Posted on September 25, 2012 by Keith
This may be a bit more incoherent than usual today.
Common cold (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I have a foggy brain, a stuffy nose, and body aches. That’s right – a common cold. Not unusual, you think, but it really is for me. Since I stopped commuting to work and flying all over the place, I’ve been sick exactly one other time. That’s right – one cold in five years (until now).
I’m not sure where I got it although I was in a lot more large crowds over the last week than normal. Maybe the guy with whom I slapped palms at the Springsteen show last week had a cold. Maybe it was someone I greeted at the wedding we attended. Maybe it was someone I was near at the market. Who knows? However, it’s good business point.
You can’t (and don’t want to) avoid interacting with other people. I’m not sure how you do business without doing so. However, it turns out about 80% of contagious diseases are transmitted by touch. That’s right – the best protection from the common cold and flu is frequent hand washing.
Our businesses run the risk of infection – something that disrupts their normal functioning – if we don’t take the time to make sure they’re “clean” – that we’re not off-track, that the team is all in sync, and that the contact with outsiders hasn’t done something to disrupt that. Think of staff meetings or check-ins with your team as a good hand scrubbing. That sort of communication can prevent a lot of what ails many businesses.
Now I’m going back to bed. After I wash my hands….
Filed under: Helpful Hints | Tagged: advice, business, business thinking, Common cold, Health, management, managing, teamwork | Leave a Comment »
Posted on March 12, 2012 by Keith
At some point, the garbage can in the kitchen fills up. Unless someone takes it out, it starts to smell. We’ve all been there – a significant other asks us to take out the garbage and so we lug the smelly bag to the trash can or dumpster or incinerator chute (for you apartment livers). Not a pleasant task but one I’m pretty sure nearly all of us do on a regular basis. I don’t think any of us think “it’s not my job” or “I’m too good to be doing this.” Something is starting to smell so we handle it.
(Photo credit: Nemo's great uncle)
I wonder, therefore, why that attitude doesn’t translate over into some managers’ thinking when they get to the office. I’m always surprised when I hear tales of closed doors or having to make an appointment weeks in advance to see one’s supervisor. I’ve also seen executives who won’t call their travel department, type their own memoranda, or get their own dry-cleaning. They insist that their assistant does it. These would be the first people to complain if their kids were snubbed in an autograph line by a truly famous person but who don’t understand that they are guilty of the same thing on a daily basis by snubbing their own employees.
“Don’t you know who I think I am?”
These are the folks who confuse who they are with what they do. The reality is that those of us who were privileged enough to have supervised others had our positions defined by those folks. We were there to help them accomplish the broader tasks of the business. Sure, providing them with sound strategy and reasonable resources was part of it, but it also meant being available, supportive, inspirational, and honest.
If you’re too damn important to take out the garbage, you probably shouldn’t be allowed to manage others. You’ll be more of a detriment than an asset.
Filed under: Helpful Hints, Reality checks | Tagged: business, management, managing, Senior management, teamwork | Leave a Comment »
Posted on March 9, 2012 by Keith
It’s Foodie Friday so this morning I’m inspired by a lyric from Bowie and Queen: ”Pressure pushing down on me, Pressing down on you.” I heard the song and wondered how many of you have ever cooked using a pressure cooker? There was a good piece on them in Slate a week ago that you might want to check out.
Image via Wikipedia
Modern pressure cookers are easy and safe to use but older ones were frequently the subject of comedy. Well, not the cookers themselves but their propensity to blow up. We business folks can learn a lot from them and that’s my point today. (more…)
Filed under: food, Thinking Aloud | Tagged: business, business thinking, Cook, Foodie, Home, Pressure Cooker, Pressure cooking, teamwork | Leave a Comment »