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, 2009

Ask, Don’t Tell

29 September, 2009 (21:45) | Communication, Leadership, Management, Podcast - Management Tips | By: Administrator

Wooden Nickel - Management Tips 4

How do you get people to do what you want them to do? Listen to this nugget of wisdom from Charlie Jacobs, author of Management Rewired: Why Feedback Doesn’t Work and Other Surprising Lessons from the Latest Brain Science.

icon for podpress  Charles Jacobs' Management Tip [6:46m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

Explanations are not Excuses

26 September, 2009 (20:12) | Leadership, Management | By: Administrator

In his book, You Don’t Need a Title to be a Leader, Mark Sanborn points out that when something doesn’t happen as planned there is always an explanation, but the explanation should never be accepted as an excuse. The explanation does not relieve the person of the responsibility. It’s good to examine explanations so they can be prevented in the future, but they should not serve as “get out of jail free cards.”

Joe and Wanda?

Joe Kerr: You know what they say, Excuses are like @ssholes. Everybody has one and they all stink.

Wanda B. Goode: I agree with the author. Too often we accept explanations as excuses rather than trying to find ways to overcome them.

Here’s a post on how to deal with employee excuses
Excuses, Excuses: How to Overcome the Workplace Blame Game

And here’s an inspirational post on the topic
No Excuse Leadership II

Shop Class as Soulcraft

15 September, 2009 (21:59) | Leadership, Management | By: Administrator

In this past Sunday’s Philadelphia Inquirer, Art Carey wrote an article on Matthew Crawford’s new book, Shop Class as Soul Craft: The Value of Work. Crawford values manual work above “knowledge work”

The manual laborer is closer to the finished product. There is a greater sense of accomplishment. In a lot of cases, there is also more thinking. Making and fixing things requires creativity and troubleshooting. Crawford, who has a doctorate in political philosophy has also done a stint as a motorcycle mechanic. He mentions, “There was more thinking going on in the bike shop than in my previous job at the think tank.”

Crawford believes the separating of thinking from doing has degraded work. Carey sums it up nicely. “[The cubicle captives] toil at ghostly work in white-collar jobs that have been routinized and stupidified and that are all about process, not product. At the end of the day, their accomplishments are not visible and palpable but elusive and vaporous, resisting measurement by objective standards. Over time, this takes its toll on the soul. It stultifies and emasculates.”

Joe and Wanda?

Joe Kerr: I don’t have a lot of time to philosophize? I attended 8 status meetings today.

I will say this… If this guy is so jacked up about manual labor, have him come over my house and I’ll put him to work.

Wanda B. Goode: There’s definitely a sense of accomplishment that goes with manual labor. I remember when I changed the oil in my car for the first time. It was a great feeling.

I guess the challenge is to bring some of the attributes of certain forms of manual labor into the world of knowledge work. A few things come to mind…

  • Show workers how their daily activity impacts the client, other groups, the company etc.
  • Find ways to challenge employees and give them opportunity to troubleshoot, to improve things.
  • Finally, like craftsmen, the more employees feel like they are running their own business, the better.

Here’s another post on Shop Craft as Soulcraft

Illuminate the Negative

10 September, 2009 (22:16) | Leadership, Management, Workplace Dynamics | By: Administrator

Earlier this week I listened to one of Greg Voisen’s podcasts over at Inside Personal Growth. He interviewed David Corbin, author of Illuminate: Harnessing the Positive Power of Negative Thinking. David offered the following approach toward negativity…

Face it – Acknowledge it. Don’t run from it. Put your face right into it.
Follow it – Find out all the causes/enablers of the negativity
Fix it – Sometimes fixing is just minimizing its effect before eliminating it.

Joe and Wanda?

Joe Kerr: I’ve got my own approach that has served me quite well. Fight It or F#ck it. Sometimes it’s worth knocking it out. Other times it makes sense to just let it go.

Wanda B. Goode: We can certainly learn and grow from confronting and overcome obstacles as opposed to ignoring or sweeping them under the rug. To Joe’s point, there may be times where it makes sense to ignore set backs and negativity.

Here are some other thoughts on handling negativity.

Dealing with Workplace Negativity

Dealing with Negativity

5 Ways to Deal with Negativity

Leadership is Influence

8 September, 2009 (21:21) | Leadership, Leadership Development, Management | By: Administrator

In his book, You Don’t Need a Title to be a Leader, Mark Sanborn tells us that anyone can learn to be a leader. In fact, if you answer yes to any of the following questions, you already are a leader.

Do you shape your life and your career?
Do you affect the quality of others’ experiences?
Do you inspire or influence others?
Do you work to achieve specific goals by working with or coordinating the efforts of others?

Joe and Wanda?

Joe Kerr: Reads like my bio!

Wanda B. Goode: Sanborn does a good job of simplifying what it means to be a leader. I love the definition that he pulls from John Maxwell – Leadership is positive influence.
Here are a couple of related posts.

Two Errors that Erode Your Executive Potential

Leading Without a Title

Accomplishing Something or Just Busy?

3 September, 2009 (22:31) | Management, Time Management | By: Administrator

We’ve talked about time management quite a bit in prior posts. I just came across a tidbit in Dr. Alan Zimmerman’s newsletter that reinforces a lot of what we’ve discussed.

Dr. Zimmerman

You need to understand the tricky nature of TIME.

No one ever seems to have enough time, yet everyone has all the time there is.

And nothing is easier than being busy, while nothing is more difficult than actually accomplishing something. I’m sure you all know coworkers who are busy, but they don’t have too much to show for it. They confuse activity with accomplishment.

Thoughts Joe and Wanda?

Joe Kerr: Can I get back to you on that one? I’m busy right now… back-to-back meetings all day.

Wanda B. Goode: Amen Dr. Z! Spot on as usual. It is so easy to bounce from task to task all day long. It takes discipline to filter out the noise and focus on the most important tasks.

Here’s a related post.

Time Management Revisited

The New Role of Manager

1 September, 2009 (21:46) | Leadership, Management, Servant Leadersip | By: Administrator

In his book, Management Rewired, Charles Jacobs refers to the new role of the manager as “virtually opposite of the old one”

She doesn’t order; she asks. He doesn’t set objectives; he provides information to enable the employees to set their own objectives. She doesn’t give feedback; she solicits self-feedback. He doesn’t dispense rewards; he puts in place systems that self-administer. Employees don’t work for her; she works for the employees.

Thoughts Joe and Wanda?

Joe Kerr: I don’t often quote Bette Davis, but if the shoe fits…

“The weak are the most treacherous of us all. They come to the strong and drain them. They are bottomless. They are insatiable. They are always parched and always bitter. They are everyone’s concern and like vampires they suck our life’s blood.”

Wanda B. Goode: Jacobs makes some good points. It’s more difficult to manage that way (takes more time, more thought, more patience, etc), which leads me to believe that few will embrace his concepts fully. I think those that do can benefit.

Here’s a related post.

How to Get the Most from a Leaner Team