The Wisdom of Management

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A man stands on a factory floor looking around aimlessly. The CEO comes up and asks him his salary.
The man replies, “5000 a month sir.”

The CEO takes out his wallet and gives the man 15000 and tells him: “I pay people here to work and not to waste time… here’s 3 months salary. Now get out of here and never come back!”

The guy leaves. Then CEO asked another worker,

“Who was that guy anyways?”

The worker replies, “Courier boy, sir…”

Observation is Key

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Bob was born without ears, and though he proved to be successful in business, his problem annoyed him greatly. One day he needed to hire a new manager for his company, so he set up three interviews.

The first guy was great. He knew everything he needed to know and was very interesting. But at the end of the interview, Bob asked him, “Do you notice anything different about me?”

“Why, yes, I couldn’t help but notice that you have no ears,” came the reply. Bob did not appreciate his candor and threw him out of the office.

The second interview was with a woman, and she was even better than the first guy. But he asked her the same question

“Do you notice anything different about me?”

“Well,” she said stammering, “you have no ears.” Bob again got upset and chucked her out in a rage.

The third and final interviewee was the best of the bunch, he was a young man who had recently earned his MBA. He was smart. He was handsome, and he seemed to be a better businessman than the first two put together. Bob was anxious, but went ahead and asked the young man the same question “Do you notice anything different about me?” Much to his surprise, the young man answered, “Yes, you wear contact lenses, don’t you?”


Bob was shocked and realized this was an incredibly observant person.
“How in the world did you know that?”, he asked.

The young man replied, “Well, it’s pretty hard to wear glasses with no damn ears!”

Funniest Book Titles

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Jargon and nonsense assail us every day…if we bother to notice. The following are actual titles of published books…care to add your favorite?

  • Oral Sadism and the Vegetarian Personality
  • How to Avoid Huge Ships
  • American Bottom Archaeology
  • Highlights in the History of Concrete
  • Reusing Old Graves
  • Population and Other Problems
  • The Madam as Entrepreneur: Career Management in House Prostitution
  • Proceedings of the Second International Workshop on Nude Mice
  • Children Are Like Wet Cement
  • Keeping Warm with an Axe

 

 

 

 

Courage in Business

 

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If you want to see more courageous action by your people, consider whether you’re modeling the 10 traits of courageous leaders:

  1. Confront reality head-on.  Ditch the rose-colored glasses and face the facts about the state of your organization and business. Only by knowing the true current state can you lead your team to a better place.
  2. Seek feedback and listen.  We all have blind spots that impact the way we interact with others.  Unfiltered 360-degree feedback is not always easy to hear, but it can breathe new life into your relationships and leadership style if you listen and act.
  3. Say what needs to be said.  Real conversations can be awkward and uncomfortable, especially if conflict is involved. Having crucial conversations helps cut through the smoke and move through issues. This also means having the courage to put your opinions on the table, even if they are unpopular.
  4. Encourage push-back.  Many leaders feel pressure to have all the answers. By encouraging constructive dissent and healthy debate, you reinforce the strength of the team and demonstrate that in the tension of diverse opinions lies a better answer.
  5. Take action on performance issues.  Confronting people issues is hard, which is why so many leaders ignore them until they become a toxic threat to the team or company’s performance. By taking swift action to reassign or exit underperforming employees, you are helping yourself, the team and organization.
  6. Communicate openly and frequently.   Keep the lines of communication open, even when you don’t know all the answers.  Courageous leaders refuse to hide behind jargon and wiggle-words – they use straight-talk and are not afraid to say “I don’t know.”  They also share information instead of hoarding it.
  7. Lead change.  In fear-based environments, it’s all about protecting the status quo. Envision a better way, a better solution, a better product – and approach it with determination and an open mind, knowing that it will be messy and that a mid-course correction may be necessary. Remember that you need to bring people along the change process for them to truly engage.
  8. Make decisions and move forward.  Especially in environments of fear and intense change, it feels unsafe to commit to a decision and move ahead. Avoid the crutch of ‘analysis paralysis’ and make the decision.  Forward movement is always better than being stuck in place.
  9. Give credit to others.  Let go of the need for praise and instead give the credit to those around you.  At first it feels scary – will I be rendered irrelevant or unnecessary if my people are doing all the good stuff? Remember that a good leader takes more than their fair share of the blame and less than their fair share of the credit.
  10. Hold people (and yourself) accountable.  Expect people to perform and deliver on their commitments, and have courage to call them out when they don’t follow through.  Remember that accountability begins with you – holding yourself responsible for modeling the behaviors you expect of others.

Susan Tardanico is CEO of the Authentic Leadership Alliance and Executive in Residence at the Center for Creative Leadership.  Follow her on Twitter @Susantardanico.

Magic Cure All!

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Need a cure all for all your business, accounting and inventory problems? Try SIMMS!

With SIMMS you get the following:

  • Accounting & Bookkeeping
    • Export files at tax time – or at any time – for your accounting team.
    • Track both your expenses and income and expenses, and pull any and all of your data into financial reports and analytical graphs any time.
  • Customer Management
    Your contact management is simple, straightforward and easy to master. Your contacts, their expenses, invoices, order forms and much more remain at your fingertips the whole time.
  • Stock Management
    Manage your stock easily and gain insight about your sales. Moreover:

    • Add new items and manage older stock with equal speed and ease.
    • Integrate your online stock with warehoused inventory immediately.
  • Versatile Reporting
    You can easily see what items are selling, what ones are not, and view your sales by location, by channel, by regions, and more.
  • Unlimited Number of Users
    Assistants, intern, managers, sales staff and business partner can all access what they need and have levels of access appropriate to their roles on your company’s processes.

26 Words for 26 Letters

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An anthropophagite eats people.

The word byte is a contraction of “by eight.”

Spat-out food is called chanking.

A deltiologist collects postcards.

A poem written to celebrate a wedding is called an epithalamium.

A funambulist is a tightrope walker.

Groaking is to watch people eating in the hope that they will offer you some.

A horologist measures time.

Influenza got its name from the fact that people believed the disease was because of the evil “influence” of stars.

The phrase “jet lag” was once called boat lag, back before airplanes existed.

A klazomaniac is someone who feels like shouting.

The infinity character on the keyboard is called a lemniscate.

A group of officers is called a mess.

Women who wink at men are known as nictitating women.

The symbol of the pound key is called an octothorpe.

When your sink is full, the little hole that lets the water drain, instead of flowing over the side, is called a porcelator.

Quisling is the only word in the English language to start with “quis.”

Killing a king is called regicide.

According to author Douglas Adams, a salween is the faint taste of dishwashing liquid in a cup of fresh tea.

The ball on top of a flagpole is called the truck.

The only fifteen-letter word that can be spelled without repeating a letter is uncopyrightable.

The slash character is called a virgule.

A Welsh village has the longest place name in Great Britain: Gorsafawddachaidraigddanheddogleddollonpenrhynareurdraethceredigion.

The process of polishing something is known as xesturgy.

The “You Are Here” arrow on a map is called the IDEO locator.

Zorro means “fox” in Spanish.

Accounting In a Nutshell

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Definitions
Accountant – Someone who knows the cost of everything and the value of nothing.
Auditor – One who arrives after the battle is lost and bayonets the wounded.
Attorney – One who arrives after the auditor and strips the bodies.
Actuary – An accountant without a sense of humor.
Economist – Someone who didn’t have enough personality to become an accountant.

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If an accountant is someone who knows the cost of everything and the value of nothing, then surely an accountant is someone who costs everything and is worth nothing!

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The local bar was so sure that its bartender was the strongest man around that they offered a standing $1000 bet. The bartender would squeeze a lemon until all the juice ran into a glass, and hand the lemon to a patron. Anyone who could squeeze one more drop of juice out would win the money. Many people had tried over time (weight-lifters, longshoremen, etc.) but nobody could do it.

One day this scrawny little man came into the bar, wearing thick glasses and a polyester suit, and said in a squeaky voice ” I’d like to try the bet” After the laughter had died down, the bartender said, “OK.”, grabbed a lemon, and squeezed away. Then he handed the wrinkled remains of the rind to the little man.

But the crowd’s laughter turned to total silence as the man clenched his fist around the lemon and six drops fell into the glass. As the crowd cheered, the bartender paid the $1000, and asked the little man “What do you do for a living? Are you a lumberjack, a weight-lifter, or what?”
The man replied “I work for the IRS.”