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

Month: February, 2009

Concentrate on the Fundamentals

27 February, 2009 (01:17) | Leadership, Management, Personal Development, Success | By: Administrator

A few days ago we posted a podcast with Jason Jennings. His tip was to share your strategy with everyone. The successful CEOs that Jason interviewed for his new book, Hit the Ground Running, willingly share their strategies with the competition. Why? Because they know that even if the competitors steal their ideas, they will fall down with the fundamental step of execution.

Earlier in the month I also did an interview with Trevor Gay on his Simplicity Blog. He asked for three tips for new leaders. The first one I gave was to concentrate on the fundamentals. They are the requisite building blocks for success in so many aspects of life

Fundamentals are not glamorous. They’re usually not much fun. Developing them requires hard work and discipline. That’s why they are so frequently ignored. How many times have you witnessed a manager violate a basic fundamental of leadership?

Joe and Wanda, would you care to comment?

Joe Kerr: I’m fundamentally in agreement with you – a rare occurrence. Blocking and tackling, baby! Even being the quick study that I am, it took me a while to master the fundamentals. I do my best to pass along my knowledge to others.

Wanda B. Goode: Agreed. I find that more often than not, managers don’t even manage any more. They don’t show their faces until there is a crisis. It’s tough to build an engaged work force that way. Making improvements in the fundamentals of management and leadership takes time – time that most are not willing to take. They tend to pay the price in the long run.

Why not spend some time this week on the fundamentals? The posts below might help.

Here’s one on the Fundamentals of Marine Core Leadership.

Here’s a post with a tip for how to Get Back to Leadership Basics.

Kicking The Recession’s Butt

23 February, 2009 (22:18) | Book Review, Leadership, Management | By: Administrator

Jack Hayhow recently released an ebook entitled, Kicking The Recession’s Butt. As the title suggests, it’s all about how to succeed in these trying times. Actually, the pointers apply to any time, but the recession has definitely created a heightened sense of urgency to act.

Hayhow presents sound fundamental principles for achieving success in business. First, confront reality by ensuring the right strategy and the right people are doing the right work to deliver the company’s product(s) or service(s). The author provides practical tips and examples to take the reader through this important process.

The next step is to stimulate sales! After all, sales are the key. No revenue, no cash. No cash, no business. How do companies sell more when customers are tightening their belts? They create “wildly enthusiastic customers” by inventing new satisfaction, improving product design, and making sure customers know they care about them.

The author provides additional tips and directions for how true leaders succeed within the confines of the present reality of doing more with less. Lot’s of good advice in this short, easily digestible read. It’s available for free download at

Here’s a related post on Innovating during a recession.

… and one on Helping employees during a recession

Share the Strategy with Everyone

20 February, 2009 (01:39) | Communication, Leadership, Management, Podcast - Management Tips, Strategy/Goals | By: Administrator

Wooden Nickel - Management Tips 4

In this ten minute podcast, best selling author Jason Jennings shares a tip from his latest book, Hit the Ground Running. Find out why it’s so important for leaders to share the company strategy with everyone.

icon for podpress  Jason Jennings' Management Tip [9:56m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

Managing Change in the Workplace

17 February, 2009 (00:08) | Book Review, Management | By: Administrator

After doing a post on change management a while back I got introduced to Leslie Allan’s ebook titled, Managing Change in the Workplace: A Practical Guide. True to its title, it is indeed a practical guide. The author provides step-by-step actions to guide the reader through the change process. Although quite short (I love short books!), it is extremely comprehensive.

Allan describes the aspects of the change management process and how to implement change successfully. In doing so, not only does the reader get introduced to the 5 principles guiding successful change programs and the author’s CHANGE implementation approach, but there are also primers on goal setting, project management, and forming teams – all necessary components for implementing change successfully.

Care to comment, Joe and Wanda?

Joe Kerr: I have not read the book. As you are well aware, I learn by doing, not by burying my nose in paper and ink. I will say that I’m not sure why people make such a fuss over change. Some say they embrace change. I take it a step further – a big step. I’m addicted to change. I just can’t get enough of it. In fact, when there’s not enough, I manufacture my own. I need my change fix. Makes me feel alive. Keeps my guys on their toes too.

Wanda B. Goode: I enjoyed the book. Not surprisingly, much of the focus is on preparation and planning. Some may look to short-cut these activities. Those that do will continue to flounder. This book is for those that want to succeed. It’s a fine roadmap for implementing change successfully.

As for the change addict, ask him about the time housekeeping switched the toilet paper from two ply to one ply. I hear he still brings in his own roll.

Joe Kerr: Now Wanda, that’s not fair. One of these days, and I hope that day comes soon, you will learn that some things are sacred, and T.P. is one of those things.

Wanda B. Goode: O brother!

For additional information on change management check out Leslie Allan’s website –

Here are a few other posts as well.

This one gives a good reason for improving your change management capability.
Effective Change Management: Building Your Internal Change Capability.

This one points out the importance of Engaging the People in the change management process.
Change Management Life Cycle Phase II: Engage the People.

Involve Employees in Defining Work Processes

11 February, 2009 (21:51) | Management, Podcast - Management Tips, Productivity | By: Administrator

Wooden Nickel - Management Tips 4

In this 10 minute podcast, Les Allan, Director at Business Performance Pty Ltd touts the benefits of involving employees in defining their work processes.

icon for podpress  Les Allan's Management Tip [9:53m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

When Simple Correcting Fails

10 February, 2009 (00:03) | Leadership, Management, Problem Performance | By: Administrator

In his book, Getting Up to Speed, George Lumsden writes, the following tidbits about disciplining employees.

  • When an employee fails to behave, in many cases you have failed as a manager.
  • Penalties, or withholding motivators, must be done in some cases, but not before preceding with a solid effort at counseling.
  • When doling out a penalty, be sure to explain what you are doing and why you are doing it.
  • Give first time offenders lighter penalties than repeaters, but be careful not to deal too lightly with any offense because that is an implicit invitation to repeat it.
  • Distinguish between employee actions that are mistakes vs. outright challenges to your authority. Caution mistakes and treat them with added coaching and training. Meet challenges differently: Go nose to nose with the challenger, because that’s part of your job as a manager, like it or not.
  • Keep an eye open for problems, counsel and correct. When that fails, face up to discipline. If that doesn’t work, ready the employee for a long walk on the outside.
  • If you don’t like to discipline, manage very well.

Joe Kerr: I like the part about going nose to nose. I like to go nose to startled, cowering, and sniveling nose when I put the fear of God in my victim by offering up a good old fashioned dose of wrath, chastisement, and humiliation — a very effective motivational prescription.

Wanda B. Goode: Few people in a management position will tell you the job is easy. This is one of the more difficult things. In a perfect world everyone would behave nicely and cooperation would be a given. That’s not the way it works though. I agree that if you are communicating well, providing timely and honest feedback, and counseling appropriately, the disciplining is nowhere near as frequent. However, there comes a time when it’s got to be done. Yes it’s a hassle. Yes it’s uncomfortable, but it never goes away and it never gets any better on its own.

I recommend doing some roll playing with your manager prior to doling out discipline, and depending on the severity, you HR department should be involved as well.

Here’s a post describing Ken Blanchard’s One Minute Reprimand

5 Ways to Succeed During Challenging Economic Times

3 February, 2009 (23:42) | Leadership, Management, Podcast - Management Tips | By: Administrator

Wooden Nickel - Management Tips 4

In this podcast, Rob Waite, CEO of Drexel Metals and author of The Lost Art of General Management provides strategies that companies can use to succeed during an economic downturn.

icon for podpress  Rob Waite's Management Tip [9:26m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download