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

Entries Comments

Category: Productivity

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

Are You a Manager or a Host?

24 February, 2013 (17:53) | Leadership, Management, Productivity, Strategy/Goals | By: Administrator

I’m not a bit fan of the “reality-based” shows that litter the television programming landscape these days, but recently I stumbled upon a show from which I was able to glean some value.

The show is called, “Bar Rescue.” Each episode, expert bar consultant Jon Taffer, helps revitalize an underperforming bar. In the episode that I watched, Jon asks the manager of the bar, “Are you a good manager?” Naturally, the manager answers, “Yes, I surely am.” Jon then asks the manager a series of fundamental questions about the performance of the business, and the manager is not able to answer any of them.

Jon then loudly proclaims, “You’re not a manager, you’re a host.” Followed by, “You are a failure.” Naturally this doesn’t go over too well with the manager, but in the end, the manager comes to realize that he has abdicated the core of his responsibilities and he accepts and embraces Jon’s tutelage.

Thoughts Joe and Wanda?

Joe Kerr: I’m not a manager or a host. Rather, I’m a leader. As a leader, I do wear many hats, to include my manager hat, and yes, even my host hat. Further, no hot-shot consultant knows my business better than I do.

Wanda B. Goode: One of the questions I’ve been asked by my manager in the past is, “Is your team better this year than they were last year?” After answering with the obligatory, “Yes,” I got hit with the follow-up, “How do you know?”

If you don’t have performance measures (and yes, every team can have performance measures), how can you prove you are better?

Here are a couple of related posts

The Importance of Metrics
How to Measure Team Success
Measuring What’s Important as a Manager
Your Team’s Success Begins with Good Goal Setting

E-mail isn’t a Real Thing

22 April, 2012 (21:20) | Leadership, Management, Personal Development, Productivity | By: Administrator

In Debra Benton’s new book, The Virtual Executive, she relays the following exchange with a former marketing assistant:

Debra: What are you doing?
Assistant: E-mail.
Debra: Yeah, but what are you working on?
Assistant: E-mail. I’m reading my e-mail.
Debra: Look at me.
Assistant: What?
Debra: E-mail isn’t a real thing. The upcoming event is a real thing. Getting the press to the event definitely is a real thing. But e-mail is just a tool. When you leave here for a different job, are you going to list on your resume, “Read e-mail?”

Comments, Joe and Wanda?

Joe Kerr: So does that mean I can’t list, “Attend Meetings” on my resume either?

Wanda B. Goode: Well said Debra. Unfortunately, many of us get swallowed up in the reactive mode of overly attentive email baby sitters. Below are some links to tips on how to use email as a tool as opposed to allowing it to dictate our priorities and workload.

Dealing with Excessive E-mail
Don’t Just Flow with the Current

Continuous Partial Attention

7 June, 2010 (22:06) | Communication, Leadership, Management, Productivity | By: Administrator

In her book, The Power of Pause, Nance Guilmartin references the phrase “continuous partial attention,” coined by Linda Stone, a former Microsoft and Apple Computer Executive. It refers to how technology can influence users to continuously “want to effectively scan for opportunity and optimize for the best opportunities, activities, and contacts, in any given moment.” Nance also quotes an article in the Scientific American Mind that explains the impact on people’s abilities to make decisions – “They no longer have time to reflect, contemplate or make thoughtful decisions. Instead they exist in a sense of constant crisis-on alert for a new contact or bit of exciting news or information at any moment. Once people get used to this state, they tend to thrive on perpetual connectivity.”

Thoughts Joe and Wanda?

Joe Kerr: Boston’s up 2-0 on Cleveland in the top of the 7th.

Wanda B. Goode: Treating everything as a crisis means everything has the same priority. Tough to get anything meaningful done under those conditions. I love technology, but I think many of us could use a forced break every once in a while.

Here are some related posts

Tony Schwartz: The Death of Depth: Less and Less of More and More
Beyond Simple Multi-Tasking: Continuous Partial Attention
Does this Mom Need a Virtual Break?

The Appreciations Practice

24 May, 2010 (21:03) | Leadership, Management, Meetings, Productivity, Team Building | By: Administrator

In her book, The Power of Pause, Nance Guilmartin recommends a different way to start off meetings. In one or two sentences, have each meeting attendee answers the question, “What’s one thing you appreciate about yourself, someone in the room, or someone outside the room?” According to Guilmartin this simple exercise of appreciation can transform an organization. In the real-life example provided, once this practice was instituted, team members began showing up on time for meetings and tempers didn’t flare regardless of the topic. They moved through their agendas faster and discovered better ways to do their work. They flat out got more work done.

How about giving it a try Joe and Wanda?

Joe Kerr: I’d appreciate it if I could take a pass on this one.

Wanda B. Goode: Sounds like a novel approach to getting people to know and respect each another. When people appreciate one another they are more willing to work together and do what it takes to overcome differences. I think it’s worth a try.

Would anyone else like to give it a shot? If you do, drop us a note and let us know how it works out.

Here are some related posts

The Value of Appreciation
Empowering Individuals with Double A (aka AA)

What’s on Your Plate?

20 May, 2010 (20:30) | Communication, Leadership, Management, Podcast - Management Tips, Productivity, Time Management | By: Administrator

Wooden Nickel - Management Tips 4

We continue to be asked to do more and more with less. Nance Guilmartin, author of The Power of Pause, offers some relief. Do a plate check! Listen to this ten minute Management Tips Podcast to find out more.

icon for podpress  Nance Guilmartin's Management Tip [10:33m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

Can’t Say Thank You Too Often

3 November, 2009 (22:50) | Employee Retention, Leadership, Management, Productivity, Recognition | By: Administrator

Here’s another nugget from the book, Instant Turnaround, by Harry Paul and Ross Reck.

A Harvard Business Review research study found that most employees are excited when they start a new job. The excitement is short-lived however. In 85 percent of the companies surveyed the level of excitement declines sharply in the first six months and continues on a downward trajectory in the years that follow. One of the main reasons for this is that their managers didn’t thank them for a job well done, but instead, were quick to criticize them for their mistakes.

What these managers fail to realize is that if they would focus their efforts on showing sincere appreciation to their employees instead of pointing out mistakes, their employees would work harder and make far fewer mistakes. Saying “thank you” often not only energizes your employees, it makes you a more effective manager.

Joe and Wanda?

Joe Kerr: Thanks so much for pointing that out to me, genius! That’s super advice. You did hear me say, “Thank you,” correct? I’m already improving, aren’t I? By the way I’m expecting you to step up your game and become more productive as a result of my gratitude.

Wanda B. Goode: This seems so simple but it’s not. If it were easy, everyone would be doing it. It’s a lot easier to forget to say thank you and focus on the mistakes. A sincere thank you for the reminder.

A related post…

Just Say Thank You. (Period)

Flock or Fleece?

28 October, 2009 (21:19) | Leadership, Management, Productivity, Servant Leadersip, Team Building | By: Administrator

Just started reading the book, Instant Turnaround, by Harry Paul and Ross Reck. Chapter 3 references an email that they received containing the following quote:

“There are two types of leaders: those interested in the flock and those interested in the fleece.”

The authors go on to say…

Effective leaders are those interested in the flock – the people they are leading. They see their role as that of a giver – to get behind their people and support them in ways that bring out their best. Ineffective leaders are interested only in the fleece and couldn’t care less about their flock – they’re takers… The lesson here is to be a giver and show an interest in your flock. If you do, your flock will respond in ways that will guarantee your success as a leader.

Joe and Wanda? Where do your interests lie?

Joe Kerr: I got fleeced at the ball game the other day. Paid $8.25 for a Budweiser. That’s insanity! I was a giver that night, I’ll tell you!

Wanda B. Goode: I like the comparison. If you don’t care about the people, but merely what the people can do for you, team members will quickly see through your act. For some reason, that message gets lost on so many. As the authors write, “Executives and managers can be very slow learners.” The unfortunate result: too many bald sheep roaming aimlessly in the pastures, and a lot of unproductive farms.

A couple of Related posts…

Understanding Leadership: Good to Great

Authentic Leadership and Your “Crucible Story”

Facing the Hard Facts About the Soft Side of Business

18 August, 2009 (20:57) | Leadership, Management, Podcast - Management Tips, Productivity, Team Building | By: Administrator

Wooden Nickel - Management Tips 4

In this 10 minute podcast Karl Edwards shares 3 hard facts about people and describes how to maximize employee engagement.

icon for podpress  Karl Edwards' Management Tip [10:11m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

Layoff Survivor Sickness

22 June, 2009 (23:14) | Communication, Leadership, Management, Productivity, Workplace Dynamics | By: Administrator

There is an article in the July, ’09 issue of Toastmasters Magazine that addresses the difficulties experienced by those that survive job layoffs. Apparently there is a name for it… Layoff Survivor Sickness.

Those that are left behind frequently experience guilt, insecurity, anger, and fear. Not all that surprising, the typical management approach is to ignore the situation resulting in “plummeting productivity, more concentration-related errors, and increasingly listless and risk-averse employees.”

What’s the solution? Again, somewhat obvious, is frequent and honest communication. Management should explain the reasons why decisions have been made and field employee questions. Layoff survivors (including managers) should be encouraged to vent their feelings both in one-on-one meetings with their managers as well as in group settings.

Thoughts Joe and Wanda?

Joe Kerr: Buck up and get back to work! You’re lucky to have a job, and if you don’t quit your whining, you may not have it for long… That’s the softer side of Joe Kerr.

Wanda B. Goode: While most companies struggle with communications during good times, they seem to clam up even more during bad times… not good for the many that are left holding the bag. In difficult times, those managers that are comfortable with the softer skills like listening and empathizing, are those that will be most successful.

Here are some related posts

Ombuds Can Help Minimize Effects of Layoffs

Overcoming Layoff Survivor Sickness