Month: August, 2008
A new feature is being added to the Joe and Wanda – On Management Blog – a podcast series entitled, Management Tips. Each program Nick McCormick will interview a distinguished guest who will provide a piece of management and/or leadership advice to help management practitioners improve.
We’ve been getting the benefit of Joe and Wanda’s advice for quite some time. Now we’re widening the number of contributors to further enhance the learning experience.
Each podcast will be in 5-10 minute bite-sized morsels – perfect for the manager on the go.
Look out for our first program coming soon – Our guest will be speaker, author, prolific blogger, and “Relationship Geek,” Phil Gerbyshak.
In her book, Wear Clean Underwear: Business Wisdom from Mom, Rhonda Abrams makes that case for businesses to get back in touch with the timely wisdom expressed by Mom. The chapters and brief explanations of each follow.
- Wear clean underwear. What if you get into an accident and someone sees it?
Do the right thing, even if no one can see it.
- How do you know you don’t like it if you’ve never tried it?
You can’t grow if you don’t try new things.
- If you keep making that face, some day it will freeze that way.
We become what we do. How we act determines what we are
- I don’t care who made this mess. Just clean it up!
Don’t pass the buck. Take action instead of placing blame.
- If all your friends jumped off a bridge would you jump off one too?
Don’t be a lemming. Think for yourself. Avoid the management fads.
- Don’t get too big for your britches.
Bigger is not always better.
- Say you’re sorry.
Apologize when you make a mistake and try to fix things.
- Don’t judge a book by its cover
Jumping to conclusions can cost you.
Share financial rewards with employees. Share management decisions.
- It’s not the end of the world.
Failure isn’t necessarily bad.
- Remember where you came from.
Don’t act like a big shot.
- Quit picking on each other.
Business should not be a series of adversarial relationships.
- Eat your vegetables or you won’t get desert.
Focus the things that make our business healthy first. Don’t get distracted by the glitz.
Joe and Wanda?
Joe Kerr: My saintly mother – God bless her – always used to say, “turn out the lights you jack@ss.” She toughened me up and taught me how to conserve energy at the same time! She was ahead of her time… mean and green! She kept our house running like a top. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree!
Wanda B. Goode: Mother knows best, right? Good lessons for business and for life.
Here’s a post containing a review of the book…
and here’s one that takes a humorous approach to motherly advice.
In his book, The Wisdom of the Flying Pig, Jack Hayhow has a few thoughts on recognition. Here’s one of them.
So be on the lookout for positive behavior. When you see it – say something, do something. It doesn’t have to be a parade (although that’s not a bad idea). It can be a simple word of thanks, appreciation scribbled on a sticky note, a cookie or a star sticker like you got in grade school. If you haven’t praised each of your staff at least once in the last week, you have an inadequate staff, OR you performance as a manager is deficient.
How about you Joe and Wanda? Have you praised each of your staff in the last week?
Joe Kerr: Just yesterday I let my admin know she makes a kick-@ss chocolate chip cookie! It really is one of the best I’ve ever had – truly exceptional – and one of a select few things worthy of Joe Kerr’s seal of approval.
Wanda B. Goode: My answer is no, I have not, and I must admit that I don’t recognize team members nearly as much as I should. It seems like such a simple thing, but it’s definitely not easy. It takes conscious thought and effort. This may sound too scripted, but I think I’m going to start by setting a recurring appointment in my calendar for addressing recognition until I develop the habit.
How about all of you managers out there? Have you praised each of your staff in the last week?
For more on recognition, check out the following posts…
and check out some of the other Joe and Wanda posts…
Shawn Doyle, of New Light Learning, is a master motivational speaker.
“Passion makes all the difference in the world. All obstacles fall out of the way… If you don’t have a passion for what you do, get out. Go do something you do have a passion for…”
Check out this video on one of his 10 Foundations of Motivation – The Power of Passion.
Joe and Wanda, are you passionate about what you do?
Joe Kerr: Listen choir boy, I work for a living. I bust my butt molding riff-raff into serviceable and productive employees. I’m a babysitter for grown children who are gold-medal whiners. It’s a grind. I’m overworked, underappreciated, and underpaid. I guess someone’s got to do it though, right? Five more years of lying low and avoiding the chopping and I’m out. Adios!
Wanda B. Goode: I’ve got to be honest; I’m not always passionate about what I do. There are days when I wonder if being in management is worth it. At times I long for the days I only had responsibility for myself. Those were much simpler times.
When I do start feeling that way, listening to people like Shawn helps. I also find it important to remind myself that my job is really all about the people. When I can focus my time on helping others improve, it brings tremendous gratification. That usually gets me charged up again.
In his book, The Manager’s Survival Guide, Morey Stettner has a “Before You Ask” checklist. He advises managers to…
Use this checklist to ensure you’re seeking wise counsel and you’re ready to digest what you hear:
- You’re curious to hear what the person says.
- You respect the person whom you’re asking.
- You disclose all relevant information so the person can respond knowledgeably.
- You withhold your editorial comments (e.g. who’s to blame for the problem, what solution you prefer, etc) to invite unbiased feedback.
- You listen to advice without rushing to judge it.
- You expect to learn something new.
Care to comment Joe and Wanda?
Joe Kerr: First, why would I ask for someone else’s advice when I already know the answer? I’m not just a pretty face! Second, if I spent all my time getting feedback I’d never get anything done… and for what? To make some insecure people feel good? I don’t think so.
Wanda B. Goode: Sage advice from Mr. Stettner. Of course once you gain the counsel, you must act. If you don’t act, people will be unwilling to waste their time providing feedback in the future.
Now that you are open to listening, here are some additional posts that can help.
Below are some prior Joe and Wanda posts on listening.
In his book, The Wisdom of the Flying Pig, Jack Hayhow mentions that there are two criteria by which managers are judged…
The first criterion is the productivity of the manager’s workgroup. How much work gets done, and what is the quality of that work?
The second criterion is about the people. Are they learning and growing and becoming more valuable to the organization? And just as important, how long are they staying? Turnover is crippling to productivity, and it’s expensive.
Jack then asks the question, “Are your people more productive working for you than they would be working for someone else? Are they growing more?”
Care to answer that one Joe and Wanda?
Joe Kerr: I’d love to see somebody try and get more out of my people than I do! As for growing, they have one hell of a mentor in Yours Truly.
Wanda B. Goode: Sometimes I’m not too sure. I can get so wrapped up in my own activity that I forget that I’m really supposed to be helping the team. Sometimes team members don’t even want my help. It takes time and effort to convince them that growing is not only in the company’s interest but theirs as well. I definitely need to carve off more time for the team. We’ll all benefit in the long run.
How about all of you managers out there? Can you answer Yes to Jack’s two questions?
For more of Jack’s views, check out this interview.
Just came across a story about Rabbi Chaim Soloveitchik by Victor Parachin in July’s Toastmaster Magazine…
During the 20th century a devastating fire broke out in the Russian town of Brisk. Many homes were completely destroyed. Hard hit were shacks belonging to the poor. Although the Rabbi’s home was not damaged, he slept that night in the synagogue with the many others who lost their homes. When the town’s citizens asked him why he was doing so, he told them he would continue sleeping in the synagogue “until everyone has a roof over his head. If I remain in my own house, who knows how long it will take the community to raise the necessary funds to rebuild the homes of all the poor, the widows and the orphans? But if it is known that I too will sleep here until the work is completed, the fund-raising will go much faster.” Finally, when the last house was rebuilt, Rabbi Chaim returned to his own home.
Thoughts Joe and Wanda?
Joe Kerr: Listen, I paid my dues. 15 years ago I was the one working weekends while the fat cat drank his wine and smoked cigars and called me up to ask me if I was done yet. Now it’s my turn. The way I see it, the less people inconvenienced the better. If the young bucks work hard, they’ll get the opportunity to sit it out some day as well.
Wanda B. Goode: That’s an example of leadership in action. I’d imagine the members of the Rabbi’s congregation were willing to run through walls for him.
Do you have any leadership stories you’d like to share?
Click here for another one.