Posts belonging to Category Time Management – Business



DESTRUCTIVENESS OF FEAR IN GROUPS

An attack is launched!  Fear breaks out!     

In the workplace – at a meeting of volunteers – in a group of some sort –  after millions of years of existence, we still don’t seem to know how to deal with them.  That one person – the bully – who has been allowed all their lives to bully!

In the workplace, these bullies destroy productivity because everyone is on guard all the time about everything that is said and done.  No one knows when the bully will target any particular individual and “nail that person” with something in order to agrandise the bully’s own ego.  Bullies claw and scratch people’s eyes out, figuratively.  Quite often these bullies become the boss because of their talent for turning on the charm to get what they want.  But look out – they’ll turn on you the minute they don’t need you any more!

The incidious  set up is this:  it is made to look like  a problem between two people – the bully and their target.  The bully seems credible in the accusations citing ‘authorities” to back up the arguments against the other person if necessary.   But, since no one else at that particular moment is the target, no one else gets involved and the boss often doesn’t intervene as the boss should. 

If you have had experience with them, you know the signs.  They pick on minor mistakes and they focus, usually, on one or two people at a time – usually one – after all, it must look like a feud between two people.  Why?  Because these bullies are usually cowards and will back down if they are confronted by a group of people.  Nobody ever said these bullies were stupid – they know the strategy.  The bully knows that if you get everyone angry with you the game is lost. 

Everyone fears them – that’s the way they set it up because one after another, they get rid of their target.  People get the message.  These bullies usually surround themselves with people just like themselves so often they run as a “pack” both internally and externally. 

It doesn’t take much to provoke bullies – just standing up for what you believe in will be enough to set them off!   The bully watches every single action and analyzes every single word intently and, when a mistake happens, they pounce with great force – they know how to twist the rules to their “side of the story”.  They sound so convincing too – they get people fired at worse, and at best, there are a lot of miserable people.

In organizations, especially volunteer organizations, they get themselves ingrained into the fabric as the “authority” of the organization.  And, again, they bring destruction to these groups too.  Again, no one stands up to them for a completely different set of reasons.

Bullies care about nothing.  They care about no one.  They are totally void of empathy, compassion and consideration for others.  They are always all consumed with what they want and getting it.  If you’re the person standing in their way or standing up against them, you’ll be targeted to be removed one way or another.

The time bullies waste – their own and everyone else’s – is gigantic! 

Once in a while, some person in a group is smart enough to spot the bullies early in the game.  They’ve seen it before or been the victim of such an attack.  They don’t fear.  They know how the game is played.  And this person knows what to do and quickly too – there is no time to waste to get rid of these bulllies!   If they are the boss, the bully is fired.  If not, then the person turns the table on the bully or uses their influence with the group to get rid of the bully.   The bully is ousted!  And everyone cheers!   

The terror is not over, however.  The bully moves on to other groups to orchestrate the reign of terror all over again – because it’s about ego – it’s not about anything else – they know few will stand up to them.   

If people learned, as a group, to stand up to these bullies early before the trail of destruction happens, we would all save a tremendous amount of time and stress!

“GIVE YOUR RESOURCES TO YOUR OPPORTUNITIES” QUOTE FROM PETER DRUCKER

Peter Drucker, a genius on matters of management, said:  “Give your resources to your opportunities”.  If only people did this, can you imagine how much time and energy could be saved and put towards high productivity and self-advancement instead?

And, if bosses instead of criticizing would be looking for the best in you, wouldn’t life on the job be stimulating and motivating?

So why doesn’t it happen?

At an early age, we are told are the things we shouldn’t do and throughout life, others are quick to point out what’s wrong with us rather than what’s great about us!  Not true, you say.  Well, that’s not my experience – every time I compliment someone about something great they did (doesn’t have to be fireworks type of great) or on some positive personal trait, they are shocked – grateful – but almost suspicious of someone complimenting them.  They wait for me to ask them for something!

In the workplace, the “bosses” are taught they rule – others obey!  How positive is that?  With an attitude like that, the boss is immediately behind the eight ball.  Of course, the boss in this case will be looking for all that is wrong instead of all that is right.

Would it be a better strategy and save a lot of time if the boss instead was looking for each person’s most positive attributes and enhance the enterprise’s fortunes by maximizing the best talent?  Can you imagine how energizing it would be if you were allowed to show all of you that is extraordinary? 

“I’m the boss” is possibly the most toxic attitude in the workplace.  It’s foundation is at the root of all that is negativity about working at a job – it encourages politics, gossip, and everything else which the worst of the human condition.

Imagine a workplace where your boss sees only your best sides, talents and abilities!  Wouldn’t that be something!  And not only does the boss see it, the boss let’s you use them in the master plan!  How motivated would you be – would you be waking up, raring to go to work instead of experiencing the “Monday blues” 5 days a week!

You betcha!  And not only would you be benefitting, so would your workplace.  Can you imagine if everyone brought their best to work and the focus was on the positive instead of politics and criticism, how the entire atmostphere of the workplace would change?  From a place looking for “comformity” to a dynamic, exciting place where everyone is accepted and appreciated for all they are and do!

So why don’t we do it?  I think it’s because we are so “ingrained” – all of us –  in looking for the bad in ourselves and others.  It starts small – “no” when we’re little to “it’s not done that way” as we grow up.

We waste so much time on the negativity – looking for the bad.

How can you be different?  Adopt Peter Drucker’s philosophy – concentrate on using the best parts of you in your life and on enhancing those best parts!  Novel idea, huh?  Especially since we’re always trying to “fix ourselves”.

Stop fixing!  Start building!  Try it – you might like it!

WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL? OPERATIONS – WHO CARES?

ist1_5705386_gold_dubloonsWhat’s the big deal someone asked me.  This person felt that sales are everything.  It doesn’t matter if operations run amok as long as sales are high. 

The logic here is:  “If I’m making a lot of money, it doesn’t matter if my kid buys a Ferrari every month and wrecks it.  The money is there!?  

No one in their right mind would say such a thing but when people say that “sales is everything and nothing else counts” then it’s tantamount to saying the same thing.  (yes, I know, it’s called marketing today)

Take Government for instance –   spend, spend, spend – there’s more where that came from – and our taxes go higher and higher and higher – and then the ingenious bureaucrats come up with all kinds of new ways to tax us so that we don’t notice like new sales taxes or new transit fees or taxes on gasoline.  Inch by inch our income is taxed in one way or another while government continues wasting money as is readily apparent to taxpayers.  Do you even hear of anyone revamping government and cutting out waste?  They cut out jobs – it’s not the same thing!  In fact, it’s worse!  Now we have a government taxing us more than ever, reducing services by having fewer people in places where the public is being served – on the front lines –  increasing senior bureaucrats’ salaries and politicians’ as well as adding more and more expensive  perks for certain people while maintaining wasteful practices – doesn’t make sense, does it?

In your business or enterprise  or non-profit, you tax your clients too in a way.  If your expenses go up, then you increase your prices to secure the profit you are looking to achieve.  However, unlike government taxes where there are no limits, there is a limit what a client will pay for your services or products.  Do you first look at increasing sales or increasing efficiencies?

Here’s an example.  A company had a massive amount of material had to be shipped for events.  Operations were in chaos.

box - open with stuff sticking out

Just on the shipments alone, and there were many, at least half of the cost could have been saved  if operational efficiencies had been the norm to prevent the need for last-minute shipments.  Imagine that – at least 1/2 the cost saved!  That translated to thousands and thousands of dollars needlessly spent each and every month!  But hey, sales were everything and the millions kept rolling in – who cares about a few thousand dollars here and there?

A lot of people protest – but my workplace is not like that.  Really?  Did you ever try to call your place of business anonymously and ask typical questions which clients or would-be clients would ask?  Did you ever follow an order from beginning to end?  Did you talk to past customers who didn’t return?  Many people are surprised at what they find. 

Ah, and sometimes, the “boss” sees there’s a problem, blames everyone in the company and fires  all managers and executives.  Get some new blood in there –  what a stupid idea!

At a cost of around $40,000 or more to hire a new employee nowadays, is that truly cost efficient?  No.  Why?  Because it doesn’t solve the problem.  The problem is the “boss” – the lack of cohesiveness within the company which this person should be bringing to the operations is not happening.  If the boss can’t or won’t do it, then someone should.

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What will good operations provide?  It’ll save money.  It’ll make time consumption more effective. It’ll make your customers happier.  It’ll make your employees happier.  The company will grow logically and someone will be in control of hiring only the people absolutely necessary to enhance the operations.  The sales people will be happier because they won’t have to deal with unhappy customers.  And, the “boss” will be happier because the profits will be higher for less effort.

So, if this is so fantastic, then why don’t people make sure their operations are sound, efficient and effective?  Why indeed!

   

MEETINGS! MEETINGS! MEETINGS! – THE BIGGEST TIME WASTER OF ALL!

There has never been such an incredible amount of wasted time as there are in meetings!!!  Bar none!!! 

It’s astonishing how meetings have become the working norm – all day long people think it’s perfectly acceptable business to fill their days with meetings!  I just can’t understand it!  How can anyone get real, constructive work done if day after day after day people spend almost their entire working day in meetings. 

The answer – you can’t!  You can’t be productive and be in meetings all day – it’s impossible! 

Now if your job description said one thing and only one thing – “attend meetings” then yes, that would be the expectation of the job.  I’ve never seen a job description that had just that one line in it – have you?

Then why is it that people find it okay to be in meetings most of the working hours and that their bosses think it’s okay too!  Of course, their bosses are likely in meetings all day too so meetings beget meetings, I guess. 

When does the real work get done?  When does the job description get fulfilled?

I’ll tell you a little story which will give you an idea about good time and meeting management.   I worked in health for a while.  This is an industry that is notorious for “meetings all day long”.  And so it was.  I was shocked to find how many meetings I was expected to attend, how long each one was and how so little got accomplished.  Here’s the clincher – everyone complained how many meetings there were and how little time they all had to get things done yet no one did anything about it!  They were also exhausted at the end of each day!  I couldn’t see the logic in this kind of “meeting mania”.

One day, we got a new Director for community health.  This woman was impeccable – her hair was perfect, her dress was ideal, her manners were well honed and she smiled.  Her desk was always well organized and yet her office expressed an artistic bent – quite a combination! 

When she came on board, she sat with each one of her Managers individually.  When it came to my turn, she asked me what I would change.  Meetings.  That’s what I would change.  She attended all the meetings at first and made no comment.

Very soon, new agendas came out – with a start time, an end time and . . . more importantly, an allotment of time for each topic on the agenda.  Managers were expected to send out to all attendees a short paragraph of the issue for discussion, proposed outcomes or suggested approaches.  All managers were expected to come prepared which meant having all their supporting documentation with them in order to waste the least amount of time discussing the issue and complete in the allotted time.  If it wasn’t finished, it went to the next meeting.  However, there were only two chances to come to a conclusion on any isuse – it wouldn’t drag on for weeks, months and years as some issues had in the past.

She expected Managers to spend most of their time managing – what a novel idea!!!  In the health industry, it was a novel idea!  (I’ve worked in big business too and this is not just an “illness” of the health industry – some big businesses also “swamp” themselves in meetings)  And she watched the time that was spent in meetings by each of her Managers –  all Managers had to report on all their meetings they attended, the purpose of the meeting, the outcomes and the time taken for each meeting – in very short report!  She set time deadlines for all meetings.

It was amazing how much work got done!  Managers actually had the time to manage, supervise, improve processes and procedures and gain much more job satisfaction. 

She was truly amazing!  Not only did the business get done, issues resolved and time saved but she was making a difference to the clients who were being served.  Her focus was utilizing time effectively as she did with her own time.  She had everything in her life planned and executed to maximize every moment.   When she retired, she put up a consulting shingle – and found success there too!   She was truly a model executive – we have so few!

I’ll always remember her.  In an industry frought with inefficiency and ill use of time, she brought a fresh approach to a stale environment.  The benefits were enormous for all concerned.

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