Monday, October 9, 2017

The Things You Can Learn During A Root Canal




Sent to the management of my company recently: 


 I was in the endodontist’s chair yesterday morning for about 45 minutes.  A dental assistant student from Augusta Tech assisted Dr. Jason Sayer for the entire procedure.  I witnessed on-the-job training (OJT) up close and personal.

Dr. Sayer said “perfect” to that student at least 15 times.  He said “excellent” to her, probably more. She would hand him instruments and he would say “thank you.”  He coached her on a number of things during the procedure: how to better sit while working to preserve her back for a long career, the benefits of using the high-powered scope while working rather than the naked eye, (“once you get used to it, you’ll never go back,”) the proper way to handle instruments to avoid hurting herself, suggesting that she straighten out her instruments tray when there were a few minutes without action in my mouth…

That young woman was extremely fortunate to be working with Dr. Sayer; to receive that caliber of training and coaching.  He affirmed and encouraged her countless times, he coached her with patience and positive feedback.  He was extremely courteous. 

What would keep any of us from training and coaching the same way he did with our new employees, or our established employees that need to perform new duties?  We are the kind of company that sometimes can “hire for attitude and train for skills.” 

I hope that Dr. Sayer’s example will set the standard when you train for skills.  Our people are more likely to become excellent team members for our benefit if you do.

Michael Wade's recent post on Praise inspired me to post this.  

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Trump The Firer

Image result for define strongman


Does it trouble you like it troubles me that the country elected a president that built a TV brand, and made tremendous, tremendous, loads of money, a fantastic amount (I'm channeling him there) on his show around "firing" people in front of quite a few others, not to mention the television audience.

OK Eclecticity, "that's entertainment." Well I suppose it is, to some people.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Management Self-Awareness



How are we managers to respond to such a damn damning statement?

I recently developed a "Supervisor 101 Workshop" with two colleagues. The impetus was the history of chronically poor supervision at my organization.  So many don't even know the basics.  "101." And frankly I was tired of receiving complainants into my office either for an exit interview providing me yet more evidence of what I knew or the visit was to inform me about the misdeeds and unfair practices of their supervisor. 

I've done two sessions thus far and each time, when I listen to myself, I get a uneasy, yet valid conviction, that my 101 skills are not hardwired in me as a, by now, life-long "manager."  

It wouldn't hurt if ALL managers would take this Deming quote to heart, take a few heaping spoonfuls of humility, and look for the ways we make problems for our organizations and our team members.  

There will be a natural reaction to Deming's indictment by most self-respecting managers:  "I'm one of the 15%."

Sorry Charlie.  Odds are you aren't.  

 Thank you Michael Wade.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Taking Your Work Home With You


Organizations underestimate the damage done, both at work and in the home lives of employees, by an abusive boss.

Michael Wade, The Execupundit

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Welcome Mistakes. No, Really. Welcome!

For those that really think, they know that mistakes are a gold mine. Or can be. Or should be. But most don't know because most people and organizations operate from a model that, whether in theory or practice, mistakes are unacceptable. Successful people work here, we expect success.  We strive for success. Blada, blada, blada. I'm not merely O.K.  You're not merely O.K.  I'm a winner, your're a winner.  We're all winners here.

Classic "hamburger management" as the great, but now obscure (by choice), Adrian Savage*, would call it.  Macho, macho, men.  We want to be macho men.

So many "C Students" remain at the helms of business and industry and failure is not an option on a daily basis in their cultures.  They just don't know that failure can be a gold mine. Maybe because they would have to admit one or two of their own on their way to the top, and that's not how it works.

All this to say -  Listen to this and watch the TED Talk and tell your friends and suggest that they share it some way, some how, with the many many neanderthals out there still infecting business, government, non-profits, small and large, all in "leadership" positions.

Is Conflict Good For Progress?  




* Good luck finding his masterpiece, Slow Leadership.  I queried him personally about finding a copy, and he had no interest in ever reprinting it.  Pricey.  Supply and demand.

Saturday, July 19, 2014


This fella was our CEO and this was part of a New Manager Orientation.  Trust me, he had no friends.  He said that if his mother wasn't performing he would sit across the table and have to fire her.  At the first management meeting he presided over he told everyone to look to their right and then look to their left.  Then said, "See these people?  50% of you won't be here in a year."  

Leadership! 

Mr. Snell is still out there somewhere in New England I've heard.  

Thursday, May 15, 2014

True Dat

Bureaucracy: One too Many Cooks In the Kitchen. One major challenge with the bureaucratic organization is the massive tier of managers with the power to intervene in the activities of those below them, even when these ‘subordinates’ act outside the manager’s area of expertise. Unfortunately, all too often these managers lack the necessary trust and good sense to leave well enough alone. I wholeheartedly agree that the post-bureaucratic organization will feature empowered employees, guided mainly by a set of shared goals. Oddly enough, I’m going to suggest another process to address this – think of it as reverse bureaucracy. A process by which senior managers have to build a business case to justify intervention with subordinates outside their normal jurisdiction would be very helpful.

Colin Loney