A conversation about the Aspiring Manager Programme

In these strange lockdown times, it feels like extra effort to keep our mental health on a high, and I’m sure it’s even more challenging to be upbeat while juggling work, family and the general devastation that the virus has caused. With all that going on, what if you are having a rough time at work?

Many employee surveys cite Manager behaviour in the top five reasons for being unhappy at work or the cause for leaving their jobs. Management is undoubtedly an important topic for any organisation that takes wellbeing, productivity and employee retention seriously. The University offers a variety of opportunities for management and leadership development at various levels, some of which is built into working relationships with line managers and senior management, so do explore options within your team and HR resources.

The Aspiring Manager Programme is a good starting point for anyone interested in developing into a management role. I enjoyed the programme and found the content immediately applicable. Hopefully, this foundation will keep me on the right side of someone’s management story someday. The underlining message for me is, like most things, to get better, you have to keep working at it. As Michael Jordan puts it, “Earn your leadership every day”. The Programme offers practical tools, useful references and a helpful way of framing and thinking about leadership and management responsibilities.

A big chunk of the work is self-directed learning but the group discussions and other conversations I had with colleagues around the resources really helped deepen my understanding. If you do join the programme, I would encourage taking the opportunity to start conversations and perhaps even add another dimension to your existing line management meetings.

A few of us from LTW participated in the programme, so we got together to share thoughts in this short video.

Linked image preview of PadletWe’ve added our final comments to Padlet. We especially encourage our line managers to leave glowing reviews on there — joking! All thoughts and ideas on developing leadership and management practice welcomed. Feel free to throw in some wild cards. 😁

Special thanks to my panel for their input in pulling this together. This has truly been a joint effort.


Rachael Mfoafo
Famous for colourful accessories
eLearning Support Officer, EDE

Sean Sweeney
Library cat curator
Service Co-ordinator, DLAM

Tracey Madden
Learning Technology Advisor, EDE

Liam Duffy
Legendary cocktail maker
Media Service Co-ordinator, DLAM

Craig Gilliland
The better known Rangers Manager
eLearning Support Officer, EDE