Management – How to Avoid Brentitus

Management David Brent

Are you a friend first, boss second, and an entertainer third? Unless you’ve got a severe case of Brentitus (don’t worry, there’s a cure), then you’d never describe yourself in this way.

Today we look at some of the skills necessary to be a successful manager (hint: unlike David Brent, you’ll have to do your own filing).

As opposed to what the Brentmeister General might think, management is not about making friends and compensating for a stunted ego. At its simplest, management’s central focus is achieving the goals and objectives of a department and organisation as a whole. Sometimes this means putting one’s own opinion and personal philosophies aside (gasp). But it’s also about cultivating a positive working environment, giving support to staff, and yes, sometimes it means rolling up your sleeves and getting the job done with your team.

Let’s break down a few activities that managers are often tasked with and see if we take inspiration from Brent himself:


‘You don’t solve town planning problems by dropping bombs, so he’s embarrassed himself there.’

Words of wisdom from the big man himself. It’s true that starting a project again is often a knee-jerk reaction to a larger problem – lack of planning. Successful planning sees great managers turn strategic ideas into actionable tasks.

So before you begin a project, ask yourself what’s the aim of the project and how can we solve it in the best possible way with the resources we have? Sure, we can all dream big – ‘Pipe dreams are good in a way… keep the dream alive’ – but it’s important to balance pushing boundaries with realistic targets.


‘When people say to me: would you rather be thought of as a funny man or a great boss? My answer’s always the same, to me, they’re not mutually exclusive.’

Was Brent’s friendly style of managerial banter his biggest faux pas? Impossible to say. Certainly, the Wernham Hogg staff didn’t appear inspired to do much past the bare minimum. A large, and particularly difficult, part of managing is getting people to perform their roles to the optimum level. Too friendly and you risk losing the seriousness of the work in hand, to harsh and the office atmosphere becomes tarnished by resentment.

Communication, as often is the case, is key to getting members of staff to work effectively. Keep the whole team on board of the wider implications of a project, and delegate tasks out wisely. Some thrive on responsibility, others may need space to digest what needs to be done. Create and communicate reasonable, clear timeframes so staff understand when something needs to be completed by. Take it away David:

‘Trust people and they’ll be true to you. Treat them greatly, and they will show themselves to be great.’

Interested in studying management? Find out more about how an HND in business can help you achieve your career goals by getting in touch with our very own Dawn today.


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