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: November, 2009

Delivering Bad News

25 November, 2009 (22:40) | Management | By: Administrator

If you’ve been a manager for the past few years you’ve probably been the deliverer of some bad news. How did it go? It’s not fun, is it? Delivering bad news is never easy. The latest issue of Toastmaster Magazine provides some guidance to help make it a better experience for all involved.

The author, Kathy S. Berger, writes that a successful delivery of bad news contains the following elements…

1) A neutral statement that both the speaker and audience can agree on: This draws in the audience and encourages listening. — “The recession has hit our business hard. Sales are down 40% from last year. Actions need to be taken to reduce expenses.”

2) The bad news in one sentence: Just state the facts once. Don’t repeat, and don’t use negative words like “unfortunately.” Keep it crisp. — “There will be layoffs in 3 months.”

3) The impact of the news on the audience: Explain what it means to the audience member(s). Be specific. — “20 percent of you will receive layoff notices at the end of the month.”

4) Supporting details and facts: This is often the bulk of the delivery. — “Since production has been cut by xx%, line jobs will be most impacted. Some back office positions will be affected as well. In two weeks we’ll…”

Joe/Wanda, any thoughts?

Joe Kerr: I always start it off with, “Believe me, this is a lot harder on me than it is on you.” Most can commiserate with me on that. It just sets the tone. Know what I mean?

Wanda B. Goode: I’ve had a lot of practice at this lately. Too much. Practice doesn’t necessarily make perfect, though, if you are practicing the wrong things. Thanks for the tips.

Here are some related posts.

How to Deliver Bad News to a Group

“We’re Letting You Go.” How to Break Bad News Effectively

Delivering Bad News to Your Employees

We Do Best At What We Want to Do

21 November, 2009 (19:42) | Management | By: Administrator

In his book, The Leap, Rick Smith writes, “We do best at what we want to do, worst at what we are forced to do.” Common sense right? Unfortunately as a manager, your team members don’t always love what they are doing, but you still need to make sure the job gets done. So how do you get people to do what they don’t want to do and do it well?


Joe Kerr: Bring Terry Tate on board. Check out this video on the Leadership hub and you’ll see what I mean.

Wanda B. Goode: This is a tough one. It definitely makes sense to assign tasks to maximize people’s strengths and minimize their weaknesses, but we all need to do things that we don’t like to do. It’s unavoidable. The trick is to show team members that there is meaning in what they do, and that doing what they do has a positive impact on others as well as themselves. This can make even the most mundane activity a bit more bearable. It’s also possible to unleash creativity by challenging people to do those routine tasks better.

Nevertheless, in this environment of cost cutting and “doing more with less” it can be a challenge. I’m always open to suggestions!

Here are some related posts that offer up a few.

Memo to the CEO: Encourage Innovation

Fire Them or Fire Them Up

Do You Have Passionate Workers?

A Quote

18 November, 2009 (23:36) | Management | By: Administrator

In Rick’s Smith’s book, The Leap, he opens up chapter 2 with the following quote:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
— Marianne Williamson


Joe Kerr: I fear that our moderator has lost it, and that I’ll be peppered incessantly with feel good quotes.

Wanda B. Goode: Good quote to remember whenever we’re in a funk. There is a way out. We have the ordinary abilities to do extraordinary things if we shake the fear and act.

Here’s a link to the “Management Tips” Podcast with Rick Smith and Nick McCormick

A couple of related posts below

Fear of Failure or Fear of Success

Fear of Success or Failure

Integrity: Following Through on Promises

15 November, 2009 (19:54) | Leadership, Management | By: Administrator

In Mark Sanborn’s book, You Don’t Need a Title to be a Leader, he says the following about integrity:

Integrity, after all, is measured by the distance between your lips and your life. If you want to be a leader in your own life and in the lives of others, you’ve got to follow through on your own promises, whether you have a title or not.


Joe Kerr: I follow Nap Bonaparte’s advice on this one. “The best way to keep one’s word is not to give it.”

Wanda B. Goode: I agree with Mr. Sanborn. His words sound like a chapter out of our book, Lead Well and Prosper.

There are so many promises broken day in and day out. How many times have you heard or said the following…

“I’ll get you that answer by the end of the day.”
“I’ll finish the project on Friday.”
“I’ll call you back tomorrow.”

… Only to see those promises broken.

Effective leaders do what they say they’ll do. They don’t just talk a good game. They deliver.

Here are a couple of related posts.

Connectors Live What They Communicate


The Importance of Support Systems

12 November, 2009 (00:33) | Communication, Leadership, Leadership Development, Management, Personal Development, Podcast - Management Tips | By: Administrator

Wooden Nickel - Management Tips 4

In this ten minute podcast Dr. Dilip Abayasekara, international speaker and author, talks about support systems with a focus on mentoring.

icon for podpress  Dilip Abayasekara's Management Tip [10:14m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

Can’t Say Thank You Too Often

3 November, 2009 (22:50) | Employee Retention, Leadership, Management, Productivity, Recognition | By: Administrator

Here’s another nugget from the book, Instant Turnaround, by Harry Paul and Ross Reck.

A Harvard Business Review research study found that most employees are excited when they start a new job. The excitement is short-lived however. In 85 percent of the companies surveyed the level of excitement declines sharply in the first six months and continues on a downward trajectory in the years that follow. One of the main reasons for this is that their managers didn’t thank them for a job well done, but instead, were quick to criticize them for their mistakes.

What these managers fail to realize is that if they would focus their efforts on showing sincere appreciation to their employees instead of pointing out mistakes, their employees would work harder and make far fewer mistakes. Saying “thank you” often not only energizes your employees, it makes you a more effective manager.

Joe and Wanda?

Joe Kerr: Thanks so much for pointing that out to me, genius! That’s super advice. You did hear me say, “Thank you,” correct? I’m already improving, aren’t I? By the way I’m expecting you to step up your game and become more productive as a result of my gratitude.

Wanda B. Goode: This seems so simple but it’s not. If it were easy, everyone would be doing it. It’s a lot easier to forget to say thank you and focus on the mistakes. A sincere thank you for the reminder.

A related post…

Just Say Thank You. (Period)