Joe and Wanda on Management

Joe Kerr and Wanda B. Goode, two characters from Nick McCormick’s book, “Lead Well and Prosper,” dispense their management wisdom

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Category: Leadership

How Can Your Team Reach its Full Potential?

20 March, 2016 (21:21) | Leadership, Management, Productivity, Team Building | By: Administrator

In the sports section of last Sunday’s Philadelphia Inquirer, Phillies new general manager, Matt Klentak, said the following:

Players will reach their ceilings when they are playing confidently, when they are in an environment that is loose and that allows them to be the player that they want to be. When you are surrounded by people you know, people you like, people that encourage you, a coaching staff or manager that inspires you, all these things allow players to be at their very best.

Thoughts Joe and Wanda?

Joe Kerr: Paaansy!

Wanda B. Goode: There are many different management styles, but regardless, if a manager is able to create an environment as Klentak describes, good things will happen.

Here are a couple of related posts

Maximize Your Team’s Potential
5 Steps to Maximize Team Performance

How to Change the World

26 January, 2015 (22:07) | Leadership, Management | By: Administrator

Just came across Admiral William H. McRaven’s 2014 Commencement Address at the University of Texas. McRaven shared 10 ways to change the world that he learned from his Navy seal training. They are paraphrased below.

– Start each day with a task completed
– Seek help, because you can’t do it alone
– Respect everyone
– Realize that life is not fair
– Don’t be afraid to fail
– Take risks
– Don’t back down
– Step up when times are toughest
– Lift up the downtrodden. Give them hope
– Never quit

Of course the admiral provides a lot more color to the above. Check it out via the link above.

Thoughts Joe and Wanda?

Joe Kerr: Changed my view of the Navy. Can’t believe after all these years the Village People actually had it wrong.

Wanda B. Goode: Nice list and a very entertaining speech. As the admiral states, if we each could change just 10 people, the entire world could change in a few generations. Inspirational and very practical advice.

Here are a couple of related posts

10 Life Lessons from Basic Seal Training from Admiral William H McRaven

10 Rules for Changing the World by Admiral McRaven

2014 October Leadership Development Carnival

12 October, 2014 (17:15) | Leadership, Leadership Development, Management | By: Administrator

Mary Ila Ward hosts the October, 2014 Leadership Development Carnival. Sample the dozens of management and leadership articles posted this month.

Hard Work: Prison Sentence or Dance-worthy?

30 September, 2014 (20:23) | Leadership, Management | By: Administrator

In his book, Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell relays the following quote:

“Hard work is a prison sentence only if it doesn’t have meaning. Once it does, it becomes the thing that makes you grab your wife around the waist and dance a jig.”

Thoughts Joe and Wanda?

Joe Kerr: Guess I gotta get me some of that meaning, because I haven’t done many jigs lately, or waltzes, or electric slides.

Wanda B. Goode: Agreed. The trick is to help team members to see the meaning in their work (by focusing on the customer) and to create an environment that allows workers to achieve a sense of satisfaction with their work. Gladwell points out that there are 3 things necessary to make work satisfying: autonomy, complexity, and a connection between effort and reward. There is much a manager can do to foster such an environment.

Here are a couple of related posts

Making Your Job More Meaningful
The Eight Keys to Finding Meaningful Work
11 Characteristics of Meaningful Work

Wishing Success

2 August, 2014 (14:02) | Leadership, Leadership Development, Management, Personal Development, Success | By: Administrator

In his book, Talk Like TED, Carmine Gallo relays how TED speaker Larry Smith doesn’t wish others good luck. Rather he says, “I wish you success.” Why? Because, luck has little to do with your success.

Thoughts Joe and Wanda?

Joe Kerr: Talk like TED? Good success with that!

Wanda B. Goode: We do tend to “make our own luck,” so I like Larry’s twist on the common well-wishing phrase. Love those TED presentations too. Will make a point to check out Larry Smith’s

Here are a couple of related posts

How to Make Your Own Luck
7 Easy Ways to Make Your Own Luck

The “I’s” Don’t Have It

2 May, 2014 (00:07) | Leadership, Management, Servant Leadersip | By: Administrator

In his book, Grounded: How Leaders Stay Rooted in an Uncertain World, Bob Rosen quotes from a book written by Bill George, Peter Sims, and David Gergen called True North: Discover Your Authentic Leadership.

People who use more “I” words (I, me, mine) in daily conversation have a higher risk of dying from heart disease. Such language is a better predictor of mortality than blood pressure or cholesterol.

Thoughts Joe and Wanda?

Joe Kerr: I gotta die of something!

Wanda B. Goode: Sounds like good news to me. If we remember that “it’s not all about us” we’ll be good leaders and we may live longer.

Here are a couple of related posts

Leadership Traits – Unselfishness
There is no I in Team
Servant Leadership, Gaining Your Team’s Commitment

Punishment: A Teaching Tool?

20 February, 2014 (23:20) | Leadership, Management, Problem Performance | By: Administrator

In her book, The Up Side of Down, author Megan McArdle asserts that punishment is an important part of teaching in cases where people break the rules. In order for it to be successful, though, it must satisfy 4 principles:

  1. Should be immediate and brief (not crippling)
  2. Deviance must be consistently detected and dealt with
  3. No breaks. Punishment for every infraction – “Occasional mercy is not merciful”
  4. Punishment is teaching, not revenge. It should be focused on the positive, on the future.

Thoughts Joe and Wanda?

Joe Kerr: So it WAS okay for me to dock a day’s pay from my admin when she brought me warm coffee, right?

Wanda B. Goode: I can see how punishment might be appropriate to address things like procedure violations and other bad behavior. However, as the author points out, mistakes, such as technical errors and judgment errors do not warrant punishment. Rather, they require training, mentoring, additional practice, etc. Punishing can backfire. Certainly if the 4 principles above are not followed, I can see how it could do more harm than good.

Here are a couple of related posts

Effective Punishment in the Workplace
Six Tips for Confronting bad Workplace Behaviors
Return of Traditional Punishment for Bad Behavior
Effects of Punishment on Employee Behavior

Managers: Lighten Up. Go Easy on the Criticism

12 January, 2014 (23:44) | Leadership, Management, Personal Development, Team Building | By: Administrator

In their book, All In, co-authors Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton warn managers against imposing their personal preferences on team members’ assignments. It stifles creativity, decreases confidence and accountability, and kills trust. Their rule of thumb is, “If it’s 70 percent as you would have it done, then leave it alone.”

Thoughts Joe and Wanda?

Joe Kerr: 70 percent? I’d do cartwheels if I got 70 percent!

Wanda B. Goode: As managers, we tend to think our way is the right way – the only way. Of course that’s not always the case. Further, getting nit-picky does have the negative impacts mentioned. We need to find the appropriate balance.

Here are a couple of related posts

6 New Year’s Resolutions for Managers
4 Avoidable Ways An Employer Can Alienate A New Employee
How do I tell the boss she’s too hard on a great co-worker?

Accountability is Key

10 November, 2013 (12:27) | Leadership, Management, Team Building | By: Administrator

In their book, “All In,” co-authors Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton point out the following:

A lack of accountability is one of the most corrosive elements of ineffective work cultures. It shows up in many ways: people failing to take responsibility, missed deadlines, errors in judgment, misunderstandings, overpromising, personal failures, petty disagreements, unfair expectations, and a marshmallow mound of “should have’s.”

Thoughts Joe and Wanda?

Joe Kerr: I find that my dysfunctional misfits are much more accountable when I threaten to tear them a new one!

Wanda B. Goode: What the authors say about holding people accountable (that is, fixing the problem above), is spot on as well. It’s not just about negativity and blame.

Holding people accountable is much more than criticizing them. It’s about assigning responsibility with realistic goals, evaluating progress, and making positive course corrections at milestones, removing obstacles, and closing the loop by celebrating successes and honestly and openly evaluating misses.

Of course it takes time and effort to do that. As managers, we are stewards of the culture. It’s up to us to choose to improve by putting in the time and then reaping the rewards for doing so.

Here are some related posts

Building Accountability Through Leadership
One Out of Every Two Managers is Terrible at Accountability
Avoiding Accountability

How to Choose a Manager

28 September, 2013 (19:22) | Leadership, Management | By: Administrator

In their book, “All In,” co-authors Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton reference the process that Chic-fil-A uses to select owner/operators. The process can take up to a year. Senior Vice President of Operations, Tim Tassopoulus is quoted as follows:

“Fundamentally, the question we ask before we go into business with an independent owner/operator is, Would we want our children to go to work for this person?

Would your boss want his/her child to work for you, Joe and Wanda?

Joe Kerr: Is the kid male or female?

Wanda B. Goode: I hope so. To be honest, I’ve never really looked at it that way. I suppose it makes a whole lot of sense, though. Team members spend 8 or more hours a day on my watch. That’s a lot. They look to me for guidance, and they expect me to help them grow. I think it’s a good question to ask ourselves, to remind us of the importance of caring for our employees.

Here are a couple of related posts

How to Show Your Employees You Care About Them
5 Simple Ways to Show Appreciation to Employees