HI, I’m Rob
I help managers and leaders bring professional management to agile companies.
I do this by helping managers focus on their own personal pillars and principles of success, learn how to balance the constant need to be effective AND liked and then help them to “Release Agility” by focusing on clarity, and positive behaviours.
Along the way we’ll ensure your team know exactly what behaviours are expected in a great work place, how they contribute to success, that someone cares for them. The business will get succession planning, career development, high levels of engagement and professional performance management.
When I became a manager in a Tech company I had no idea what I was doing. So I studied, practiced and learned. And that’s why I’m building the resource I wished I’d had when I was starting out in my career as a manager.
I’m still on that journey, learning and growing and what I learn I share with you through my newsletter and this blog.
A foundational belief underpinning everything about Cultivated Management is the belief that to become a better manager, we must become a better person.
We must do this through constantly cultivating ourselves – hence the name of my company Cultivated Management.
“To improve by training or education. To tend. To nurture. To grow”
The Pillars of Life
I base much of my work on the Core Pillars of Life that I believe underpin us as humans. Companies build strong foundations across a number of different elements – I think we should looks at this too.
Hence much of what you’ll read about here is based on the following Pillars of Life:
- Education & Personal Development
- Money & Finance
- Societal Impact
- Effectiveness & Productivity
Why become a manager?
Being a manager can often be a thankless, boring and stressful job, but the rewards come from nudging your team forward to a compelling vision.
This is done through encouraging others to achieve more than they ever thought they could, and by discovering your own talents and abilities.
Being a manager in a company is a brilliant career.
I believe in management – even in agile teams.
What does it take to become a great manager?
Becoming a great manager requires:
- Building strong pillars of life in which to lead from
- Finding your own principles of management and sticking with them when the going gets tough
- Becoming an expert communicator, even if you’re not naturally gifted in this skill – so you can tread the fine line between being Effective and being Liked
- Learning how to release agility in your organisation and develop the right people foundations to make it possible
- Treating people like people
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Why Cultivated Management?
There are a barrel load of sites just like mine offering management advice and I read many of them too.
Here’s how I may stand out from others:
- I’ve been a manager for a long time and learned the hard way by making many mistakes.
- The knowledge I share through my work is based on experience, not just theory.
- I have been an Engineering Manager and Vice President in HR at a startup that went from funding to acquisition.
- As part of a management team our recruitment costs were less than 8%, retention was remarkably good, engagement levels were 80% plus and we built the kind of culture where people would tell people how amazing it was to work there.
- I built teams that reduced the release cycles of our software from yearly to weekly, scaled agile across our teams in both the UK and Poland.
- I studied communication at school (G.C.S.E), A’ Level and Degree (BSc) and I still study it today – I bring what I know about communication, to becoming an amazing manager.
- I’ve blogged about tech for over a decade, delivered Keynotes and run award winning workshops.
- I focus on making information simple and easy to digest.
- I focus on YOU.
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Some things about me:
- I am self critical, impatient and opinionated. I’m also good at strategy and ideation. I’m good at communication. I’m also struggling to balance the tension between work and play.
- I have three sons who are amazing.
- I live in Winchester, UK (I’m originally from Sheffield).
- I started my career as a Tester, then an Engineering Manager, then a VP of HR and now as a Director of my own company.
- In 2010 I wrote my name on a piece of paper and listed all of the things I wanted to do with my life. I’ve achieved most of the things on the list – but I’m still working it.
- I drive a classic Mazda MX5.
- I run a podcast called Parent Brain.
- I write books to chill out.
- My only real super power skill is my ability to observe and study people – and then make changes to my own communication style to suit the moment. It’s proven a very handy skill indeed.
- I ran The Social Tester blog for many years.
- I’m an International Keynote speaker
Most of my work is free. You can find it here. But I also occasionally build courses, write books, run events and speak at conferences. The Manager newsletter or LinkedIn are the best ways to track my events.
What about you?
I want to hear about your challenges, experiences, goals and dreams for your career. What are you doing day to day? Are you seeing success or not? What can I help you with? What can I learn from you?
Every financial year I donate at least 5% of my revenue from books, courses and coaching from Cultivated Management, and my other business, Parent Brain, to charity.
I believe very strongly that every person (and animal) has the right to the best quality of life they can, even if that life may be short.
At least 2.5% always goes to Naomi House – a hospice in Winchester for life limited children and their parents.
The rest goes to a different charity each year.
- 2015 – Unicef (complete)
- 2016 – Pencils of Promise (complete)
- 2017 – Saving Linnea (complete)
- 2018 – WWF (complete)
- 2019 –