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, 2010

They’re Going to Get You

29 January, 2010 (00:05) | Leadership, Management | By: Administrator

A colleague recently shared a story with me. Earlier in the year, her manager told her that there would be no annual bonuses due to the impact that the recession was having on company performance. Understandable right? She didn’t like it, but she accepted it. After all, what could she complain about? She considered herself fortunate to still have a job.

That changed when she learned one of her peers got a bonus. There may be many explanations for this. More than likely, though, the manager took the easy way out by feeding her that line. Had he said, “The bonus pool is smaller this year, and unfortunately you don’t qualify,” he would have had a bit more explaining to do. My colleague may have disagreed. It could have opened up a whole can of worms.

Taking the easy way out doesn’t always pay, though, does it?


Joe and Wanda?

Joe Kerr: What’s your colleague doing asking about other people’s compensation? It’s none of her business. Hope you gave her an earful. If one of my people did that, the axe would fall.

Wanda B. Goode: Dishonesty will almost always comes back to haunt you, and once caught in even the smallest little white lie, your credibility is shot. In the above case, do you think the employee will put in any discretionary effort in the future? Absolutely not. It pays to be truthful and confront issues and uncomfortable situations head on. The avoidance of a little short term pain will only create a lot of long term problems.

Here are a couple of related posts.

On Honesty; Management: A Ramble
Home Internet Business – The Emotional Bank Account

Fill Your Pack

23 January, 2010 (20:28) | Leadership, Management, Podcast - Management Tips | By: Administrator

Wooden Nickel - Management Tips 4

Do you want to be a leader? Do you have what it takes? Find out by listening to Tim Clark’s Management Tip. You’ll get insights from his brand new book, The Leadership Test: Will You Pass?

icon for podpress  Tim Clark's Management Tip [10:12m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

Business Starts to Flunk Performance Appraisals

19 January, 2010 (23:44) | Leadership, Management | By: Administrator

Just read Kathleen Begley’s above titled article in the Daily Local News, a Chester County, PA Newspaper. In it she talks about the movement afoot to do away with performance appraisals. There are many that believe the experiment has been a dismal failure.

As an alternative, Dr. Samuel Cuthbert, a professor at the Anderson School of Management at UCLA is a proponent of the “puppy theory.” “When the puppy pees on the carpet, you say something right then and there. You certainly don’t tell the puppy six months later, “Remember that time you peed on the carpet?” That just doesn’t make any sense.”

Joe and Wanda?

Joe Kerr: Man up Mary! If you can’t take a little constructive criticism you won’t make it on my team.

Wanda B. Goode: This is a tough one. I’d argue that one of the major reasons that performance appraisals are such a disaster is that they are not administered properly. They are quickly thrown together by managers that have little knowledge of the employee let alone the job responsibilities. In many cases the managers have never been trained in how to give a proper review. Their only reference is the poor example set by their managers. It is a miserable chore that they attempt to get through as quickly as possible.

The performance appraisal should be just a part of an overall feedback and development system. Problem is that all the other stuff, like the “puppy theory” is ignored. The only thing that gets done is the performance appraisal because it is the only step that is mandatory. Why? Because it is easily measured.

Should we work to get more people to implement the process properly, or should we just throw in the towel? I can definitely see the argument for the latter. Regardless of the timing, managers don’t like to give feedback because it makes them uncomfortable. Employees don’t like to get feedback because it makes them uncomfortable. That’s a lot of discomfort. On the flip side, I’d like to ponder a few more alternatives prior to giving up. Charles Jacobs offers up a solution in his book, Management Rewired. Do you have any that you’d like to share?

Here are a few related posts.

Performance Appraisals: Do You Need a New Approach?
Performance Appraisals: Another 10 Years?
Performance Appraisals Aren’t Working

The Confidence to Learn

14 January, 2010 (23:34) | Leadership, Management, Personal Development | By: Administrator

Here’s another topic from Timothy Clark’s book, The Leadership Test. I’ve dog-eared so many pages of the book, this will definitely not be the last.

Tim mentions that you must have confidence to learn. “You will only learn as your confidence allows you to learn. Without confidence you won’t even try.”

So how do you learn if you don’t have the confidence to learn? You just have to try. “If you just try, that effort will drip-feed your confidence and your learning, and they will grow together… If you try, you will see a transformation in yourself. You will look in the mirror and like what you see.”

Joe and Wanda?

Joe Kerr: I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.

Wanda B. Goode:This is not just kids stuff. It has a very practical application for managers. The more team members are built up, and the more they are given the opportunity and the encouragement to try, the more confidence they will gain and the more they will improve.

Here’s a post on confidence.

Confidence in 2010

Timothy Clark on Leadership

11 January, 2010 (22:38) | Leadership, Leadership Development, Management, Servant Leadersip | By: Administrator

I just read Timothy Clark’s book, The Leadership Test. I enjoyed it right from the get-go. Here’s a blurb from the introduction…

Leadership is about stewardship, not self-interest. It’s about moral responsibility for your life, other people, and the resources we share. Too often, this is not the pattern. What we see instead are leaders intoxicated with power, thirsting for adulation, vaunting themselves as if we were lucky to have them. And what do they leave? The littered remains of indulgence, greed, and corruption. How sad it is to leave a landfill when you could leave a legacy.

The universal temptation of leadership is to use position for personal gain. The culminating test of leadership is to resist that temptation. But as we all observe, many succumb. In far too many instances, leaders become lords of entitlement.

What do you think Joe/Wanda?

Joe Kerr: Obviously this fellow didn’t get the promotion he wanted.

I’m going to offer up yet another golden nugget to our impoverished audience. You’ve heard the expression, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. Well, heed it. Get off your high horse, and stop whining long enough to grab your piece of the pie.

Wanda B. Goode: The author’s words certainly jibe with my observations. I think it’s important to point out that it is not easy to be a good leader. As Timothy mentions, the temptation is always there, and it’s very strong. If it weren’t we wouldn’t have so very many “fake leaders” as he calls them.

Here’s a related post.

Leadership is Stewardship

Pigs Lose

8 January, 2010 (00:08) | Leadership, Management | By: Administrator

Last time we wrote about mountain lions and bulls. I decided to keep the animal theme going. I just read a book called, The Bishop and the Missing LTrain – a recommendation from my father-in-law. In it there was the familiar quote, “Bears win, bulls win, pigs lose.” This inspired me to check out some additional pig quotes. I’ve listed a few of my favorites below.

“Our ordinary mind always tries to persuade us that we are nothing but acorns and that our greatest happiness will be to become bigger, fatter, shinier acorns; but that is of interest only to pigs. Our faith gives us knowledge of something better: that we can become oak trees.”
— E.F. Schumacher

“If pigs could vote, the man with the slop bucket would be elected swineherd every time, no matter how much slaughtering he did on the side.”
— Orson Scott Card

“He that makes himself dirt is trod on by the swine”
— Proverb


Joe Kerr: Why does the pig get such a bad rap? I mean, who doesn’t like bacon? Ribs? Those little pigs in a blanket? I love the pig!

Wanda B. Goode: I hate to insult the pig like this, but I can’t resist this one…

“There are a lot of women who live with pot-bellied pigs.”
— Catherine Zeta Jones

Here are a couple of related posts.

Immelt Calls Out Managers for Meanness and Greed
Business Leaders to Get Back to Basics

Enough Bull

4 January, 2010 (23:01) | Leadership, Management, Servant Leadersip | By: Administrator

In one of his recent weekly newsletters, Dr. Alan Zimmerman cites a quote from Will Rogers

After eating an entire bull, a mountain lion felt so good he started roaring. He kept it up until a hunter came along and shot him. The moral: When you’re full of bull, keep your mouth shut.


Joe Kerr: Lord it’s hard to be humble when your perfect in every way!

Wanda B. Goode: I think we could all use a break from talking. Let’s commit to more listening and more action in 2010.

Here are a few related posts.

Humility as a Leadership Trait
Leadership for Lean – Humility
Top Level Leadership: The Triumph of Humility Over Arrogance