Saturday, September 24, 2016

Saying no - the key to perceived reliability

Not to put too fine a point on it but a two step process to being considered reliable is:

1/ Say what you're gonna do and
2/ Do what you say you're gonna do

So the old salesman's trick of "under-promise and over deliver" still holds true. I think these days it's also known as "managing expectations".

Moral of the story is to resist being coerced into making promises that will be hard to keep. You're only delaying the pain and setting the scene for a bad reputation.

I - too - should learn to say "no" more often.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Kids' resilience: The bubblewrap experiment has failed

It saddens me when people only listen to the latest new agey thing. But at least the latest new agey thing is useful this time.

Hopefully we can call bubblewrap experiment closed and the results in. It's perhaps too strong to declare a generation of dud kids as a few of my colleagues have. But for sure we have a generation that is learning the importance of resilience a lot later than they could have.

In our loving quest to protect our children from anything that might harm them I feel we have done them a great disservice. There is a place for htfu and I suppose it might as well start in the home.

The greatest gift a parent can give their child is to suspend their own anxiety and allow their child the chance to make mistakes. My mum called it benign neglect.

Some kids take to it better than others. One might just hate you more than the devil and that might just be a cross you have to bear.

So for all those parents who avidly supported the self esteem movement over the last 20 years you have a new new agey next best thing. It's called the resilience movement. And never mind, we did the best we could with the 20 year old kid.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Cucumber wrap: Quietly spoken clever manager

I'm always reminded of Bob Holtzer when I see a wrapped cucumber.

In the 90 ninety's I was selling plastic and I took Bob Holzer our director Asia-Pacific out to a vegetable packing plant.

We didn't sell cucumber wrap but Bob was trying to work out whether we wanted to. It was a low end product and I was saying that this customer was buying it for very low prices.

Bob asked me "how low?" and then I think I said $4 per kilo.  Bob said "no it wouldn't be as low as $4 a kilo".

He could've said "you're crazy, the resin price is $4.50 - these guys wouldn't be buying finished rollstock at $4!"

But Bob allowed me my dignity. And as the years go on I realise he taught me something about manufacturing, and something about managing people - on that day.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Respect: Three good rules for life

If we're looking for simple rules to live I heard a simple approach that makes great sense some time ago. As you go through life you should have respect for three things:

Respect yourself
Respect others
Respect property

Sounds very sensible. I suppose it's in the actual doing where it gets hard.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Jesse Redwing: Remember that name

I heard a track on ABC local radio today and hunted this down. This guy is good, old school blues:



and and a blend of deep purple and 1970s Cold Chisel:




Early sign of a good manager: Taking a smaller office


Sure, in the case of new ABC Managing Director Michelle Guthrie it may be clever tokenism but nevertheless it's a good sign:

It’s been widely reported that Guthrie is moving out of her predecessor Mark Scott’s giant office on floor 14 at Sydney’s Ultimo. It is easily bigger than any space occupied by chief executives at the commercial end of the industry. That includes the giant office overlooking the Nine helipad that was once home to the Sam ChisholmDavid Leckie and office squatter David Haslingden and his right-hand pooch Tido.

The very worst manager I've ever seen saw it as the first thing on her list to get the best office in the department, with similar behaviours shown by the third and fourth worst.

What’s less well known is where Guthrie will pitch up next. Guthrie is moving to level seven to be closer to the shop floor. This floor connects the two main buildings at the ABC. This means Guthrie will be more accessible to staff as well as the marketing department. The office will also be in proximity to the canteen.

I like the sound of this ex-Google senior manager. he ABC is great, but I don't think it was very well managed by Mark Scott.