No Image Available

Tim Hawkes

Unlimited Potential

Managing Director

Read more from Tim Hawkes

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1705321608055-0’); });

Is it time for managers to face reality?


Or shall we leave it till tomorrow? Tim Hawkes muses about the qualities of the genuine manager.

Have you ever noticed how some people live two separate lives? They have a 'work' them and a 'home' them.

Some people are also proud to tell you of their separate lifestyles, how they are an adrenalin junkie at the weekend, yet sit at their desk all day, or maybe that they love to be by themselves reading and yet spend their whole day in fruitless meetings. I have often wondered why people hold this way of living up as being a good model of existence.

Why do people in work feel the need to act differently? After all, they are the same person in both environments - same brain, same heart.

I am really interested in the concept of authenticity as a manager in the workplace, i.e. living true to your core values, and am struck by the obvious observation that if you live two lives you cannot be being genuine, or authentic, in one of them. So, in which life are they not being authentic?

How do people cope with changing between these two lives on a regular basis, many people struggle trying keep one lifestyle steady. It seems to me that this would require a lot of emotional, physical and intellectual effort to maintain: effort that may result in stress, illness, bad management and ultimately, reduced performance.

"Why do people in work feel the need to act differently? After all, they are the same person in both environments."

Not to mention the risks of you opening yourself up to the possibility of the other you slipping out in the wrong environment. Calling your boss 'darling' or 'diarising' a romantic meal with your partner is always going to reflect badly on you.

For me, living two lives is a story about facing reality. By being someone else, you can avoid the realities of the environment you are in, whether it be work or home. By taking on the character of a person you are not, it gives you a coping mechanism for things that do not resonate with your values: it allows you to 'exist' in that environment.

If this really is true, it is a terrifying thought that there are people out there in the workplace, or at home, avoiding the reality of their day-to-day existence. So what sort of things are they avoiding?

The four most avoided management issues:

Showing emotion

It’s not about crying and laughing, it’s about passion.

Emotional expression is often frowned upon in an office environment, unless it’s anger. It can lead to people thinking you are unprofessional, resulting in relationship issues. I am not suggesting breaking down in tears in the weekly board meeting is a good idea. This is about having a passion for your role and task, and standing up for your value-driven beliefs.

Trust or respect

Without trusting or respecting every member of your team you are not managing.

By challenging someone’s trust or respect for you it will only create an environment where relationships start to fall apart. It is a manager’s responsibility to create an environment of trust and respect by bestowing it upon their team. If you are a manager and do not respect someone in your team, stop reading this article and go and sort it out.


Solve your problems today to avoid disasters in the future.

Sorting out a relationship problem is one of the most ignored management skills that there is. It occurs at all levels of management - avoiding the conflict avoids the pain. Put it off til another day. However, we all know that it will eventually catch up with you. 


Admitting failure is a surprisingly motivational management tool.

Many environments in business do not allow for failure. Failure = blame. So to avoid blame we create stories, cover-ups. Different ways of ensuring that the blame does not come back to us. One thing is for sure, it will always catch up with you in the end, and when it does it will be much worse than it could have been if you caught it earlier.

Tim Hawkes is managing director of Unlimited Potential and one of the UK’s leading experts in coaching culture development within organisations

No Image Available
Tim Hawkes

Managing Director

Read more from Tim Hawkes

Get the latest from TrainingZone.

Elevate your L&D expertise by subscribing to TrainingZone’s newsletter! Get curated insights, premium reports, and event updates from industry leaders.


Thank you!