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: October, 2009

Flock or Fleece?

28 October, 2009 (21:19) | Leadership, Management, Productivity, Servant Leadersip, Team Building | By: Administrator

Just started reading the book, Instant Turnaround, by Harry Paul and Ross Reck. Chapter 3 references an email that they received containing the following quote:

“There are two types of leaders: those interested in the flock and those interested in the fleece.”

The authors go on to say…

Effective leaders are those interested in the flock – the people they are leading. They see their role as that of a giver – to get behind their people and support them in ways that bring out their best. Ineffective leaders are interested only in the fleece and couldn’t care less about their flock – they’re takers… The lesson here is to be a giver and show an interest in your flock. If you do, your flock will respond in ways that will guarantee your success as a leader.

Joe and Wanda? Where do your interests lie?

Joe Kerr: I got fleeced at the ball game the other day. Paid $8.25 for a Budweiser. That’s insanity! I was a giver that night, I’ll tell you!

Wanda B. Goode: I like the comparison. If you don’t care about the people, but merely what the people can do for you, team members will quickly see through your act. For some reason, that message gets lost on so many. As the authors write, “Executives and managers can be very slow learners.” The unfortunate result: too many bald sheep roaming aimlessly in the pastures, and a lot of unproductive farms.

A couple of Related posts…

Understanding Leadership: Good to Great

Authentic Leadership and Your “Crucible Story”

Ready to Take “The Leap?”

25 October, 2009 (16:49) | Personal Development, Podcast - Management Tips, Success | By: Administrator

Wooden Nickel - Management Tips 4

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Running for Re-election?

19 October, 2009 (20:12) | Leadership, Management | By: Administrator

Just read an article in the Philadelphia Inquirer about a Republican candidate running for controller in Philadelphia, a city dominated by Democrats. It mentions that the Democrats allow a few Republicans to hang around because they “know their place.” They don’t challenge the Democrats. They don’t take stands on any issues. They don’t try to win any elections to increase their numbers. One young Republican said the following about his GOP bosses, “When I’m in a good mood, I decide they are really tired and would rather not be in leadership, but they don’t know what their identity would be without it, so they stick around.”

How true that is for a lot of managers in the workplace. They get used to what they’ve been doing. The pay is good. Frankly, they don’t know what else they’d do if they didn’t have their present positions. So they do whatever they can to hold on. They compromise their values. They learn to work the system. They don’t make any waves. The only thing that counts is “re-election,” which means keeping that management job.

It reminds me of a quote from Charles Jacobs’ book, Management Rewired, where a middle manager states, “If it comes down to a question of making my team successful or being able to send my son to college, it’s a no brainer.”

We complain about politicians, but don’t a lot of us behave like these politicians on the job? What do you say Joe and Wanda? Any of you up for re-election?

Joe and Wanda?

Joe Kerr: If I were, I’d get 100% of the vote. My people love me.

Wanda B. Goode: That is an interesting analogy. I don’t think it fits in all cases. I know a lot of managers that would get voted out of office in a heartbeat! In any event, the point is well taken. I think it’s easy to just flow with the current and let time pass by. Before we know it, we haven’t added any new skills in years and there’s no where else to go. Fear sets in. We hunker down under our invisibility cloaks.

When we prepare for the future, it’s easier to swim against the tide – to put others first, and making a difference. That’s the way to find meaning in our work and in our lives.

Smell the Flowers

14 October, 2009 (21:09) | Leadership, Management | By: Administrator

While revisiting one of Pat Croce’s books, I Feel Great and You Will Too, I came across a quote that I really enjoy. It fits in nicely with the theme of prior posts on attitude, overcoming obstacles, etc. For those that don’t know Pat, he’s the eternal optimist, but that doesn’t mean that he ignores reality.

I think it’s possible to be an optimist and a realist. An optimist smells the flowers and sees only blossoms. A realist smells the flowers, too, but is careful to look around for bees first. When pessimists smell flowers, they automatically look around for coffins.

Things have a way of turning out exactly as you expect them to, so if you always expect the worst you’ll probably never be disappointed. So why not vice-versa?

Joe and Wanda?

Joe Kerr: That Croce is a real pistil! I do happen to agree with him. You’d think dealing with this dreck day-in and day-out would do me in, but not so. True leaders know that every once in a while we need to stop and smell the roses. And, obviously we shouldn’t ignore the fact that every rose has its thorn. Poison taught us that long before Croce wrote his book.

Wanda B. Goode: Pat is the king of positive attitude. In another one of his books, Lead or Get Off the Pot, he mentions that positive attitude is the number one trait he looks for when hiring an employee. Here’s a question from Pat – “When you are in a leadership position with the responsibility to build a passionate team, why would you increase your burden of stress by having to tolerate a negative individual throughout the course of the workday every day?” Good question.

A couple related posts…

A Positive Attitude and the Workplace

How to Fail Forward Into Success

Problem Spotter or Problem Solver?

8 October, 2009 (23:15) | Leadership, Management | By: Administrator

You might have noticed by now that I enjoyed Mark Sanborn’s book, You Don’t Need a Title to be a Leader. I’ve already drawn from it a few times in prior posts, and I’m at it once again. This one is actually closely related to the last post on obstacles vs. opportunities.

One of Sanborn’s Leadership Action Points is to pick a problem and solve it. Here’s a quote from his book,

Spotting a problem is easy. Anybody can do that. In fact, merely calling attention to a problem is called complaining. Solving a problem is harder; it requires an act of leadership. Most people would rather complain than contribute to a solution. Remember, more people regret things they wish they had done, rather than things they wish they hadn’t. There is a long-term price for not following your heart.

Joe/Wanda? Are you a spotter or a solver?

Joe Kerr: What can I say? When life gives me a lemon, I make lemonade. You should have seen the rag-tag group of people I was handed three years ago. Now look at them! This potter takes quite a bit of pride in his ability to successfully mold and shape a motley crew into a productive team.

Wanda B. Goode: I have to admit I do have a bit of the spotter in me. I definitely see the importance of being more of a solver. Although spotting is so much easier, being a solver is so much more rewarding. Solvers make a difference. Spotters tend to make bigger problems.

Here is a related post.

The No Complaining Rule

Obligations or Opportunities?

5 October, 2009 (22:53) | Leadership, Management, Personal Development | By: Administrator

Here’s another one from Mark Sanborn’s book, You Don’t Need a Title to be a Leader. He asks the question, “How do you live life… as an obligation or an opportunity?” Obligations are oppressive. We can’t wait to rid ourselves of them. Opportunities, on the other hand, are liberating and invigorating.

Joe and Wanda?

Joe Kerr: I feel obliged to tell you that I appreciate the opportunity to be part of this blog!

Wanda B. Goode: I like Sanborn’s variation on choosing your attitude. It is so very important. As managers, it’s easy to fall into the abyss of obligation. I hear Sanborn keeps a sign over his desk that reads, “Obligation or Opportunity.” I think I’ll give it a shot!

Here are some related posts.

Choose Your Attitude Friday Fish Philosophy

Attitude is a Choice. You Get to Choose