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Human Resources

Get That Promotion…or keep from getting fired

November 11, 2008 | By | No Comments

Managers & Staff, Career Advancement:

How to Promote & Be Promoted. FREE

Managers, How do you train your team members to take more responsibility?

To Award a Promotion.

Staffers, How do you work to earn more responsibility?

To Earn a Promotion.

If your career management skills need to be sharpened, join us at the Northern Virginia Community College, Arlington, Virginia.

Who: Managers & Individual Contributors; Owners & Direct Reports

What: Learn the benchmarks to promotion.

When: Wednesday, November 19, 2008, 4:00 to 5:30pm

Where: NVCC, Room 304, 4600 North Fairfax Drive, Arlington, VA, 22203 Behind Holiday Inn. See Map.

Why: Increase the student’s value to the organization

Cost: No Charge. Registration is required. Parking is limited.

Since 1960, over one million people have been trained in our practice of management. The MMT class teaches the manager, to leverage management time, and the time of your team, to get more done.

We teach Solutions to Your Management Problems.

Harvard Business Review published Managing Management Time: Who’s Got the Monkey? in 1974, by Bill Oncken, Jr.. The article, an edited excerpt of the MMT seminar, has gone on to become one of the two most requested reprints in the history of the Review. The training summarized in the article is sometimes called the “Monkey Management” seminar.

Jack Yoest, Adjunct Professor of Management and President of Management Training of DC, is a former Armored Cavalry Officer in Combat Arms. His military leadership training and experience guides his management philosophy at the core of Managing Management Time™. He has managed software, health care and international human resource management companies.

Jack also served in the Governor’s Office of the Commonwealth Virginia as Assistant Secretary for Health and Human Resources where he acted as the Chief Technology Officer for the secretariat. He was responsible for the successful Year 2000 (Y2K) conversion for the 16,000-employee unit. He was also a manager with a medical device start-up and helped move sales from zero to over $12 million, resulting in a buy-out by Johnson & Johnson. Jack has consulted in China and India.

Questions? www.Yoest.com, replacewithjackemail, or call Jack at 202.215.2434 to save your spot.

Here’s the script for the YouTube clip,

Manage Your Career: Learn How To Get Promoted, Managers & Staff, Career Advancement: How to Promote & Be Promoted. #9

This is Jack Yoest Your Business Blogger® with Solutions to Your Management Problems.

Managers: How do you train your team members in the right way to take more responsibility?

So that You can Award them with a Promotion?

Staffers: How do you work the right way to earn more responsibility?

So that You can Earn that Promotion…Or to keep from getting fired.

If your career advancement management skills need to be sharpened, join us in the seminar named

Manage your career: Learn how to get promoted & be promotable.

This course is designed for both Managers & Individual Contributors; Owners & Direct Reports

To Learn the benchmarks to promotion…or termination

The purpose is to increase the attendees’ value to their organizations.

To successfully navigate the office politics of promotion and earn more money.

To learn more about getting promoted visit YOEST dot com

That’s Y O E S T dot com

25 Sep

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5 Comments

How To Get More Done — By Doing Less

September 25, 2006 | By | 5 Comments

Work hard, nose to the grindstone, work long hours — and you will succeed.

This is a lie.

Further,

mae_west_yoest.jpg

Mae West Everyone does it. And no one seems to want to stop.

Too much of a good thing can be wonderful, said Mae West.

Or is it?

An unusual trend among working people, is that people love to work and spend a lot of hours at the work they love. Every small business owner I have ever advised worked non-stop. And perhaps complained. And then would ask me about that work-family balance nonsense. But soon would excuse herself to answer an important cell call. (There are no unimportant cell phone calls.)

Non-stop work is bad for your health and bad for your productivity.

Studies show that working 21 continuous hours has the same effect as being drunk. Yes — working too much is a real high.

Among industrialized nations, none work more hours than the US of A. The two-martini lunch has been replaced with jolts of caffeine; to stay awake. Americans don’t drink to escape from work and sleep; we remain at work awake and become drunk. Intoxicated with labor. Starbucks has replaced Archie’s Bar.

And no one works harder or more hours than the boss. And you, the small business owner, will openly admit to working harder and more hours than any one.

Martyr.

(No one likes martyrs, that’s why they killed so many of them.)

Your Business Blogger would suggest that business productivity and employee health can be improved by working fewer hours.

Heresy.

I know. I wouldn’t want to stop either. But I have a trick. An answer to those 60-hour work weeks.

Put those hours into 6 days; not 7. Take a day off. Yes, yes, one whole day.

Stay with me now. Businesses actually have this as policy.

Chick-fil-A, with 1,250 restaurants and sales of almost $2 billion, takes a day off: closing up on Sundays.

Truett Cathy, founder of Chick-fil-A, made the decision to close on Sunday in 1946 when he opened his original restaurant…in Hapeville, Georgia. He has often shared that his decision was as much practical as spiritual. Operating a 24-hour a day business left him exhausted. Being closed on Sunday allowed him time to recover physically, emotionally and spiritually…

It doesn’t have to be a Saturday or a Sunday. When I was working restaurants I took Tuesdays off. It matters not the day.

But pick a day. Then don’t work it.

Many business owners have pestered Your Business Blogger for a set of rules on what is work or not. Because work and play are the same for all North Americans. My only suggestion for your weekly day off:

Be Unproductive.

chick-fil-a_savemoremarriages.jpg

Chick-Fil-A

Family Friendly Leave productivity and production and whatever work is to the other six days. On that one special day: give it a rest.

Oddly, I would suggest no prohibition on exercise. We should sweat on our day of relaxation. (This is America.) Sweating and exercise are acceptable unless your day job is in the NBA or the Golf Pro Tour.

And to make sure it works, find a friend who will hold you accountable. Which you should be doing for business, anyway.

Be accountable to your private board of directors or mentor. Or better: spend the day with kith and kin. You will be more productive — in work and perhaps, in your marriage.

So. To be more productive. Do nothing, one day a week.

###

Update 25 July 2011, An Alert Reader sends this along, circulating on the web:

A young lady confidently walked around the room while leading and explaining stress management to an audience; with a raised glass of water, and everyone knew she was going to ask the ultimate question, ‘half empty or half full?’….. she fooled them all…

“How heavy is this glass of water?”, she inquired with a smile.

Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz.

She replied, “The absolute weight doesn’t matter. It depends on how

long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, that’s not a problem.

If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my right arm.

If I hold it for a day, you’ll have to call an ambulance.

In each case it’s the same weight, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.”

She continued, “and that’s the way it is with stress. If we carry our burdens all the time, sooner or later, as the burden becomes increasingly heavy, we won’t be able to carry on.”

“As with the glass of water, you have to put it down for a while and rest before holding it again.

When we’re refreshed, we can carry on with the burden – holding stress longer and better each time practiced.

So, as early in the evening as you can, put all your burdens down. Don’t carry them through the evening and into the night…. pick them up tomorrow.

Whatever burdens you’re carrying now, let them down for a moment.

Relax, pick them up later after you’ve rested. Life is short.

Enjoy it, and the now ‘supposed’ stress that you’ve conquered ! ”

1 * Accept the fact that some days you’re the pigeon, and some days you’re the statue!

2 * Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them.

3 * Always read stuff that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.

4 * Drive carefully… It’s not only cars that can be recalled by their Maker.

5 * If you can’t be kind, at least have the decency to be vague.

6 * If you lend someone and never see that person again, it was probably worth it..

7 * It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.

8 * Never buy a car you can’t push.

9 * Never put both feet in your mouth at the same time, because then you won’t have a leg to stand on.

10 * Nobody cares if you can’t dance well. Just get up and dance.

11 * Since it’s the early worm that gets eaten by the bird, sleep late.

12 * The second mouse gets the cheese.

13 * When everything’s coming your way, you’re in the wrong lane.

14 * Birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.

15 * You may be only one person in the world, but you may also be the world to one person.

16 * Some mistakes are too much fun to make only once.

17 * We could learn a lot from crayons. Some are sharp, some are pretty and some are dull.

Some have weird names and all are different colors, but they all have to live in the same box.

18 * A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.

19 * Have an awesome day and know that someone has thought about you today.

20 * It was me, your friend!

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Thank you (foot)notes:

Chick-fil-A was just recognized by the Family Research Council for a family friendly; marriage friendly workplace. More at the jump.

Read More

The Lie: A Guide to Fibbing in the Job Interview

September 16, 2006 | By | One Comment

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Truth

Sculpture by

Gianlorenzo Bernini

1652 An ancient Jewish Proverb goes He that covers his sins shall not prosper. There seems to be a disturbing trend that hiring managers are facing: job candidates who lie.

Director Mitch, The Window Manager, one of the best business blogs in the business, had a reader in a job interview with a dilemma:

How should a job candidate handle embarrassing, possibly unethical questions from a hiring authority?

He gives three interesting options. “I see the hiring process as a battle with HR and will use any means, fair or unfair, to trip them up,” says Mitch. That’s because he views questions about why any employee who left a previous job as “unethical” to begin with. So Mitch asserts that an unethical question does not deserve an ethical answer.

Your Business Blogger is not so sure.

I once asked my favorite management guru, Bill Oncken, about the challenge of dealing with supervisors who cross ethical lines from right to wrong. His wise advice was to separate, or fire, or not hire, or run away from any hint of a lack of character.

Only deal with people with integrity, says Oncken; who is filthy rich and never married with no hungry kids who need shoes and private schools. (His hobby is skydiving — out of boredom, I believe.)

But as the Window Manager outlines, sometimes you really, really need the job.

We’ve all been there. Sometimes we rationalize that “. . .the HR kumquat is a jerk who didn’t ask a fair question, or a legal question, . . . and no one will ever find out if there’s fudging on the job application. Evil deserves contempt. (Anti) Personnel departments don’t actually add value to a company, anyway.” Or so the thought goes.

When faced with an unethical boss or an unethical hiring manager, Bill Oncken, author of Managing Management Time, suggests leaving immediately. Even when the hit hurts your wallet.

“Sometimes,” Oncken says, “You have to finance your integrity.”

And this requires monetary as well as emotional maturity that not all of us possess.

I would not recommend lying as a response to any question, no matter how awful or illegal the interrogation. But Mitch does suggest humor or a superlative as a possible way out of troubling questions. As in “I took time off to train for my ascent of Everest.” Or something like that.

Humor is a dodge that Your Business Blogger used to use. My heartfelt response to questions about my misspent youth is, I’m not responsible for anything that happened during the Nixon Administration.

If humor or deflection does not work — that last sentence never worked for me — brutal truth might be necessary.

Years ago, I was once fired by a company – twice – in the same month, both times by fax, the insulting medium of the day. I would always reveal this firing whenever asked. I would explain that it was the dangerous downside of working for thinly capitalized companies in trouble. And my explanation had the added benefit of being true.

I would always get the hard stuff out of the way soonest. I would put it all on the table. Just as sales pro’s know: Whoever raises the objection, owns the objection. And get the “no’s” out early.

On my hiring travels as interviewer and –ee, I’ve learned that there are two kinds of problems: big and small.

Many small problems perhaps can be side-stepped – without being untruthful, like my little incident deep in North Carolina. (Hint: Never throw drink bottles from a ’57 Chevy at high speed.)

Early in my career, whenever that “Were you ever arrested?” silly question would come up, I would always write in NA. Drag racing on the interstate highway system was truly “Not Applicable” to the entry level sales job I was hunting. And if any explanation was required, I wanted to do it in person, rather than be eliminated by rote in HR. A face-to-face sales presentation has the highest close rate.

Fortunately, I don’t have big problems, like a felony conviction, but the terminations come close. I have been fired more times than any single reader of this reputable blog. Goodness, I’ll bet I’ve been fired more than ALL you readers combined, including Rush Limbaugh.

But there is hope for big problems on this side of eternity: Find a Friend. Any real position or client these days will be 1) A created position, 2) In high technology and 3) With someone you know.

Clients and projects and employment come these days through a network of friends and contacts. Who love you.

Like I do.

And that’s no lie.

To thine own self be true,

and it must follow,

as the night the day,

thou canst not then be false to any man. Shakespeare.

So. When to lie? Let slip a little fib?

Never.

Don’t bear false witness — even about yourself.

###

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Thank you (foot)notes:

It is not known if Rush Limbaugh actually reads this blog.

Training Is Never Wasted and The Best Interview Question

September 6, 2006 | By | One Comment

An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest said Ben Franklin. And sometimes learning a skill will pay off in ways unintended and unanticipated.

My favorite interview question is to ask candidates what their high school dream was. What did they want to do, what did they want to be. The best candidates — by that I mean the most contented candidates, have a thread in their lives of what they wanted to do back then and what they are doing today.

An expert interviewer, like Your humble Business Blogger, can discern the contentment and the fire in the belly of the job candidate, by analyzing any gap between high school plans and the current stage in life — I find that the larger this gap, the more unhappy the candidate. Unhappy candidates make for unhappy employees.

Critics of this crazy question accurately say that technology, markets, the world have changed since we were in high school, back in the day. And they are right: the material world changes. Less so people. And what people love to do, and how each individual candidate would like to make a difference.

Here is my favorite example.

She was a competitive swimmer in her youth. And wanted to be a life guard. Her dream job that would make a difference. She trained, studied and was certified.

She found her calling; her vocation but she never found that job.

A disappointed teenager, she took a position as an Assistant Cashier in the athletic center at Camp of the Woods in Adirondack Park of upstate New York in June of 1982. She didn’t get what she wanted, but at least she was near the water.

One afternoon while ringing up a sale, the young girl heard a commotion from the pool behind her across the hall.

A woman was just pulled from the pool. Limp, on her back turning blue. Not breathing. Stunned on-looking bystanders frozen. Inaction.

The teenage girl darted to the woman. Started mouth-to-mouth. The woman moved, struggled, gagged, puked and breathed.

Our teenager never got exactly the job she wanted; that job she trained for.

But her education did pay off. Expecially for one swimmer visiting Adirondack Park.

Training is never wasted.

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Today that teenage girl, now a mature woman, lives out her high school dream making a difference in a big, dramatic vocation before an on-looking crowd of millions. She wanted to make a difference in a unique way. And does so today.

###

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Thank you (foot)notes:

The management at the resort was concerned that the near death by drowning would cause adverse publicity, I suppose. The life-saving event was never reported. Bad for business, you see. Our young heroine was never thanked.

And she doesn’t want to be thanked now. And really doesn’t want this blogged. (But that’s what husbands do.)

17 Aug

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2 Comments

Hiring Super Stars vs Tolerating Turkeys

August 17, 2006 | By | 2 Comments

Microsoft has one real point measurement for hiring.

IQ

Your Business Blogger has hired (computer) coders, sales reps…and government bureaucrats.

When given the option of head count and budget flexibility, I always recommended to my managers to hire the most expensive talent possible — the Super Stars.

Even when hiring government workers.

Into Good and Evil reminds us that when talent really counts, when talent determines life and death, who would get hired? He points us to Professor Kingsley Browne in The Ace and the Turkeys,

“Given the cognitive and temperamental patterns required, it is not surprising to find that the ability to fly aircraft successfully in combat is an ability that not many have. Indeed, it is not an ability that even all combat pilots have. Aviation analysts recognize that the majority of combat kills are scored by a small minority of pilots. Mike Spick has observed: “The gulf between the average fighter pilot and the successful one is very wide. In fact it is arguable that there are almost no average fighter pilots; just aces and turkeys; killers and victims.”

Fighter pilots, like sales guys in a role playing exercise, can practice and give a passable presentation, but,

As one Air Force pilot stated, “Most guys can master the mechanics of the systems, but it’s instinctive to be able to assimilate all the data, get a big picture, and react offensively. Not a lot of guys can do that.”

But the Air Force has a challenge most sales managers don’t: Separating the Aces from the Turkeys,

Ideally, one would have only “aces” or “killers,” leaving the “turkeys” and “victims” to another career path. The difficulty lies, however, in the fact that there is no known way to separate the aces and the turkeys prior to combat. Unfortunately, many of those who will end up being turkeys often do not know what they are getting into. These pilots may have the ability, intelligence, and know-how to fly the plane well, but they ultimately lack the “fighting spirit” that they will need in combat. ”

(Buffalo Law Review,Winter, 2001, 49 Buffalo L. Rev. 51,Women at War: An Evolutionary Perspective By Kingsley R. Browne)

But the hiring manager does have an advantage over an Air Force Wing Commander, the civilian Ace has a track record of Kills.

The best indication of future performance is past performance. Our armed forces are hampered by looking only to recent combat or aerial engagements — and there aren’t that many of those dogfights. The hiring manager has different metrics of combat measures for top business talent. Eat what you kill. Who had produced the best numbers?

In this human resource practice and strategy, there are down-sides as Anita Campbell, my editrix at Small Business Trends citing the Trizoko Biz Journal mentions. She and others make the valid point that Super Star and Aces are nearly impossible to manage. And, indeed, can only be managed by Super Star managers.

But if these crazy iconoclasts can be harnessed, a big ‘if’ to be sure, big numbers are sure to follow. For example, when I had a modest software company, I learned the hard way that a one genius coder was worth a half dozen coders. And not because he (and he was usually a ‘he’) was faster, but that his work was nearly bug-free. Which saved me from hiring three coders just to patch.

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With my sales teams, Pareto’s 80/20 Principle always played out. But the top guy, usually a deviant was always a standard deviation above the norm. My #1 sales guy was sometimes double the sales of #2, the rest of the sales team on the long tail. That #1 guy drove me nuts. But I loved his numbers.

And government bureaucrats? Goodness. I once had an agency head ‘lose’ a $100 million department. It was necessary to find it for obvious political reasons, but we only became aware of the lost unit because I was working the Y2K rollover and really needed to find all the laptops. We finally found it. Hidden away, quietly working away. And there were lots of good excuses why it was floating alone off on its own org chart, in its own universe. How they got paid is outside the scope of this post. I was assured that it was not illegal.

So Anita and Trizoko Biz are right, Super Stars are a pain.

But I wonder how many $100 million business units are lost. And could be found with a few dozen more IQ points.

###

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Thank you (foot)notes:

Your Business Blogger’s columns appear in Small Business Trends on Tuesdays and Small Business Trends Radio on Fridays. Please tune in.

The Lifetime Value of a Customer, A Strategic Prospective

May 15, 2006 | By | One Comment

Business on the ball, outside the Ritz, Tyson’s Mall in Northern Virginia

This weekend Charmaine was managing logistics for a presentation at the Council for National Policy near Your Nation’s Capital. Her goal was to make her boss look good.

One of her concerns was the dependability of the hardware supporting a Powerpoint presentation.

We’ve all been there. Something always goes wrong. New surroundings. Strange equipment. In front of 1,000 critical sets of eyes.

But I told Charmaine not to worry. She’s at the Ritz.

Years ago, I sat at the feet of the General Manager of the Ritz-Carlton for at TQM presentation. (Total Quality Management — the management fads do come and go, no?)

The GM interviewed every hire in the hotel. In the hospitality business where turnover is a mess — he beat the problem by hiring the best staff. And motivating them with,

“We are Ladies and Gentlemen serving Ladies and Gentlemen.”

When the Ritz pledges,

…to provide the finest personal service and facilities for our guests…

I believe them.

And it’s not because the Ritz group are nice guys. They are in it to make a buck. Each employee has a $2,000 authority limit, no-questions-asked refund policy for guests.

Why? Is the Ritz giving away the store?

The upscale chain has determined that the life time value of a customer is $300,000. Solving a 1,000 dollar complaint instantly, is small change for a $300K customer.

The presentation went off without a hitch.

So the boss did a flawless presentation. He was, however, interrupted twice. Not with equipment malfunctions.

With applause.

Exceeding expectations at the Ritz.

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The Penta Posse

Posing

###

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Thank you (foot)notes:

This was an unpaid puff piece.

Man on a Mission reports that the Ritz has the best mission statement he’s ever seen.

13 Apr

By

4 Comments

Illegal Interview Question: Are You a US Citizen?

April 13, 2006 | By | 4 Comments

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Hire the Best People,

but don’t get sued

The law is an *ss — an idiot…

Charles Dickens

Your Business Blogger once ran the Human Resource function for a 14,000 employee enterprise. The boss demanded, “Get the best talent!”

And don’t get sued. It was like playing defense. You can’t win it, but you can lose it.

Anyway, when interviewing job candidates, a series of trick questions are necessary to:

1) Get answers and

2) Stay within the Law

Sometimes mutually exclusive, because the law is, well, an *ss.

So. During the interview, I would say, not ask, to the job candidate,

“That is a beautiful ring [on the third finger on the left hand]…”

“I have the five best kids on the planet…”

“I love California! I was born in San Diego…”

“I’ve been married to Charmaine for 16 years this May…”

This work is best left to your anti-personnel, personnel department. The HR professionals have become as vital as lawyers. And can kill a contact or contract even faster.

Here’s more from our friends at Military.com,

Illegal: Are you a U.S. citizen? Where were you or your parents born?

Legal: Are you authorized to work in the United States? What other languages do you speak? This question is okay as long as it relates to the job you are interviewing for.

Illegal: How old are you? When is your birthday?

Legal: Are you over 18 years of age? Again, this question is considered legal if it relates to the job.

Illegal: What’s your marital status? Who do you live with? Do you plan to have a family? How many kids do you have? Do you have childcare arrangements?

Legal: Travel is an important part of the job, would you be willing to travel as needed?

Illegal: Do you belong to any clubs? What are your affiliations?

Legal: Do you belong to any professional trade organizations that you consider relevant to your ability to perform this job?

Illegal: How tall are you? How much do you weigh?

Legal: Are you able to lift a 50 lb weight and carry it more than 100 yards for this job?

Illegal: Do you have any disabilities? Have you had any recent or past illnesses or operations? If so, please list the dates of these operations.

Legal: Are you able to perform the essential functions of this job with or without reasonable accommodations?

Illegal: Have you ever been arrested?

Legal: Have you ever been convicted of a crime? The crime in question should be related to the performance of the job in question.

Illegal: If you’ve been in the military, were you honorably discharged?

Legal: What type of training or education did you receive in the military?

And this is why you will never hear back from a company about why you didn’t didn’t get that job. It is rude. But it’s not personal. It’s personnel, and

It’s the Law. It has made us all *sses.

###

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Thank you (foot)notes:

Photo credit US Navy.

And this is why managers are socio-paths.

Basil’s Blog has a picnic.

Mudville has Open Post.

30 Mar

By

2 Comments

Harbour League Brings Out the Best for Baltimore

March 30, 2006 | By | 2 Comments

tony blankley book the west's last chance

The West’s Last Chance

by Tony Blankley Your Business Blogger and Charmaine had dinner with Tony Blankley, and a few other couples. I ask him about his days as press secretary for Newt Gingrich.

How Newt did his speeches. Did Tony write them?

“No.” said Blankley, now the editorial page editor of The Washington Times. “Newt would sketch out ideas on a yellow pad in the back of the car on the drive to the event,” said Tony. “He would modify his remarks to fit the [tone of the] audience — but he always knew where he stood and what he would say.” And so did Tony.

Tony warmed to the topic,

My job was easy. I could go immediately to the mics on Capital Hill after session and review what Newt doing and thinking. [President] Clinton’s press people could never do that as fast, because they never knew where Clinton stood on any issue at any time. They didn’t know what Clinton would think or [how to] react to any of Newt’s proposals. [Clinton] was forever triangulating — whatever the [heck] that is — so his press people always had to wait for me to finish, then wait for Clinton to make up his mind on how he felt about an issue at any point in time….because his positions changed all the time.

Nobody on Clinton’s team, including Clinton, had an internal compass; standards; core beliefs.

Blankley was reviewing the Ronald Reagan dictum that Personnel is Policy.

The dinner was arranged courtesy of the Harbour League based in Baltimore. Past guests have included Michelle Malkin and Grover Norquist.

If you are in the Mid-Atlantic area, do get on their good-guy list for upcoming events.

Here’s the next gig.

The Harbour League Presents

From the Gulag to the Killing Fields

Featuring Dr. Paul Hollander, author of From the Gulag to the Killing Fields, — holds degrees from the London School of Economics and Princeton University and is Professor Emeritus of Sociology at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He is also an associate of the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University. A widely published author, his books include Political Pilgrims: Western Intellectuals in Search of the Good Society; Anti-Americanism: Critiques at Home and Abroad, 1965 — 1990; and Political Will and Personal Belief: The Decline and Fall of Soviet Communism.

Thursday, April 6th

7:00pm — 8:00pm (Reception to follow)

Doors open at 6:30pm

Hilton Pikesville

1726 Reisterstown Road

Pikesville, Maryland

There is no charge for this event; however, RSVP is a must. Seating is limited and Harbour League members have priority seating. To RSVP please visit www.TheHarbourLeague.org or call 410-206-3445.

The lecture is free. And well worth your time.

###

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Thank you (foot)notes:

John MacStansbury says that Your Business Blogger is an inveterate name dropper. I don’t know where he gets that. (He must have heard about my meeting Alan Greenspan and Andrea Mitchell — while they were dating! — in the Presidential Box in the Kennedy Center years ago.) John is a good-guy, anyway, even if prone to exaggeration. He has interesting observations on Democrats. May not be workplace safe.

More on Blankley and the Harbour League at the jump

Read More

10 Feb

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2 Comments

Capitalism, Culture and Google

February 10, 2006 | By | 2 Comments

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GoogleIn Chinese there is no word for “privacy.”

Google’s business practices in China are under question. In having a different product for different counties. I am not so sure Google is departing from a sound business theory. I think Google’s strategy deserves a case study. On doing business in different cultures.

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Yoest, Faisal Alam in

New Delhi, IndiaYour Business Blogger was in India working with North American and Indian managers. Having thrown off our British rulers, we still shared a common English language.

But cultural communication was another matter.

American managers were frustrated that Indian executives and staff were not always truthful.

Or so it seemed.

If a supervisor (of any nationality) would ask an Indian subordinate a closed question such as “Does the report include the budget from Bangalore?” The Indian subordinate reply always would be ‘yes.’ Even if the answer was ‘no.’ Accompanied by a side-to-side movement of the head — which corresponds to the up and down affirmative head nod in America.

Was the Indian employee lying to his superior?

It depends on cultural perspective.

(Yes, yes I know — Alert Readers know well that Your Business Blogger subscribes to Timeless Truth: Truth is not relative.)

But the Indian culture is one of deference and respect for authority. It is not within the languages or culture to say “no” to the boss. Immediate compliance — obedience — is something every boss, in every culture really wants — but American’s seldom openly admit.

The culture is different. Where change to USA standards should not be forced.

Supervisors working with Indian subordinates should only ask open ended questions. A question allowing something other than ‘yes’ or ‘no.’ “Show me the line item for employee taxi expenses for Bangalore.”

The USA manager should understand also that the Indian manager will seldom say ‘please’ or ‘thank you’ to a subordinate.

Additional questions are time consuming. But necessary to do business across cultures. And to respect differences in culture and tradition.

I think we should ask more questions. And take the first step.

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” says China’s Confucius.

A single step from a single person. Countries don’t do business. People do business.

Nixon_Mao_china_1972.jpg

President Nixon meets with

China’s Community Party Leader,

Mao Tse-Tung on

February 29, 1972

Nixon went to China. Google went to China.

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Thank you (foot)notes:

In Chinese, in The Common Language (Mandarin) there are no words for “private” or “privacy” as we understand in English.

nixon_great_wall_2_24_72.gif

Nixon at the 2,000 year old Great Wall of China, 24 February 1972

Mark at Mark My Words has commentary.

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Managing Expectations; Managing Exits

January 18, 2006 | By | No Comments

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Fire Someone

TodayMy post on firing caused a firestorm. Let’s review.

Getting Fired should never be a surprise.

The stock market and Bosses don’t like uncertainty. Neither do Employees.

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courtesy toothpastefordinnerExpectations, like people, must be handled carefully.

Your Business Blogger once worked with a Fortune 500 size organization. A particular termination stands out.

A senior manager committed a firing offense. He was counseled. Talked to. But then nothing happened. The employee thought the event was placed behind us all.

He was wrong.

The Boss made the decision, but didn’t drop the axe. “He’s gone, but doesn’t know it.”

Alert Reader Louis B writes:

I think the hard but right thing to do is fire people when the decision is made and manage the fallout or timing with the rest of the staff. And certainly fire people before they spend a lot of money at a time like Christmas.

The axed employee in our case study was not terminated for months. A dead man walking. Who didn’t know it. Who could have been looking for a job. Saving his money. And unfortunately continuing his lifestyle, as in Louis B’s example, in buying a new car.

The firing was a surprise only to him. His expectations were not managed.

And this is the lesson, the effect of The First Two Things a Female Manager Must Do — fire someone; cut someone’s budget — To not surprise, not shock the organization, or the employee, but to be effective.

Nancy LaJoice, a manager at the Baltimore/Washington Corridor Chamber of Commerce, gets it right:

Wow! I am definitely…faint at heart stock. I find Kay’s suggestions [fire someone on day one] as civilized as a dog marking his territory. At times it may be necessary, but as standard procedure, I can’t even begin to agree.

In the Army, standard procedure taught that a sub-par efficiency report should never catch the soldier off-guard. Bad news does not get better with age. Constant counseling was demanded.

Firing a soldier is not an option for most military leaders. Summary execution, maybe, but not termination. Face a firing squad, not a firing.

So. This is the real challenge of female managers. Establishing dominance, as in Nancy’s example; a dog marking her territory — without becoming a b*tch.

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Thank you (foot)notes:

If you do business in and between Your Nation’s Capital and Balitmore join the Baltimore/Washington Corridor Chamber of Commerce. I did.

Are Managers Sociopaths?