So you think you have what it takes to be a senior manager in local government.
Here are six questions for any wannabe senior manager. Just select the answers which most closely reflect your views and then check out the verdict. ( Tip try not to answer D)
Can you live with the very real prospect that a decision you made or didn't make, or something you didn't know but maybe should have known has gone very wrong ?
A) I only think about it when something big hits the national media and I think there but for the grace of God.
B) senior managers have always rode their luck what's different today is the odds are increasingly against you finishing your career without something big coming back to bit you.
C) That's what plausible deniability was invented for.
Can you take the criticism often personal and probably unfair when something major goes wrong?
A) I leant a long time ago that sometimes you have to say you're sorry and admit you got it wrong even though your not and you didn't.
B) Never say sorry, never admit your wrong.
C) If I'm going down I'm taking others with me.
Can you cope with a span of responsibility that means you can't know the detail and must trust in the competence and integrity of those you manage?
A) You're asking me if I think everyone in my team is competent and has strong moral principles!
B) It's about asking the right questions.
C) My nickname amongst colleagues is " Teflon " because nothing sticks.
Can you ," stretch" your professional values in the face of austerity and budget cuts?
A) It's all about what's doable , the task is to do it within the resources you're given.
B) I know colleagues who if asked to cut their budget by 5 % will present proposals to deliver a 6 % cut just to impress the boss.
C) Of course senior managers can be honest and decent.
Can you make the right decision ?
You receive two urgent messages whilst in a meeting, one is from the leader the other from the chief executive both both say,"ring me as soon as you come out of your meeting". Who do you ring first?
A) the leader, he is the scariest
B) the chief executive as they are my line manager
C) my friend in HR in case it what's I think it is.
D) neither I'll just wait and see who rings back first.
Can you take your full holiday entitlement ?
A) I always take 3 weeks off that way people are more likely to solve their problems than save them up for my return
B) I read my emails but I don't make it obvious.
C) only when the chief executive is away. ( I can't trust them not to cut my budget )
D) It's not so easy now I don't have an official deputy
If your answers were mostly A then you are cut out to be a senior manager but not for long.
If your answers were mostly B then you are cut out to be a senior manager provided you change authorities every 2 years.
If your answers were mostly C then you are cut out to be a senior manager but not as senior as you think you should be.
If your answers were a mixture of A, B and C clearly your ambitious and over confident but this should not hold you back.
If your answers were mostly D then you are either a senior manager in denial or destined never to rise above middle management.
Blair McPherson form director, author and blogger www.blairmcpherson.co.uk