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: May, 2010

The Appreciations Practice

24 May, 2010 (21:03) | Leadership, Management, Meetings, Productivity, Team Building | By: Administrator

In her book, The Power of Pause, Nance Guilmartin recommends a different way to start off meetings. In one or two sentences, have each meeting attendee answers the question, “What’s one thing you appreciate about yourself, someone in the room, or someone outside the room?” According to Guilmartin this simple exercise of appreciation can transform an organization. In the real-life example provided, once this practice was instituted, team members began showing up on time for meetings and tempers didn’t flare regardless of the topic. They moved through their agendas faster and discovered better ways to do their work. They flat out got more work done.

How about giving it a try Joe and Wanda?

Joe Kerr: I’d appreciate it if I could take a pass on this one.

Wanda B. Goode: Sounds like a novel approach to getting people to know and respect each another. When people appreciate one another they are more willing to work together and do what it takes to overcome differences. I think it’s worth a try.

Would anyone else like to give it a shot? If you do, drop us a note and let us know how it works out.

Here are some related posts

The Value of Appreciation
Empowering Individuals with Double A (aka AA)

What’s on Your Plate?

20 May, 2010 (20:30) | Communication, Leadership, Management, Podcast - Management Tips, Productivity, Time Management | By: Administrator

Wooden Nickel - Management Tips 4

We continue to be asked to do more and more with less. Nance Guilmartin, author of The Power of Pause, offers some relief. Do a plate check! Listen to this ten minute Management Tips Podcast to find out more.

icon for podpress  Nance Guilmartin's Management Tip [10:33m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

Maintaining a High Energy Level

18 May, 2010 (22:14) | Leadership, Management | By: Administrator

Being a manager is a tough job. Managers serve many masters – bosses, employees, customers, and other stakeholders. It can be difficult to maintain the level of energy required to do the job well. In his book, The Power of Positive Thinking, Norman Vincent Peale relays the following inspirational quote:

You only lose energy when life becomes dull in your mind. Your mind gets bored and therefore tired doing nothing. You don’t have to be tired. Get interested in something. Get absolutely enthralled in something. Throw yourself into it with abandon. Get out of yourself. Be somebody. Do something. Don’t sit around moaning about things, reading the papers, and saying, “Why don’t they do something?” The man who is out doing something isn’t tired. If you’re not getting into good causes, no wonder you’re tired. You’re disintegrating. You’re deteriorating. You’re dying on the vine. The more you lose yourself in something bigger than yourself, the more energy you will have. You won’t have time to think about yourself and get bogged down in your emotional difficulties.

Thoughts Joe and Wanda?

Joe Kerr: I nodded off three times before you finished that quote.

Wanda B. Goode: The challenge is to rise above the nonsense and the difficulties and start improving things for you and your team. Managers can have a tremendous impact on their team members’ lives. That alone is something to get charged up about. Imagine the power in helping others become passionate about their work?

Here are some related posts

How to Live Your Passion
Restore Trust With Employees? Forget About It
Job Hunting Mistakes: Why Passion May Be a Problem When Finding New $100K+ Executive Opportunities

Jason Fried on Inside Personal Growth

10 May, 2010 (22:14) | Leadership, Management | By: Administrator

Just listened to a podcast over at Inside Personal Growth. Host Greg Voisen interviewed Jason Fried, co-author of Rework, and co-founder of 37 Signals. Much like Greg’s other interviews, it was informative and thought provoking.

I particularly enjoyed Jason’s comment that it’s better to do a “kick-ass half than a half-assed whole.” Too often we do more than we need to. We over-complicate things. More is not always better. Jason advocates cutting the scope of initiatives in half and going at them with guns a-blazing. Focus on the basics and keep things simple. There will be time to address the additional scope later when we are wiser from the initial experience. Often the extra scope won’t be necessary at all.

Thoughts Joe and Wanda?

Joe Kerr: Similarly, it’s better to have half a doughnut than a doughnut hole! Ironic isn’t it? So eat up and then let’s kick some ass!

Wanda B. Goode: This concept is appropriate on so many levels.

Sure it applies to implementing new ideas and initiatives. I also see it applying to how we work. There are so many of us (especially managers) that perform many roles at work, but struggle to do any of them particularly well. We need to narrow our scope – cut out the noise and focus on what’s important.

At other times we want everything to be perfect before we act. Often, it’s better to get a small piece of quality work out there and then build on it as needed.

How about specialization? It’s tough to be all things to all people. In most cases it’s advantageous to have a niche–do a couple things very well.

The concept also reminds me of the agile approach to software development which continues to gain momentum.

Thanks for sharing.

Here’s a related post.
Small Scope But Perfect Implementation

And here’s a review of Rework at The Daily Dose

A Self-Confidence Deficiency

6 May, 2010 (22:55) | Leadership, Leadership Development, Management, Personal Development | By: Administrator

At a book sale at my kids’ spring fair I picked up a used copy of The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale. I’m only a few pages in and I’m already pleased with the hefty 50 cent purchase. Here’s a blurb within the first few pages that I found particularly intriguing.

Lack of self-confidence apparently is one of the great problems besetting people today. In a university a survey was made of six hundred students in psychology courses. The students were asked to state their most difficult personal problem. Seventy-five percent listed lack of confidence. It can safely be assumed that the same large proportion is true of the population in generally. Everywhere you encounter people who are inwardly afraid, who shrink from life, who suffer from a deep sense of inadequacy and insecurity, who doubt their own powers. Deep within themselves they mistrust their ability to meet responsibilities or to grasp opportunities. Always they are beset by the vague and sinister fear that something is not going to be quite right. They do not believe that they have it in them to be what they want to be, and so they try to make themselves content with something less than that of which they are capable. Thousands upon thousands go crawling through life on their hands and knees, defeated and afraid. And in most cases such frustration of power is unnecessary.


Joe Kerr: As Mark Twain said, “All you need is ignorance and confidence and success is sure.” I’ve been told I’m overflowing with both. I suppose that explains how I got where I am today.

Wanda B. Goode: Not only is this awareness helpful to us individually, but how about the opportunity we have as managers to help our fellow team members? Just think of all the pent up ability that is just crying out to be unleashed. As managers, if we help team members gain more confidence, there’s no telling what they will accomplish. Of course we must put in the time if we want to be confidence builders. As Norman Vincent Peale says, for it to work, it’s got to be worked.

Here are a couple of related posts

The Productivity Myth
Building Self-Confidence – Is it Worth It?

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2010 May Leadership Development Carnival

3 May, 2010 (21:23) | Leadership, Management | By: Administrator

Dan McCarthy hosts this month’s Leadership Development Carnival at his blog, Great Leadership. Over forty interesting leadership articles are represented. Check them out.