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USS Bonefish Lost: A Remembrance 18 June

June 13, 2007 | By | 3 Comments

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A homecoming at a Navy pier

Norfolk, Virginia, undated Homecomings are exciting. And none more so as when a ship returns to port. To family.

But not all boats return.

The picture at left was taken by a shipboard Navy photographer capturing the emotion of waiting wives and children. Mom is seen at the lower right.

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Every year around father’s day, our household remembers how very lucky we are. To celebrate dads and sacrifice. And the boys who never became dads.

This piece was originally published by The Virginian Pilot and the Courier Post.

DEBT OF HONOR: REMEMBERING THE USS BONEFISH

My father, then only a teen-ager from Jersey, left high school, went to war and was assigned to the submarine, USS Bonefish. Just before the final mission of the Bonefish, my father walked off the gangplank – transferred to another assignment. Another man took his place.

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USS Bonefish,

Returning from her 4th patrol.

Sailors, rest your oars.

On its eighth mission, on June 18, 1945, the Bonefish was lost fighting the enemy in the Sea of Japan, with the loss of all 53 officers and men. It was the last U.S. submarine sunk in World War II. Dad eventually went back to high school and married my mother.

The other man is “on eternal patrol,” as the veterans say.

A half-century later, after fighting in and surviving two wars, my father was buried in Arlington Cemetery. He had the chance to raise a family and devote 30 years to the armed services, and pin second lieutenant bars on my shoulders.

He didn’t talk much about the Bonefish or the man who replaced him.

Still, I imagine in some Navy Valhalla my dad and this other sailor linked up together and asked the Creator, “Why?”

“Why him? Why me?”

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John Sr. with John Jr.

War forces these questions on us, and they echo for generations. My father had me, and I now have a 4-year-old son, John, who carries his grandfather’s name and his love of battle and discipline.

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John III with

John Jr. (Jack) John, like all children, often asks, “Why?” Like all fathers, I struggle to answer. But there are questions mere human reason cannot fathom.

Why was my father not on that submarine that fateful day?

And the answer does not come. Only that John now lives. With a purpose and a destiny still unknown.

When my wife was pregnant with our first child, someone asked her, “What is your greatest fear?” She answered that it was losing her husband; she feared the possibility of facing the awesome responsibility of motherhood alone.

But now, several children later, as I reflect on that same question, my fear is not of losing her, or even one of our daughters. I fear losing my son. In my masculine pride, I believe I can protect my wife and girls, but in my heart lurks the dread possibility that I must one day send my son to war.

My boy loves my cavalry saber and my dad’s medals. Wearing a military uniform and military service runs in our family. My son’s bloodline is traced through the Civil War and the Revolutionary War to William Penn to Charlemagne of ninth century France. His great-grandfather helped build Virginia Military Institute.

I pray the time never comes, but if it does, I expect that he will fight for God and country like his fathers before him.

Buried at sea, there are no headstones. I cannot mark the grave of the man who took my father’s place, so I mark the date. I pay silent homage in remembrance of June 18, 1945, when the sea smashed through the bulkheads and turned a warship into a coffin.

There have been many such coffins, and if history is any teacher there are many yet to come.

When I think of future wars, I pray that a doomed high-tech Bonefish will not carry my John. The fear of this nearly unendurable loss humbles me. That young man who walked on the Bonefish to take my father’s place was another man’s son. Another man’s dreams lost at sea.

War turns civilization on its head. In peace, sons bury fathers. In war, fathers bury sons.

It is a weighty debt. A debt of honor due. I expect to instill in my son a sense of history, of purpose, of his mission. That his body is not entirely his own, that he has a high calling.

I hope that I can teach him the lessons of his forefathers, those men now called the Greatest Generation.

It is my prayer that instilling this sense of mission will drive out the distractions, temptations and destructions of his growing generation. That drugs will not cloud his ambition. That he will see the hand of divine providence moving in his life.

That he will know he has so much to be thankful for. Like his fathers before him.

I pray he will be grateful, like his grandfather. It is my charge to tell my son that another man took his grandfather’s place. My son has the duty, and like me, the obligation to his family and to that other man, to live with a sense of purpose and awe.

To live with a sense of respect to the tomb of that other young submariner.

This June 18, I want to salute the man who died for me and the men who died for us all. I want my son to know his debt of honor. And, God willing, my son will bury me.

John Wesley Yoest, Jr., of Richmond, is [the former] assistant secretary for the Department of Health and Human Resources for the Commonwealth of Virginia.

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Thank you (foot)notes:

Since this was first published a few years ago, Your Business Blogger has been honored to hear from other veterans who served on the Bonefish and naval historians. There were actually 85 men lost aboard the Bonefish and another boat holds the distinction of last sub lost in the war.

Charmaine blogged on the Bonefish June years past.

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James and Jack And, since this article was written, we’ve added John’s brother James to the family — here he is in the same sailor suit that dad sewed by hand while at sea decades and decades ago. Sons (and grandsons) of thunder.

See here for our visit to Arlington Cemetery.

Alert reader Greg Gray reminds us that,

“In peace, sons bury fathers. In war, fathers bury sons.”

That comes from Herodotus 1:87. But it’s still a wonderful point. Also relevant to today is Pericles’ oration in Thucydides’ Peloponnesian Wars.

Published: June 18, 1999

Section: LOCAL, page B11

Type of story: OPINION

Source: JOHN WESLEY YOEST

© 1999- Landmark Communications Inc.

Description of illustration(s):

Art by Margaret Scott

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See Five Days in May: USS Scorpion Lost another boat that did not come home.

Be sure to visit Ron Newton with A Noble Generation Of Workers Matured The Hard Way.

Management Training, Military Recruiting: Too Easy?

June 2, 2007 | By | 4 Comments

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New Navy Recruiting Poster (child) If a task is too easy, men won’t do it.

A team will pull together and accomplish most any project if it is perceived as a “Peak Experience.”

But most management training and large organizations may not be challenging enough to develop teams or develop leaders.

Naval writer Patrick O’Brien speaks to the challenge that men need. In the age of sail and tall masts, sailors climbing aloft would have to pass through — or around — the crow’s nest.

The men would take the more difficult and dangerous route.

They would climb around the outside edge of the crow’s nest. Grabbing the rigging hand-over-hand dangling 50 feet or more above deck.

Rather than take the safer and easier and more direct route through the lubber’s hole in the crow’s nest.

The lubber’s hole was the easy way. For sissies.

Real men demand a challenge. Real men keep score. Real men duel. They do not sit through Anger Management classes.

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Crow’s Nest and Lubber’s Hole Winning must never be seen as easy. Like winning the Super Bowl in the NFL, the winner is celebrated, the loser humiliated.

The losing team does not have to wear Baby Blue.

But perhaps they should.

Every program, every management training program should have a wash-out rate. And the organization should brag about it.

Avoid the lubber’s hole. Make it difficult.

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Lubber’s Hole

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Thank you (foot)notes:

Your Business Blogger has an interest in advancing the training of managers; see Management Training of DC. It is not easy.

Alert Reader’s will remember O’Brien’s Captain Aubrey did, in fact use the lubber’s hole when climbing aloft. Captain Aubrey did not have to prove his physical prowess. (He was actually, well, a bit chubby.) He knew how and when to prove himself to his crew. The mature manager knows the difference.

Navy Recruiting poster citation at USNA-at-Large, hat tip to John Howland.

Well done sir, God loves a pedant, though I find them poor pitiful fellows more use on land than aboard a king’s ship, they are the sort who would use the lubbers’ hole in a mere topgallant breeze. :)

UPDATE: More from the USNA Alums at the jump.

Read More

Today’s Military Mission: Win Wars or Jobs Program?

May 31, 2007 | By | One Comment

Some time ago, Your Business Blogger was invited by FOX NEWS to discuss social programs in the military and the new Congress. Following are the back of the envelope notes for the show prep.

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Damascus Nancy Pelosi

Courtesy: Rush Limbaugh Liberal Democrats have taken control of Congress in this terrible time of war. What does this mean for the armed services?

High on the law makers’ agenda is the Global War on Terror. The debate raging over our involvement in Iraq has been high profile and headline-grabbing.

But there is another agenda; a hidden one that isn’t making headlines. An agenda that is attempting to change the culture of our military.

High on the hidden agenda is to advance liberal ideologies by remaking the military. This re-engineering campaign is a three-pronged effort:

1) Reinstituting the draft

2) Entrenching women in combat and

3) Encourage homosexuals in the military.

The Draft

Democratic Congressman Charlie Rangel is pushing the draft, using involuntary conscription as a legislative tactic to end what he sees as an unpopular war by having even smart rich white kids get killed.

But what is driving the congressman’s hidden agenda is to provide manpower in the cultural war. A few years ago army veteran Rangel first introduced legislation to bring back the draft for both men and women; with no exception for conscientious objectors. Draftees would “volunteer” for some approved social public-works. Liberals want legions of indentured servants for government programs.

The purpose of the draft is to maintain military numerical strength in an extreme national emergency. Because the draft is designed for combat replacements, only men — not women must currently register.

But many social engineers including Rangel would want women drafted to fight in combat.

Women in Combat

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Men have to do 3 chin-ups to be in the

Marines. Women don’t have to do any. Zero. None.The hidden agenda also includes advancing women in land combat. President Bush has clearly stated that women will not be placed in land combat and be subjected to Direct Ground Fire. But the left-leaning Flags of senior generals and admirals are not only placing women in harm’s way but also into combat. 77 women have died in our current war, where only 16 died in Vietnam, most of them were nurses.

Feminist have long preached that men and women are interchangeable and that being a male or female was simply a social construct. The new congress will want to advance these egalitarian goals in the mistake of pursuing the women’s vote as (former) senator George Allen did. (See Allen’s support of women at VMI.)

But the military is not subject to the Equal Opportunity and Employment Commission. The battlefield is not regulated by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration.

Combat is violence against women.

Liberal Democrats in the coming months will force the armed services to evolve, to grow; to achieve higher consciousness. Liberals in Congress will demand EEO hires into OSHA compliant combat to remake a new and improved military.

The end result is a liberal Department of Defense which may or may not win any wars but will pass EEO muster.

After training by feminists in Anger Management.

Over the past few years, armed forces policy has been the domain of the generals and less of the civilians elected and appointed. The civilian leadership ceded control to the Pentagon Brass. Empty civilian Armani’s were replaced with Class A military Uniforms.

Not that there’s necessarily anything wrong with that…

Except the military leadership was as liberal as the civilians they replaced. Forgetting the true job of the armed forces. The purpose of our military has a single goal: To defend our institutions. Our way of life. Freedom. Congress is charged with providing for the common defense.

Unfortunately Democrats in Congress will demand control to change the culture of the military.

Lifting the Homosexual Ban

As recently as 1993, Congress affirmed in law that homosexuality is incompatible with military service. But Clinton-era “Don’t Ask; Don’t Tell” regulations contradict the law and cause confusion. Democrats and homosexual activists will use the confusion to work to remove the regulation and change the law, in a single synchronized move.

The key difference in our current culture wars is in understanding unit cohesion. This is the unique bond that is needed for survival in combat necessary for victory. Unit cohesion is all but unknown and nearly unnecessary in the civilian world.

In 1982 the Department of Defense said that he presence of homosexuals, adversely affects the ability … to maintain discipline and morale; to foster mutual trust. And unlike the civilian workplace military men and women, …must live and work under close conditions affording minimal privacy…. Sexual attraction and tension destroys unit cohesion and may detract from mission accomplishment.

Few civilian shift managers expect employees not to date each other. Few first line supervisors expect staff to jump on stray hand grenades.

What should Congress do?

Liberal Democrats have a hidden agenda for changing the military culture. But what should our law makers do instead to improve military readiness?

Keep the volunteer army. As recent studies by The Heritage Foundation have shown, our current All-Volunteer Army is well motivated, well education and truly looks like America. If the Pentagon needs more young men for combat, President Bush can lead the recruiting drive by call to arms from his bully pulpit. We have heard no such exhortation from the President.

The Army can follow the president’s orders and keep women away from Direct Ground Combat. The president can order the Pentagon to stop the charade of assigning women to non-combat units, then attaching and “co-locating” women with combat units. At the very least, the military can hold women to the same physical training standards as men.

The Pentagon can repeal the Don’t Army Don’t Tell regulations. And keep the current laws against Gays-Lesbian-Bi-sexuals and Transgender genders from serving in the military. Even Hillary Rodham Clinton, then-Vice-President Al Gore and President Bill Clinton have admitted that Don’t Ask; Don’t Tell was a failure.

Homosexuals can honorably serve our country in many ways, including,

Peace Corps,

America Corps,

But not the

Marine Corps

We are a nation with citizen soldiers. We should not burden combat leaders with the needs of citizen cross-dressers. “Unfair” as it may be.

It is enough to ask the combat leader to fight and win battles with out being worried about the special needs of gender-identity politics.

By taking these actions we might have a prayer in the Global War on Terror. Because if we fail, any prayers we have will be toward Mecca.

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Your Business Blogger Interviewed by Forbes.com

May 15, 2007 | By | No Comments

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Your Business Blogger Where should the small business owner invest a modest marketing budget?

Your Business Blogger had a conversation with Mary Crane, a reporter for Forbes.com and reviewed the management and marketing challenges of small business owners.

Her article will be out tomorrow, Wednesday, 16 May 2007 in the Entrepreneurs section of Forbes.com. Click thru and let me know what you think.

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Forbes.com

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Thank you (foot)notes:

Anita Campbell and Steve at Rucinski Small Business Trends and Small Business Trends Radio were the vectors for Forbes and Reasoned Audacity. Book mark SBT and SBTR. I have.

Is the Manager Obsolete? Or When Does Consensus Stop?

May 8, 2007 | By | 6 Comments

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by Hugh MacLeodDoes business need managers? Or first-line supervisors?

Or should organizations simply go Greek and give every citizen-employee a voice and a vetoing vote?

The corporation as pure democracy.

This was the theme of a Wall Street Journal article, Managing: Can a Company Be Run as a Democracy? By-line JACLYNE BADAL. She writes of a company, Ternary, and begins:

“Ternary runs itself as a democracy, and every decision must be unanimous. Any of Ternary’s 13 other employees could have challenged [a] decision and force[d] it to be revisited.

Running a company democratically sounds like a recipe for anarchy, and it can prompt bureaucratic whiplash: Ternary, a company with annual revenues of around $2 million, adjusted salaries for employees up and down several times last year.”

Goodness. Alert Reader Pat Patterson questioned the company structure:

I notice that the writer seems to use egalitarian companies and democratically run companies interchangeably. I remember that you have posted on the antithesis of these methods and hoped you might comment…concerning this report.

Plus I was dismayed to see that several of these companies were willing to experiment with democratic decision making with the caveat, “We can try it and see how it works.” Seemingly without any awareness of how much damage that could do to the stockholders.

Patterson seems to have greater insight on human behavior and organizational development than the reporter, the CEO or Traci Fenton:

Advocates say such systems appeal to workers, particularly younger ones, searching for careers with meaning. “Everyone wants to be a somebody,” says Traci Fenton, founder of WorldBlu Inc., a Washington organization that promotes workplace democracy.

And that is the challenge for managers and stockholders. Younger workers today, not really needing money or security, are moving up on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, challenging any corporate hierarchy on their way to becoming self-actualized beings. (Maslow once said that a man could only be self-actualized after living a full life past 50.)

But not these days. Structure is out. Boot-licking is out.

If there were no problems, or no change of any kind, or no exciting opportunities to compete for capital budget allocation, there would be no need for that overhead known as the Manager.

However, democratic-egalitarian management can work in some cases. If . . .

If there is no profit result needed, as in some non-profits (that exist to improve the human condition, as Peter Drucker says).

Or a church governing body where each deacon or ruling elder has a veto — the ruling council understanding that a dissenter’s motives are pure and he is accountable to a higher authority.

Democratic-egalitarian management can work in academia where really smart people debate (but where the politics are the most vicious) and Deans rotate much like a volleyball team. And there are seldom “emergencies” threatening people’s lives or the life of the organization. Except when it doesn’t. Note the lack of a prompt and proper response at Virginia Tech.

It might work in small software companies using a matrix management structure which diffuses lines of authority with multiple points of accountability. It works only because the code-slaves (used to) have stock options which would make them rich in short order. These are smart, well-motivated workers who are the owners of the enterprise. They are the bosses. However:

Harry Katz, dean of Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations, doubts a system like Ternary’s could work on a large scale. In bigger companies, “there’s an inevitable conflict of interest between managers and employees,” Mr. Katz says. General Motors Corp.’s Saturn plant in Spring Hill, Tenn., for instance, experimented with giving employees a strong voice in management, but later moved back to a more-traditional structure, he says.

business_is_change.jpg Reporter Badal doesn’t explain why the experiment didn’t work. But we can imagine.

We are all equal in the eyes of the Creator or under the blind eyes of Justice. But we are not equal to each other. Egalitarianism is for commies and the French. Not for profit. Sorry.

Your Business Blogger may not be able to fire an employee for incompetence these days, but I can fire for insubordination. Or I might be tasked with reducing headcount. To improve profits. The manager’s vote counts: yours may not. Sorry.

Democratic-egalitarian management will not work for most organizations because, sooner or later, the building will catch on fire. Emergencies will not permit much discussion, or consensus, or a vote tally. Sometimes there isn’t time.

And someone has to be in charge. The Captain of the ship.

And even if the building is not burning, too much ‘consensus building’ is exhausting for the manager and paralyzing to the organization.

Bill Clinton famously had enormous staff meetings with each participant partici-panting. The meetings ran long. Clinton ran late. Nothing got done.

Oh, well, maybe there is a place for Democratic management…

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Thank you (foot)notes:

Are Managers Sociopaths?

How does the Army market and manage today’s youth? What happened to the Army of One?

And what’s up with all the tattoos? And why don’t I see body piercings on the Starbucks employee?

Deon Binneman on Managing Reputation has 10 Tips for better Organizational Communication. And may soon know how to moderate trackbacks.

Tom McMahon has a good example of poor management.

The Wall Street Journal article is available by subscription.

Managing Management Timetm: Tips

March 29, 2007 | By | 4 Comments

Advertisement: A Sales Presentation. If you are looking for the Managing Management Time(tm) seminars, please vist Management Training of DC.

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Are You Controlling Events, or

Are Events Controlling You?

This is a brief introduction to the Managing Management Time ™ Leadership Equation,

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It has been said that “no manager” is an island.

Where your performance is a combination of the competencies — skills, traits and proficiencies — you bring to the job and the Organizational Molecular Support that is provided by your Boss, Peers and Staff.

In the “real world” — where most of us live most of the time! — the “demand” for this support almost always exceeds the available “supply”.

This means there is and will continue to be competition for those limited resources.

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Amateurs believe they have an inherent right to the support they need.

Oncken professionals know that the support must be earned.

While the “luck element” is inescapably a factor in results, it must not be a component of the individual’s performance evaluation.

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Oncken’s Third Law summarizes our strategy for dealing with the “luck element” in life, where,

Each individual must so marshal his competencies and molecular resources that he is able to:

Capitalize on good luck when it occurs (as an opportunist),


Reach his objectives as planned when luck is neutral, and

Exercise maximum damage control (as a troubleshooter) when bad luck occurs.

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While the “luck element” is inescapably a factor in results, it must not be a component of the individual’s performance evaluation.

Oncken’s Fourth Law warns that:

If you want to build a culture characterized by creativity, effective execution and high morale, your people must only be evaluated (and thus rewarded or reprimanded) for what they can control or influence, and NOT for the ‘luck element’ in their jobs.

This requires that “Criteria” be established against which performance will be evaluated, irrespective of the results achieved. “Criteria”, as used here, are NOT, themselves, shorter term goals and objectives.

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If we had to reduce the mission statement or vision statement of any manager or leader to only two words, it would be to:

Control Events.

Simply stated, if we are not controlling events, then they will be controlling us.

To even have a shot at controlling events, it presupposes the ability to simultaneously do three (3!) things:

1) Anticipate critical future events which impact on the organization.

2) Be flexible enough to adapt to changing circumstances in the present.

3) Be able to learn from past experiences (both our own and those of others).


Your Business Blogger(r)

Management MythsSince its founding in 1960, the mission of The William Oncken Corporation has been to provide training that will best position each individual in their organizations to control events.

The action verbs — anticipate, adapt and learn — describe our continuing responsibilities wherever we are in our careers.

For more information, please contact:

The William Oncken Corporation

3522 Gus Thommasson Rd. Suite 112

Mesquite, TX 75150 USA

Phone: (972) 613-2084

Fax: (972) 613-3182

Or email Your Business Blogger

Advertisement Please comment on the pitch.

Managing Management Time ™ is the intellectual property of The William Oncken Company and is protected and can be reproduced only with the permission of The William Oncken Company.

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Cross Post at Management Training. Please email me for comments or questions.

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.

The Leadership of Managing Time

October 29, 2005 | By | 4 Comments

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Roger NadeauBeethoven once said, “Man has no nobler or more valuable possession than time…” Your Business Blogger was reminded of this yesterday. Major General Roger A. Nadeau gave a briefing on his portfolio to business leaders. I asked him his greatest challenge in running a large organization:

Managing time. The time to put resources to where my people need them — or me…My office is BWI Airport.

Nadeau is the Commanding General, U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command. Nadeau runs, or today, flys to the sound of the guns. General Nadeau was an Armor Officer, before general’s stars removed branch designations.

He manages by ‘walking (or flying) around.’ What was impressive was not his modeling the Army’s new stylish combat fatigues, pictured above. It was his emphasis on generating discretionary management time to visit, to counsel, to lead, face-to-face. He manages to make time to do this. He commands and controls his own time.

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Ludwig van Beethoven by

Joseph Karl Stieler (1820)Beethoven’s quote continues, “…never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.” The Army gets it right: Proper management of time can give anyone more of the music of this “valuable possession.”

This is your most valuable asset: discretionary time.

Bookmark this site to learn more on getting these time skills.

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Thank you (foot)notes:

Mudville Gazette has Open Post.

Common Sense Runs Wild has trackbacks.