Hi I’m Rob Lambert
My mission is to create the tech industries most fun, helpful, trusted and relevant resource for people centric managers with an agile mindset. I want to help you become a manager who can grow high performing teams in a sustainable, fun and socially responsible way.
There are three elements at the heart of Cultivated Management called The Cultivated Core.
You can read more about each element below.
Join the management transformation.
If you’re like most of my readers and clients, you’re already a great manager building agile engaged teams and businesses.
You are committed to treating people like people, achieving the right business results, teaching others what you know, adapting & iterating, improving systems and helping people work on their strengths. All of this whilst maintaining a balanced personal life and maintaining your health.
But sometimes you and your business need an extra edge, sometimes plans don’t go as expected and sometimes growing technical teams can be hard. Management is not particularly glamourous or exciting and at times is downright hard – but its an effective lever for bringing about change and achieving your company’s ambitions.
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The Cultivated Core
1. Focus on YOU
At the core of Cultivated Management is a belief that we must Cultivate ourselves as managers in many aspects of our lives.
Our management is never more or less than the person we are. So to become a better manager we must become a better person.
To talk about being a better manager means to talk about learning and cultivation.
- To improve and prepare
- To grow or tend
- To promote the growth of
- To encourage or foster
- To acquire,develop, or refine, as by education
I believe that to be a better person (and therefore a better manager) we need to cultivate some basic areas of our lives. These are the Foundations of Cultivated Management that much of my coaching, mentoring, consulting and writing is based around.
- Health and Longevity
- Cultural & Societal Impact
This is part 1 of becoming a great manager – look after yourself and your foundations of life. You can’t really become a good manager until you can manage yourself.
Note – read more about the foundations further down the page.
2. Focus on THE SYSTEM
The second aspect of the Cultivated Core is to focus on the system. The system is the whole – made up of the parts – it’s your company, teams and streams of work.
The system governs the productivity, quality, output, input, stress, success and culture of your business. Most managers spend their time trying to manage people and get more from them. This can work short term, but your people (no matter how good) will only ever give you what the system allows them to give. You’ve probably seen this before – great people thrown in to a system where they cannot succeed without changes to that system.
The system is what managers should focus on – you should study it, observe it, work in it, understand it and improve it methodically with your teams.
What is the system?
It’s the release process, the work environment, the recruitment process, the information systems, the flow of knowledge and work, the management, the customer feedback, the processes that support work, other departments and more.
Your job as a manager is to improve it – remove the rubbish, nonsense and waste – and free people from the constraints that don’t support success.
Focus on YOUR PEOPLE
The third element is to focus on your people. If you hire good people you should mostly leave them alone. Set ambitous goals, give feedback, offer coaching and learning paths, help them discover and use their strengths, minimise their weaknesses, give them the clarity they need to succeed and recognise their efforts.
People are unpredictable and mostly irrational – hence a good manager must watch, observe, study and listen.
Keep reading to find out more about the Foundations of Management and the Cultivated Management principles.
Management is about getting the tension between work, life and health tensing in the right way. It’s not easy and disaster can strike if you let it get out of balance. Below is the core focus of my coaching. mentoring and my general approach to building teams.
Health and Longevity
You need your health. You need your friends and family.
You need the tension between work and life to be tense in the right way. That “way” is personal to you, but don’t sacrifice your health and family for work. Family first.
You cannot sit still. You must be improving year on year. Not being better than others, just being better than yourself last year, last week, yesterday. Life is about moving and growing and learning.
To be a good manager requires you to learn hard things quickly.
The world of work is changing fast.
Good managers keep up with this pace. They are fast to respond to changes in culture, work and technology.
Good managers are also relevant and employable in the market place. You must be hire-able – it will impact your risk taking at work, in a positive way, if you have other options.
Good managers make the business they work for money. Good managers command higher salaries.
Generating revenue outside of work is also important – by doing this you’ll feel more in control, be more focused at work (ironically) and be willing to take the risks the business needs you to take. I cannot stress enough the importance of a side gig.
Cultural and Societal Impact
If you removed a Cultivated Manager from the business you’d leave a gap. A huge gap.
Not that they are irreplaceable – nobody is. But the gap would be obvious and it would take time to fill.
Cultivated managers are effective. They get stuff done. They hack themselves and their work and find ways to be better. They ship.
They share these techniques with their team. They help others improve. They strive to build flow, not just fill their capacity. They ask the right questions. They don’t try and do more with less, they find new ways of doing things. They value effectiveness above efficiency and realise that people are effective and machines are efficient.
Cultivated Management Core Guiding Principles
These principles are my principles to management. They change as I do. You may resonate with them.
- Better is a beautiful word – we can always be better
- Treat People Like People – be kind and treat people as you wish to be treated
- If you’re not having fun with it, be done with it – management and work should be fun for you and your team
- Build stable teams & flow work through them – empower teams and provide autonomy
- Communicate with clarity – all good leaders and managers are clear communicators
- Mistakes are an opportunity to learn – they are essential for improving
- Knowledge and understanding can only be achieved by studying – there are many ways of studying but to improve anything you must first understand it, and that requires studying
- The other way will also work – let’s not be dogmatic about a way of working, lead with kindness instead.
- Don’t inflict help – ask if someone needs help first.
- Why think small? – Set lofty goals and tackle big problems.
- If it doesn’t feel right, make it right – we are all responsible for changing our work.
- Value output, not confidence or the number of hours worked – result matter, the number of hours worked don’t – effectiveness is what is important.
Cultivated Management was founded with an ambitious mission, but I also wanted to build a socially conscious business that gives back to the community.
This is why I donate 10% of all revenue at Cultivated Management, and my sister business Parent Brain, to charity.
I also offer a number of free training and coaching sessions for managers working in charitable or not-for-profit organisations.
5% of profits will always go to Naomi House. A charity for life limited children and their families. It’s a charity close to my heart. The other 5% goes to a different charity each year as below.
(completed) 2015 – Naomi House and Unicef
(completed) 2016 – Naomi House and Pencils of Promise
2017 – Naomi House and WWF