The Complete A to Z of Leading and Managing

Leading and managing is tough and requires a huge amount of skill, experience, knowledge and personal attributes.  So for something completely different, this article shares my ideas on the complete A to Z of leading and managing.


Now I am sure that you will have heard some of these before so what I want you to focus on is how you might apply each of these tips on a day to day basis. 


A is for acknowledging others and a bias for action.

B is for maintaining balance between life and work and bringing out the best in others.

C is for clarity of purpose, communicating effectively and making great choices.

D is determining the direction or strategy, deciding what to do and decisiveness.

E is emotional competence, enthusiasm and evolution.

F is for focusing on what matters, treating everyone fairly and having fun. 

G is for goal setting, giving effective feedback, getting the best from teams.

H is for honesty, helping others to achieve success, taking the hard decisions.

I is for innovation, idea generation and interest in other parts of the organisation.

J is for making judgements even when you have imperfect information.

K is for keeping your knowledge up to date and knowing what you do best.

L is for lifelong learning and listening effectively to others contributions.

M is for maintaining morale in good and bad times, motivating others and making decisions.

N is noticing the great things that people are doing day in and day out.

O is for optimism, spotting and exploiting opportunities and being open to ideas.

P is for professionalism, personal and team productivity and performance.


Q is for quality, using questions effectively to deal with challenging situations and gain insights.


R is for results focus, recognising the talents of others and balanced risk taking.


S is for setting strategy, finding solutions and standing back from the detail.


T is for taking control of your time, taking responsibility and team development.


U is for understanding expectations and using the range of team skills and expertise.


V is for understanding your values, creating organisational values and valuing others.


W is for working with others, aiming to create win-win outcomes and tackling time wasters.


X is slightly challenging so I am going to cheat. X is for using your experience effectively.


Y is about knowing when to say yes, knowing yourself and your development needs.


Z is about not immediately discounting zany ideas before you have properly considered them.


Got some personal tips to share?  Leave a comment with your favourite A to Z leadership and management tips.


About the Author Duncan Brodie

Since 2006 I’ve worked with in excess of 8,000 accountants and professionals in workshops, seminars and one to one helping them land their next jobs and become better leaders, presenters and business partners. Before that I spent 25 years in accountancy climbing the career ladder from Payments Clerk to FD. I’m a CIMA Fellow, Certified Professional Coach and Team Coach Facilitator.

Leave a Comment:

Thomas Lee says 7 October 2009

Thanks for this contribution. You’re right: X was challenging, but I myself would go with eXperimenting. In any case, you’ll like my blog at

Joan Henshaw says 7 October 2009

Great summary Duncan. I’d add a couple of tips;

F is for feedback – balanced & objective = constructive

M is for monitoring – if you effectively monitor performance you’ll be able to give balanced and effective feedback

R is for rights – you have the right to manage and lead, you don’t need to ask for permission!

johnmardle says 17 August 2012

Good sense of humour assists to.

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