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: January, 2009

The 10 Habits of Highly effective IT Professionals

30 January, 2009 (00:23) | Book Review, Personal Development | By: Administrator

Recently I came across an ebook entitled, The 10 Habits of Highly Effective IT Professionals, by Simon Stapleton. It peaked my interest because I happen to be in the IT field, and also happen to have a keen interest in improving my effectiveness.

Before going further, I wanted to mention that Joe and Wanda are sitting this post out. Hopefully that’s not too much of a let down to our readership. If you are a frequent visitor to this blog you are probably aware that Joe doesn’t read books, which tends to limit his contribution to book reviews. Further, Wanda just hasn’t gotten around to reading this one yet, although I’m sure she will eventually.

I will forge on without them…

Simon has put together an insightful list. There is no denying that embracing the habits described in the book will make an IT professional more effective. In fact, I think doing so would make anyone in any field/industry more effective. My favorites are the first two. 1) Openly Share Knowledge and 2) Coach Others. Wouldn’t it be nice if more people embraced these habits?

To read and learn more about the habits and get on the path to increased effectiveness, go to Simon Stapleton’s website, subscribe to his newsletter, and download a free copy of the ebook.

I’m looking forward to the author’s future companion title, The 10 Habits of Highly Effective IT Leaders.

Enabling Others’ Suggestions

26 January, 2009 (22:52) | Leadership, Management, Podcast - Management Tips, Team Building | By: Administrator

Wooden Nickel - Management Tips 4

Mike King talks about his management tip, enable others’ suggestions, in this 9 minute podcast.

icon for podpress  Mike King's Management Tip [9:11m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

Bad News

23 January, 2009 (00:59) | Communication, Leadership, Management | By: Administrator

In Mark McCormack’s book, “On Managing,” the former CEO of sports marketing company, IMG suggests states the following with regard to bad news…

Most managers treat bad news like they treat criticism. They either deny it or demean it. Rarely do they accept it or deal with it. Even more rarely do they demand it…

Bad news tends to carry with it an implied criticism that we have somehow managerially failed. First impulse – deny – go through all sorts of mental gymnastics to convince myself the news is not as bad as it sounds…

Letting bad news go un-remarked on is bad management

You have to demand bad news to get it and you have to demand it sooner rather than later.

Joe Kerr: My daddy always told me that bad news does not improve with age. I think he was dead wrong. I find the older I get, the better I deal with bad news. Of course my team might not agree with that!

Wanda B. Goode: Tough to argue with any of those points. If managers can get past the ding to their egos, the next trick is to handle the bad news properly. You can talk all you want about the need to hear bad news, but if you rip the people that deliver it, or make it a blame game, chances are good you won’t hear much more bad news, at least not in a timely fashion.

Here’s a quick post on the importance of delivering bad news quickly
Bad News Early is Good News

Here’s one with advice on how to deliver bad news to your team
Giving your Staff Bad News

and one with thoughts on how to deliver and receive bad news
Can You Handle The Truth?

Be Proactive With Your Business Strategy

18 January, 2009 (18:14) | Leadership Development, Management, Podcast - Management Tips, Strategy/Goals | By: Administrator

Wooden Nickel - Management Tips 4

In these challenging times, Joel Smith, CEO of JF Smith & Associates, advises managers not to lose sight of the power and importance of setting and executing sound strategy. Listen to the 8 1/2 minute podcast below.

icon for podpress  Joel Smith's Management Tip [8:41m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

The Eight Step Process of Successful Change

12 January, 2009 (23:51) | Leadership, Management | By: Administrator

In their book, Our Iceberg is Melting, John Kotter and Holger Rathgeber list the following eight steps for dealing with change successfully.

  1. Create a Sense of Urgency
  2. Pull Together the Guiding Team
  3. Develop the Change Vision and Strategy
  4. Communicate for Understanding and Buy In
  5. Empower Others to Act
  6. Produce Short-Term Wins
  7. Don’t Let Up
  8. Create a New Culture


Joe Kerr: Will you give me a break with the lists? Does anyone work anymore, or do they just sit around and make lists that tell other people what to do? Listen, things change. Sooner or later your iceberg is going to melt or someone is going to moves your cheese. Get over it! Put down the little book with the 16 point font and get some work done.

Wanda B. Goode: I think the first point really says a lot. We don’t act unless there is a crisis. So we have to actually create the crisis to light a fire under people. It’s kind of a shame when you think about it.

In any event, the list seems to make an awful lot of sense. Communications is an area that is usually lacking. We don’t get others involved as much as we should either. I think it’s a good idea any time we embark on a change to delve into this list.

William Bridges has written a nice book on change called, Transitions: Making Sense of Life’s Changes.

Here’s a post on 5 principles that generally underlie successful change programs.
Managing Change Principles For Success

Finally, here’s one on ways that we as individuals can prepare for and manage change
7 Essential Skills for Managing Change

Six Performance Review Questions

9 January, 2009 (01:04) | Communication, Leadership, Management | By: Administrator

In Mark McCormack’s book, “On Managing,” the former CEO of sports marketing company, IMG suggests that managers ask the following questions in a performance review to “transform the standard review from a dispiriting affair into an enlightening one?

  1. Who are your most valuable peers or subordinates? And what can we do to make them better and make sure they stay?
  2. What scares you the most about our competition?
  3. Why does the company need you?
  4. What did you allow to fall through the cracks in the last 12 months?
  5. How are the company’s objectives at odds with your personal goals?
  6. What are the half dozen or so areas in the coming year where you expect my unqualified support?


Joe Kerr: I ask one of my guys that third question almost daily!

Wanda B. Goode: I like the list. Sounds like it can improve the employee-manager relationship and provide some really valuable information. I’m up for anything that will inject a bit of life into the review process too. I’ll give it a shot and let you know how it goes.

Below is another post on how managers can improve the appraisal process
Conducting Appraisals – The Essential Skills

Here’s a post on six questions to ask the reviewer
6 Powerful Questions To Ask In Your Performance Review

Singing People’s Praises

5 January, 2009 (23:25) | Leadership, Management, Recognition | By: Administrator

In Mark McCormack’s book, On Managing, the former CEO of sports marketing company, IMG states, “When it comes to singing other people’s praises, all of us could use voice lessons.” He goes on to say that one’s criticism to praise ratio should not be greater than one to one. What’s your criticism to praise ratio?

Joe Kerr: I’m not sure what my ratio is, but you can call me Pavarotti because I sing with the best of them. Just this morning I told young Chip that I was impressed with his new ride. I told him it was exactly the type of car I’d have gotten at his age. He was thrilled. It’s great when you can make someone’s day like that.

Wanda B. Goode: I agree that we can all be a bit tone deaf at times. Praising good work is such a simple thing, but I find if it’s not on my mind, I don’t do it. I actually set periodic reminders in my scheduler to force me to think about it more often.

Check out this post on the value of praising…

Service Untitled

Here’s one that addresses the fear of over-praising…

Compensation Force