The Maximum Performance Management Development Programme

A practical approach to managing yourself and those around you, this unique bite-sized programme will help managers step up and make a difference.

Aimed primarily at new and aspiring managers (and also a very good refresher for managers who have not been through a structured development programme before), the programme takes a ‘bite-sized’, modular approach which gives participants plenty of tools and strategies for dealing with everyday challenges in the workplace as well as the opportunity to learn from others’ experiences, reflect on their own, and benefit from the inspirational advice and guidance of your choice of expert trainer.

View our interactive booklet!

MDP booklet cover (IN-HOUSE)

Or download a printer-friendly version of the booklet’s content HERE.

The programme has been designed with a number of delivery options in mind:

  1. It can be delivered for your organisation on an in-house basis, entirely ‘off-the-shelf’. We have a small team of specially selected trainers (ten of them, based around the country, from Somerset to Scotland) from whom you can take your pick (depending on location, experience or best ‘fit’ with your organisation).
  2. Or we can deliver a tailored version for you. This might mean dropping or adding modules according to the audience’s learning needs; using a different psychometric; tailoring materials to incorporate organisational values, policies or processes; or perhaps changing the format in some way – whatever will work best for your organisation.
  3. Or we can develop a completely bespoke programme for you. This might take some inspiration from the ‘flagship’ programme set out here, it might not – the choice is entirely yours.
  4. And if you haven’t got quite enough people to justify an in-house programme, then the very popular open programme might be exactly what you’re looking for. It’s held twice a year, in London. Click here for details.

Can’t decide? Give us a call on 01582 714280 and we can talk you through the options.


Most organisations set their new managers up to fail.

They don’t do it deliberately, of course, but they do keep doing it. We’ve all been there. We get promoted to our first management role not because we have shown proficiency in managing people, but because we are good at achieving targets, KPIs, goals, etc. We are technically proficient. And why do organisations promote the technically proficient? Because organisations are not great at succession planning and because they look for the wrong skills set when appointing new managers.

Lack of succession planning means that appointments are made on a reactive basis, without time to prepare people for the appointment. So, managers are appointed because of their technical proficiency, not because of any sign of management skills or a passion for leading a team. Remember, too, that most people’s reason for leaving a job has nothing to do with the money – it’s usually because they have no respect for their manager.

So, are you going to keep letting your new managers – and the people they manage – down? Or are you going to do something about it? Here’s an opportunity for you.

After years of running bespoke management development programmes on an in-house basis for a wide range of organisations – public sector, private sector, voluntary sector, large and small – we distilled the most common issues that managers struggle with and have designed a unique, modular programme to address just those issues. The programme takes a structured approach over six months, dealing with all the key topics in ‘bite-sized’ fashion, roughly one day a month. It’s a very experiential, stimulating, challenging programme which requires the participants to do bite-sized assignments (‘pre-work’) in preparation for each module. The programme starts with a psychometric profile (DiSC) and gives lots of opportunity for skills practice and feedback in a supportive environment. The strict limit on the group size (a maximum of 12 participants) ensures that each participant has ample opportunity to discuss their challenges on a one-to-one basis with your choice of expert trainer.

If you have anyone you’re thinking of for a management position, or if you’ve recently appointed a first-time manager, then this tried-and-tested programme will be perfect for them.



Understanding yourself and others
(Pre-work – DiSC profile)

  • Welcome and introductions
  • Your values and what is important to you
  • An introduction to DiSC and your report
  • Natural v adapted style
  • Your preferences
  • Your communication strategies
  • Learning review


Your role as a people manager
(Pre-work – feedback on your management style)

  • Your experiences of being managed
  • Setting expectations
  • Situational management
  • Managing your team through stages of maturity
  • The shadow of a leader
  • Motivating others
  • Learning review


Effective delegation
(Pre-work – 9 steps of delegation)

  • Is your team ready?
  • Setting the right climate
  • A team assessment
  • Separating the task from the person
  • Seeing delegation as a cost-cutting tool
  • Your delegation plan
  • Learning review


Managing your time
(Pre-work – time log)

  • Time traps
  • Dealing with procrastination
  • Are your efforts aligned?
  • To-do lists
  • Prioritising effectively
  • The urgent / important matrix
  • The OATS principle
  • Learning review


Giving and receiving feedback
(Pre-work – what your team appreciate and what they don’t!)

  • What stops us giving and receiving feedback?
  • What is your body saying?
  • Skills required
  • Don’t be vague…
  • Planning a feedback session
  • Practising your skills – SEE-SAW model
  • Review of learning


Influencing and negotiating
(Pre-work – influencing questionnaire)

  • Influencing power bases
  • Your personal network
  • Influencing effectively in meetings
  • What type of negotiator are you? A practical exercise
  • Negotiation self-assessment inventory
  • 5 strategies for influencing and negotiating
  • Review of learning


Coaching skills to develop others
(Pre-work – case study)

  • What is coaching?
  • The spectrum of skills
  • Stop giving the answers!
  • The coaching game
  • Coaching each other
  • The ‘co-create’ framework
  • Coaching is empowerment
  • Review of learning


Running effective meetings
(Pre-work – experiences of meetings)

  • Why do we have meetings?
  • The role of the chair
  • Dealing with challenging situations
  • A strong opening – setting the scene
  • The meeting process
  • PIMS – getting involvement in meetings
  • Review of learning


Presence and communication
(Pre-work – communication questionnaire)

  • What gives us confidence?
  • Developing assertiveness
  • Use the LADDER
  • Your voice / tone / body language
  • Making an impact
  • Review of learning


Presentation skills
(Pre-work – self-assessment)

  • Preparation is everything
  • Structuring your talk
  • Audience research
  • A case study
  • Controlling your nerves
  • Practice, practice, practice!
  • Feedback on your presentation
  • Review of learning


Managing working relationships
(Pre-work – a stakeholder analysis)

  • Managing upwards
  • Powerful stakeholders
  • The Strengths Deployment Inventory (SDI)
  • Review of learning


Problem-solving and decision-making
(Pre-work – a case study)

  • A practical challenge (1)
  • The brain and decisions – emotion v logic
  • Cause and effect model
  • A case study
  • A practical challenge (2)
  • Review of learning


Managing through change
(Pre-work – identifying organisational changes)

  • Being an effective change agent
  • The change transition curve
  • Forcefield analysis
  • Detecting and analysing resistance
  • Articulating your change agenda
  • Review of learning


Taking a strategic view
(Pre-work – reading on ‘prime focus’)

  • Operations v strategy
  • The ‘prime focus’ model
  • Strategic alliances
  • Looking after your customers
  • Writing your own strategy
  • Review of learning


Managing performance
(Pre-work – collating role profiles)

  • Team ingredients for success
  • Setting clear goals
  • Writing SMART objectives – not as easy as you might think!
  • The role profile
  • Assessing behaviour
  • The success criteria
  • Review of learning


Programme review

  • Review of all modules and personal learning
  • Action planning
  • Programme close
Fact file


A series of sixteen ‘bite-sized’ modules, two a day, over a period of eight months. Key features include:

  • A psychometric profile for each participant (the DiSC profile, completed online before the start of the programme)
  • An ‘Aptimore’ personal development report (your report is generated on completion of an online questionnaire, which also links through to 19 online development activities, some of which will be set as ‘pre-work’ before each module)
  • ‘Pre-work’ before each module, to ensure that all participants have addressed the issues in advance of each module, thereby allowing all the sessions to be run at the optimal level and speed
  • Individual and group exercises and skills practice sessions in each module, for truly experiential learning
  • Limited group size (minimum 6, maximum 12) to ensure the ideal participant: trainer ratio
  • High quality programme materials
  • Certificate of attendance for each participant (which can be used as evidence for CPD purposes, where appropriate)


Who should attend?

The programme is ideal for:

  • All those being considered for promotion to their first management position
  • Any newly appointed manager

It would also be a useful refresher for any manager who has been in post for a while but who has not had the benefit of attending a structured development programme.

Previous participants have been in their mid-twenties right through to their early fifties. They’ve come from all sorts of organisations, large and small, in sectors such as media, leisure, international development, energy, PR, accountancy, insurance, property, etc, etc.

ILM recognition

ILM_Logo_RECP_RGB_HIThis programme is recognised by the Institute of Leadership and Management as a ‘Development programme’. This is the benchmark of high quality leadership and management training. On completion of the programme, participants receive a Development certificate from the ILM, recognising and celebrating their learning and achievement.

Meet the trainers

Cyrus Cooper – lead trainer

Cyrus Cooper_b+wCyrus (Managing Director of Maximum Performance) designed this programme. An exceptional international trainer, facilitator and coach, he specialises in helping managers to focus on their roles and responsibilities with the aim of getting great results with the people they manage. He has helped organisations in the public, private and voluntary sectors to improve their performance through a range of interventions covering leadership challenges, motivational management and corporate and executive 1:1 coaching.

Cyrus is enthusiastic and practical in his approach. His strong facilitation skills and focus on his audience create a powerful learning experience. This comes through very clearly in his book, Brilliant Workshops, published by Pearson Education. Cyrus is based in London / Hertfordshire.

Aileen Ralston

Aileen Ralston_b+wAileen is a highly experienced learning and development professional, originally with a finance sector background and now working with clients such as BP, Prudential, MoD and the Scottish Executive. Always professional, her enthusiastic and open facilitative approach ensures full participation and understanding, resulting in a commitment to take skills learned back to the workplace. Her ability to build relationships and inspire participants creates an extremely positive learning environment. She brings a wealth of personal experience to many situations. Aileen is based in Scotland.

Alan English

Alan English_b+wAlan is a highly experienced facilitator, trainer and coach, with 12 years’ practical experience in a public service background (Ministry of Justice) prior to forming his own consultancy in 2012. He excels in leadership and management development, team development, one-to-one coaching and facilitating action learning sets. He is driven in supporting people to reach their potential and strives for continuous improvement and development. He challenges individuals and teams’ thinking and current ways of working in order to deliver sustainable improvement in individual and organisational performance. Alan is based in Manchester.

Amanda Dudman

Amanda Dudmanb+wAmanda is a highly experienced coach and facilitator specialising in providing management development programmes, coaching and facilitation services to the public, private and VCSE sectors. Her work with public sector organisations, in particular, has so far extended to facilitation of away days and team events, focus groups, team development, personal effectiveness skills training, customer service training, and specialist leadership and management programmes. Amanda works at all levels within organisations, from the board (or Elected Members, in local authorities) to front-line. She is based in Milton Keynes.

David Durkin

David Durkin_b+wDavid has considerable global experience of consultancy in leadership and talent development, team dynamics and learning programme direction across a range of industries. He believes passionately in the value of continuous learning and development as a significant contributor to organisational performance. With 20 years of experience designing, delivering and evaluating development programmes, David designs and facilitates learning processes that are both challenging and supportive, delivering exceptional results. He has delivered excellent senior leadership, management, customer service and business performance solutions for organisations with a range of cultures. David is based in Northamptonshire.

Melanie Windle

Melanie is an experienced and creative personal development trainer and group facilitator whose methods and style of delivery empower individuals and groups to realise their potential. She is a skilled teamworker, leader and effective manager who enjoys the challenge and responsibility of working for the development of others. Her methods of delivery are designed to meet the client’s needs and learning objectives. These can include practical exercises, use of the outdoors, business simulations, residentials, role-plays, presentations, and individual and group reviews. Melanie is based in Manchester.

Nick Blasdale

Nick Blasdale_b+wNick is an outstanding trainer with over 15 years’ experience in major ‘blue chip’ organisations. He worked in HR, training and sales management for such organisations as Honda, Raychem, WH Smith and Filofax before starting his own consultancy and training business in 1999. He now works in partnership with organisations of all sizes and runs both in-company courses / workshops and public / open programmes all over the UK and internationally. Nick is a Qualified SDI Trainer, an Accredited MAP assessor, a qualified Hay Group ESCI trainer and an experienced Belbin Team Role facilitator. Nick is based in Somerset.

Scott Rumsey

Scott Rumsey photo (b+w)Scott applies positive psychology techniques to his training and encourages participants to build on their core strengths and attributes. Scott spent over 20 years with NatWest Bank in operational and L&D roles before becoming a consultant in 2000. He has delivered management development programmes for a variety of organisations and a range of different sectors including hospitality, retail, construction, technology, education, not-for-profit, local authority and also industrial settings. Scott is based in London / Hertfordshire.

Susie Ashfield

Susie Ashfield_b+wSusie has worked as a voice-over artist for BBC, Sky, ITV1, Sony Pictures, Spotify and many more. She is now a full-time freelance trainer and coach, making the most of her unusual combination of acting skills and practical business experience in the City by specialising in helping clients to control and optimise their body language and non-verbal communication techniques, structuring presentations for effect, and giving the kind of vocal empowerment needed to both succeed and be seen to succeed.

She has worked with people of all levels from CEOs to front-line, experienced and graduates, to give them a greater understanding of communication, through tone, structure and delivery, which she demonstrates with a passion for helping clients succeed in business. Susie is based in London.


An eye-opening experience – helps you to see what type of personality you have and the skills that you can use from your strengths to be a good manager. Cyrus is great at engaging you and keeping focus.’

‘The course is fun! It’s broken down into modules which help the learning process – there isn’t too much to take in at once!’

‘I am now able to be a more confident manager, manage my time better and help support others to succeed.’

One of the best training programmes I have attended. Helped me understand the person I am and the type of manager I want to be. The teaching mechanism is designed to keep you fully engaged and all programmes are relevant in day-to-day management life.’

‘It made me realise how little I knew about managing staff and interacting with others.’

‘The programme has helped me to become a manager.’

‘The course, which has been put together by Maximum Performance, has something for everyone. The modules are well thought out and well presented, including the use of games and quiz questions which really help to get the message across.’

‘Cyrus is by far the best thing. Their leadership and contribution make learning easy as well as quick. The modules are great – designed with a clever flow so you can see a week-by-week benefit. The gaps between modules also allow you enough time to implement what you have learnt. Finally, the opportunity for extra and individual coaching allows you time for a 1-2-1 analysis and continued support.’

‘I am a better manager; I know what my strengths and weaknesses are to enhance my skills.’

‘A lot of people talked about the confidence it helped them to build and I think Cyrus and Susie are a big part of this. The sessions are enjoyable and I have learnt things that will help me to progress both myself and others.’
‘Helped validate what I was already doing and has given me the tools to help in areas that I was lacking.’

‘I’ve applied a lot of the principles I learned in my everyday working environment, and my organisation has reaped benefits.’

‘I confess, having managed teams of people for several years, when my Managing Director signed myself and a colleague up for the course, I was unenthused to say the least. I thought I already knew all I needed to about management. I was wrong. This course has really helped me to identify the areas I need to focus on, for me and my team.’

‘Many of the exercises and assessments can be used as part of the team building and development work which is always occurring. In addition, my employers will benefit from my own improved skills and focus in various areas, including but not limited to, coaching, mentoring and leadership.’

‘The course was extremely interesting and informative. It taught me a lot about myself and how the role of a manager is about delegation and understanding both the needs of the organisation and the employees.’

Cyrus and Susie were excellent trainers and I met some new people who I really grew to like and hope to remain in contact with.’

‘The step-by-step approach to management skills makes the whole exercise easy to digest. The intervals between sessions give you time to apply what you’ve learned.’

‘Enjoyed every session.’

‘Well-paced, thought-provoking and enlightening course. Challenges your preconceptions of “good management” and provides you with the tools to enable your own strengths to come to the fore.’

‘The range of tools and methodologies used gives a very broad picture of the management development field. It was jargon-free and highly accessible, and very easily applied to day-to-day life back in the office.’

If you think you knew everything about management, think again. Even the most confident managers will pick up very useful skills, tools and tips from this course. The modules being split over multiple months gave me time to reflect and put into practice the skills received at each module.’

‘Lots of useful tools and guidance on how to get the best out of yourself and your staff. Attending this programme, I grew as a professional and a manager of people; it gave me more confidence to approach situations with different types of people more effectively.’

‘I learned much more about my values, drivers and skills. I learned how to best use these to lead a team, understanding how to best communicate with each individual to get stuff done! Team are more motivated as a result – better performance, understanding how people work, etc.’

‘The course is very well structured and scheduled over the period. It is very useful to have it once a month to have time to put into practice what was learnt in the classroom. In addition, the web-based platform was extremely helpful: make sure to make the most of that and you will keep yourself on track. All pre-work is extremely helpful so do take time to read all documents well in advance and be prepared.

‘I became unconsciously more confident at managing my team during the programme. Most tools have been very useful in and out of the classroom and I started to include them (consciously and unconsciously) in my daily job as a team manager.

‘I am now a more efficient manager who makes the most of the team’s capabilities and skills. Our efficiency has increased and team members become more independent.

Cyrus’s presentation and delivery of the programme has been remarkable!

This course is a fantastic way to learn more about yourself, your role as a people manager and how you can support others to grow within an organisation. It gives you the tools and confidence needed to succeed as an effective manager.

‘I gained a lot from attending the programme. I now feel more confident and equipped to effectively manage people. It’s been a great development opportunity and I have learnt so much about my strengths and areas for improvement. Every day I am finding new ways to apply what I learnt through this programme. I am better able to manage my team. I am better able to manage myself, which had made me more effective. I have a range of tools that I can apply which will support my organisation.

‘The programme offered opportunities to network with and learn from people from other organisations. It was well-paced – having a session every month meant that I had time to apply my learnings and share experiences. Thank you very much for this well-run course!’

The Maximum Performance Management Development Programme gets great feedback. Give us a call on
01582 714280 to talk through how it might work for you.