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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Month: September, 2008

A Little Extra

28 September, 2008 (19:55) | Leadership, Management | By: Administrator

Employees have been beaten down quite a bit over the past couple of decades – Downsizing, rightsizing, offshoring, etc. They have been asked to work more, while salary increases have been sparse. Joe and Wanda, how do you get employees to do that little extra – take on that additional project for instance?

Joe Kerr: Sounds like trouble in namby-pamby paradise to me! Listen, these saps are lucky to have jobs, and I let them know it. “Do the job or you’re out. There are plenty that would love to have the opportunity to work for me. If you doubt that, let’s do a test.” Usually I don’t get any takers. Now that’s motivation.

Wanda B. Goode: It is not easy. I find even some good workers have a lot of resentment toward their employers and are reluctant to do anything extra to help their company, even if it benefits them. I see it with training for example. If the company doesn’t pay for it, they won’t go out on their own to get it. They’d prefer to stew over the fact that the company is cheap and won’t pay for training. Meanwhile their market value decreases.

Unfortunately, there is no simple answer to your question. There is no quick fix. A relationship of trust must be built through ongoing open communications, honoring of commitments, servant leadership, etc. Once there is trust, it is a lot easier to convince team members that an assignment is in their best interest to complete. When there is trust, it is also easier to transfer ownership to them. Until then, there probably won’t be many anxiously volunteering to go above and beyond.

For an interesting approach to motivation, check out this post.

How “Leaders” Suck the Life Out of Others

23 September, 2008 (22:30) | Leadership, Leadership Development, Management | By: Administrator

Just caught a presentation by Dr. Alan Zimmerman over the weekend, which I enjoyed so much I signed up for his free newsletter. Received my first “Tuesday Tip” today. In it Alan discusses the 2 primary ways leaders suck the life out of others – through their ignorance and arrogance.

What do you think of that, Joe and Wanda?

Joe Kerr: Will my veil of ignorance be magically lifted if I purchase a copy of one of the good doctor’s books?

Listen, I’ve been in this business for too many years, and there’s nothing new under the sun. I’m in the people business, and believe me, I know people. I know My people. I know their good traits and their bad. I know their hopes and their dreams. That reminds me, I think the guy with the long hair in my purchasing group just had a kid. I need to get my admin to send him a card. Often, it’s the little things that can make all the difference in the world. Now there’s a tip for you!

Wanda B. Goode: Tough to argue with Dr. Zimmerman’s premise. When I think about it, most complaints about leaders can be attributed to one or both of those unflattering characteristics. Test it out and see if you agree. Think of a poor manager you’ve had and the behaviors s/he exhibited. Do they fit? Now examine your own behaviors.

You can read the entire tip and sign up for Dr. Zimmerman’s free newsletter, at his website.

Here’s another one of his newsletters about leading by example, posted here.

Trevor’s Tip – Be Bold!

20 September, 2008 (22:54) | Leadership, Management, Podcast - Management Tips | By: Administrator

Wooden Nickel - Management Tips 4

Listen in as this week’s podcast guest, Trevor Gay, shares his management tip – Be Bold!

icon for podpress  Trevor Gay's Management Tip [8:02m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

Communications Quotes

15 September, 2008 (21:57) | Communication, Leadership, Management | By: Administrator

We just had the Wayne Turmel podcast on communication, and it seemed appropriate to continue the theme with a few quotes…

There is nothing so simple that someone can’t misunderstand it. Almost always, the problem can be traced to communications.
— Pat Croce

The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.
— George Bernard Shaw

Communication works for those who work at it.
— John Powell

Communication is the real work of leadership
— Nitin Nohria

Check out the following post for the views of Joe and Wanda on communication problems.

Raven offers up some fine tips for improving communications here.

Communications – The Heart of a Manager’s Job

10 September, 2008 (22:46) | Leadership, Management, Podcast - Management Tips | By: Administrator

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Wayne Turmel gets to the heart of the matter with his management tip. Listen up!

icon for podpress  Podcast - Management Tips with Wayne Turmel [6:02m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

Lifter or Leaner?

7 September, 2008 (21:28) | Leadership, Management | By: Administrator

In his book, Lead or Get Off the Pot, Pat Croce includes the following poem by Ella Wheeler Wilcox.

Which are You
By Ella Wheeler Wilcox

There are two kinds of people in the world today,
Just two kinds of people, no more I say,

Not the good and bad, for ‘tis well understood
The good are half bad and the bad are half good.

Not the happy and the sad, for the swift flying years
Bring to each man his laughter and each man his tears.

Not the rich and the poor, for to count a man’s wealth
You must first know the state of his conscience and health.

Not the humble and proud, for in life’s busy span
Who puts on vain airs is not counted a man.

No! The two kinds of people on earth I mean
Are the people who lift and the people who lean.

Wherever you go, you will find the world’s masses
Are ever divided in just these two classes.

And strangely enough, you will find, too, I ween
There is only one lifter to twenty who lean.

This one question I ask: Are you easing the load
Of overtaxed lifters who toil down the road?

Or are you a leaner who lets others bear
Your portion of worry and labor and care?

Joe and Wanda? Which are You?

Joe Kerr: I’ve been a leader all of my life. As such, I’ve joyfully taken on countless burdens. As it says in the Bible, God places the heaviest burden on those that can carry its weight. Apparently I’m the man for the job! They ain’t heavy, they’re my brothers. You know what I mean? Only they aren’t really my brothers, thank God!

Wanda B. Goode: Wow! This is really nets it out, huh? It’s a real call to action.

Here’s a post addressing another topic in Pat’s book.