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: April, 2010

Not My Remit

28 April, 2010 (22:57) | Leadership, Management | By: Administrator

A while back someone sprung the phrase, “It’s not my remit” on me. “What’s that mean,” I asked. “It means it’s not in my area of responsibility. It’s a global expression,” was the response. “Oh,” I said. It was the first I had heard of the euphemism for “It’s not my job.” It sounds so much more sophisticated, doesn’t it? I’ve heard it quite a few times since. It seems to be catching on!

My advice… don’t use either. Just get the job done.

Thoughts Joe and Wanda?

Joe Kerr: You know me… I’m all about doing whatever it takes. If there’s a wall in the way, I knock it down. No one can stop me from doing what’s best for my company.

Wanda B. Goode: That’s interesting Joe. Why is it that you didn’t help Sherry out with the Nelson project?

Joe Kerr: Who do I look like, Mother Theresa? I have my own issues. She gets paid to handle her issues and I get paid to handle mine.

Wanda B. Goode: I get it. It’s not your remit.

Here’s a related post
It’s Not My Job

Really Easy HR

26 April, 2010 (22:14) | Leadership, Management | By: Administrator

Jack Hayhow, author of The Wisdom of the Flying Pig, has just teamed up with Mike Forsyth to create Really Easy HR. It’s a fee based HR service focused on companies with less than 50 employees.

For 30 bucks/month, you get access to important HR information, you can track employee sign off on policies and training, and you also get set up with an employee handbook.

Most small business owners have a tough time with HR stuff. Frequently they ignore the area exposing their businesses to unnecessary risk. As the name suggests, this offering makes HR easy. It makes it easier for your company to stay in compliance with the many laws and regulations, and it can also help your staff improve.

I am not an affiliate of Really Easy HR, nor do I get any compensation for recommending it. I just happen to have read Jack’s book and he’s also done a Management Tips Podcast . I’m confident that if Jack is associated with the service, it’s a good one. You don’t have to take my word for it though. Go on a test drive. Really Easy HR has a 30 day free trial period.

What do you think Joe and Wanda? Ready to give it a shot?

Joe Kerr: Can I get Really Easy HR to fire Jason?

Wanda B. Goode: I certainly think it’s worth checking out. I hear they also have some free resources available on the site to include Jack’s book in electronic form. No harm in taking a look.

Promotion Gone Bad

21 April, 2010 (22:48) | Leadership, Management | By: Administrator

Here’s another blurb from Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s The House of the Dead. The main character is referring to prison officers that have risen through the lower ranks and now flaunt their new power declaring themselves Tsars over their subordinates.

Their promotion turns everything topsy-turvy in them, including their brains. After groaning under the yoke for years and passing through every subordinate grade, they suddenly see themselves officers, gentlemen in command, and in the first intoxication of their position their inexperience leads them to an exaggerated idea of their power and importance; only in relation to their subordinates, of course. To their superior officers they show the same servility as ever, though it is utterly unnecessary and even revolting to many people… nothing irritates convicts, and indeed all people of the poorer class, so much as such utterances on the part of their officers. This insolence of self-glorification, this exaggerated idea of being able to do anything with impunity, inspires hatred in the most submissive of men and drives them out of all patience.

Joe and Wanda, ever experience something similar in the workplace?

Joe Kerr: I know I’m not guilty of this, because I’ve never had to pass through the lower ranks. I do try my best to put myself in their shoes though. I look pretty good in a pair of pumps! On a serious note, it’s the little people that make the world go round, right? Without them I wouldn’t be where I am today. I tip my cap to them.

Wanda B. Goode: Sure have. I’ve seen some managers that have started on the front lines and risen through the ranks get a little too carried away with their power. Of course I’ve also seen many that have remained very well grounded.

This is a good reminder for managers to remember where they came from and to realize the impact that their actions can have on others.

Here’s a post to help keep managers grounded.
10 Ways to Avoid the Arrogance of Power

And here’s a funny little story that does the same.
Vice President of Peas

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Jurgen Appelo’s Top 150 Management & Leadership Blogs

19 April, 2010 (22:00) | Leadership, Management | By: Administrator

Looks like Joe and Wanda on Management made Jurgen Appelo’s Top 150 Management & Leadership Blogs list. We came it at number 112. Check it out.

Congratulations Joe and Wanda?

Joe Kerr: You guys are dragging me down. If I had a bit more air time and got to choose a topic or two, we’d definitely be in the top 10. I may have to go solo.

Wanda B. Goode: It’s nice to be recognized for our efforts. I like to think this is evidence that we have helped some people along the way.

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Meaningless Work – “The Most Terrible of Punishments”

15 April, 2010 (21:08) | Leadership, Management | By: Administrator

In Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s novel, The House of the Dead, the main character did time in a Siberian prison. He made the following commentary on work.

The idea has occurred to me that if one wanted to crush, to annihilate a man utterly, to inflict on him the most terrible of punishments so that the most ferocious murderer would shudder at it and dread it beforehand, one need only give him work of an absolutely, completely useless and irrational character, Though the hard labor now enforced is uninteresting and wearisome for the prisoner, yet in itself as work it is rational: the convict makes bricks, digs, does plastering, building; there is sense and meaning in such work. The convict worker sometimes even grows keen over it, tries to work more skillfully, faster, better. But if he had to pour water from one vessel into another and back, over and over again, to pound sand, to move a heap of earth from one place to another and back again—I believe the convict would hang himself in a few days or would commit a thousand crimes, preferring rather to die than endure such humiliation, shame and torture.

Thoughts Joe and Wanda?

Joe Kerr: My guy Fred must be more resilient than a convict. He insists on putting out that silly newsletter that nobody reads. He even does it on his own time!

Wanda B. Goode: Wow! I don’t need any more convincing. From now on, when I assign a task I’m first going to make sure it’s meaningful. Second, I will ensure that I clearly articulate its purpose. I think I’ll try to make my meetings a little bit more effective as well.

Here’s a related post.
Create Meaningful Work: Key to Profitability and Employee Retention

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I am the Greatest!

13 April, 2010 (20:38) | Leadership, Leadership Development, Management | By: Administrator

The C.S. Lewis classic, The Screwtape Letters has the following quote from the evil Screwtape.

No man who says I’m as good as you believes it. He wouldn’t say it if he did. The St. Bernard never says it to the toy dog, nor the scholar to the dunce, nor the employable to the bum, nor the pretty woman to the plane. The claim to equality, outside the strictly political field, is made only by those who feel themselves to be in some way inferior. What it expresses is precisely the itching, smarting, writhing awareness of an inferiority which the patient refuses to accept.

Althought it does’t apply directly, it reminded me of how many in leadership positions pound their chests to try to convince others of their superiority not realizing that they are actually demonstrating their insecurity.

In his book, Good to Great, Jim Collins mentions that humility is the key ingredient to what he refers to as a “Level 5 leader.” No reason to tell people how good you are. Just get the job done.

What do you think Joe and Wanda?

Joe Kerr: Who are you going to believe, Jim Collins or Ricky Bobby from Talladega Nights?

“Here’s the deal I’m the best there is. Plain and simple. I wake up in the morning and I piss excellence.” – Ricky Bobby

I’ll stick with the champ!

Wanda B. Goode: Precious Joseph.

Here’s an additional post on Level 5 Leaders
Jim Collins and Level 5 Leadership

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Thriving in the Midst of Accelerated Change

8 April, 2010 (14:46) | Leadership, Leadership Development, Management, Podcast - Management Tips | By: Administrator

Wooden Nickel - Management Tips 4

David Utts, CEO of Executive Skillworks, talks about how managers need to get on the developmental journey of leadership in order to thrive in these times of accelerated change. Listen to this Management Tips Podcast to find out more.

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

2010 April Leadership Development Carnival

5 April, 2010 (20:46) | Leadership, Leadership Development, Management | By: Administrator

Sharlyn Lauby hosts this month’s Leadership Development Carnival over at the HR Bartender. Check it out.