coaches and I've learnt something from them all,” he said in an interview with UEFA.com.

“In the end, you build something yourself… You have to build your own ideas, values and philosophy.”

Pochettino and team - Shutterstock.com

Pochettino has a reputation of putting his players in the best position possible to succeed individually and as a team.

I have a similar attitude in that leading my team is about my employees’ success, not about me.

One of the most important factors for me in managing people is humility. While you may be more senior in terms of hierarchy, you need to get to know your staff as people. It is imperative you build mutual trust and respect, and embrace transparent and open communication.

Once that connection is established, you will understand your team members’ professional aspirations, where their strengths and weaknesses lie, and how you can help them flourish.


Sometimes an external perspective is all that is needed to nudge an employee in the right direction, just as the “persistence beats resistance” catchphrase did for me.

Sheryl Sandberg quote.jpg

There is one story I would like to share that highlights what trust and open communication between a manager and their team can bring about.

The top biller in one of my recruitment teams had a goal to become a Team Leader. This was someone who was hitting his KPIs, yet his extended time away from his desk and occasionally dishevelled appearance meant he was perceived as someone not capable of leading others.

I coached this employee on how to build his personal brand both within our office environment and externally. With some advice from the “dress for the job you want, not the job you have” school of thought, he started taking fewer breaks, took greater interest in the way he presented and involved himself in more strategic business discussions with relevant stakeholders.

Over time colleagues observed these changes and his improved demeanour won him the support needed to reach his goal and be promoted to a Team Leader.

Without honest, open communication between the two of us, he could well have grown dissatisfied waiting for a promotion and left the business none the wiser of his shortcomings or potential. That would have been a wasted opportunity for both himself and the organisation.


I have been leading teams for over 15 years, including six years under my belt at Kelly Services, but I strive to continue learning and working on my management skills.

I have completed a number of management courses over the years and they have all been beneficial in one way or another. That said, the one thing that has helped me help my team members more than anything else is simply getting to know them as individuals, and the professional goals they wish to achieve.

To read more on the habits of successful managers, check out the latest Kelly Insights article: Seven things successful managers do every day.

Kelly Executive Trevor Bradley headshotAuthor: Trevor Bradley is Director of Kelly Executive.


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