I'm Elaine....the Management Mentor

I built a successful management career despite no formal people management training, toxic cultures, toxic leaders, and the dreaded imposter syndrome. And you can too!

picture of Elaine Weir

"As you can see your post doesn't show on the structure chart"

It was a glass office. Everyone walking the corridor stared in. I stared at the organisational structure chart not breathing. That’s how the Chief Executive informed me my role was redundant and so were the roles of 80% of my team.

No soft words, no pleasantries, no kindness, no thank you for all your effort and hard work. No humanity. Simply your role doesn’t exist anymore.

It was my first management position. I was offered no development or support to build my management skills. I wasn’t prepared for this. I had no idea how to lead a team of 300 through a redundancy process. Yet I was expected to remain the onsite operational manager until my end date.

The redundancy process was a shambles (and this is looking back dispassionately 20yrs later). No consideration for the wellbeing of the staff. The employees were merely resources, viewed as an expendable liability and not an asset.

The whole process felt tragic and I was at a loss as to how to help my 300 staff.

I learnt two critical lessons at this point.

  • As a Manager I would never treat my teams in that manner, I would always put people first.
  • I would never again let anyone control my career or have that impact on me personally.
smiling headshot of Elaine Weir outside

What I did next has enabled my teams to go from strength to strength...and made me the people manager I am today…

I decided to rebuild myself and my career, stronger and more resilient than before.

I watched and learned from my peers, line managers and organisational leaders.

Not just anybody though, I was selective over who I took learning and inspiration from which is when I realised how many ineffective toxic managers and leaders there are…

Like the line manager who called me childishly naïve because I had the audacity to disagree with one of his opinions. Or the senior leader who believed that taking you to emotional extremes would allow them to control you, one day they’d terrify you and the next be all over you with smiles like a shingles rash…

I attended every available leadership, change management and personal development course. I did psychometric testing. I did a 360 appraisal. Did I learn something from them…yes, yes I did.

But the reality is I learnt more gaining experience managing teams, no classroom environment prepared me for the different personalities and individuals I would manage.

I realised that no amount of training would ever match experience. I’ve managed teams from 300 to 5 including frontline customer services and contact centre teams, supervisors, team leaders and junior managers. Each team and each individual team member has taught me something, and I’m proud of each and every one of them.

The one key thing I always needed was a Coach & Mentor, someone I could turn to and chat through my issues. Someone who would listen, question, and guide when necessary. I found more often than not my own line managers in senior leadership positions were too busy they just wanted me to get on with the job.

I found my own mentors and people I could approach but I often craved something more formal.

This is how The Management Mentor was born. I’m that Coach & Mentor you can talk to about your people management issues and together we can find solutions to people problems increasing productivity, quality of outputs, employee engagement, motivation, and loyalty.

Who am I?

I’m a Mum, a wife, animal lover, keen gardener, home baker, and someone who does her bit for the environment.

That’s me in a nutshell. I’ve 2 boys at primary school who keep me on my toes. My eldest is autistic with ADHD which has created its own challenging journey. 

He’s amazing, inspirational, and empathetic and he communicates in his own style and processes information differently to me, his brother or his Dad. It truly opened my eyes to a much more inclusive approach to people management.

I always focus on the individual and found this added a deeper dimension to Elaine the people manager.

Finally, I’m a big believer in making my own whether it’s gifts or home baking to sustainable fuel sources. When you speak to me ask about Loo Logs! (making horse manure into logs for heating…).

I’m weird, whacky, caring, and will always have your back.

picture of Elaine Weir holding a black cat