Posts Tagged ‘MondayMusings’

holiday humour, with a Facilities Manager’s blues

This week’s holiday humour comes in the form of a song. Bob Dylan’s Stuck Inside of Mobile (with the Memphis blues again) comes from the 1966 album Blonde on Blonde and has long been a favourite. I used to play it in the car a lot on long trips; the lines “and here I sit so patiently, waiting to find out what price, you to pay to get out of, going through all these things twice” had a lot of meaning after those boring all day meetings and I would sometimes make up topical verses to sing along to. Read more…

travelling in hope – scheduled posts coming up for the next two weeks

I’m off on my travels again later today heading off to work for a week and a bit on what is, at least for me, another new continent. I’ve written recently about how British expertise is in demand around and this will be my third new continent in 5 months so you can see what I mean. Read more…

more musings on changing with the times

January 27, 2014 1 comment

The frequent topic of change caught up with me a bit last week when my reaction to a news item stirred me into starting to write something to post on one of my other blogs. Read more…

Monday Musings on Wednesday!

No, it isn’t the wrong type of rain or anything directly to do with the weather. Sorry to break a habit, but things have gotten away from me this weekend and the planned story for tomorrow is not quite done. It has been a hectic weekend and the medics want to do rude things to me first things tomorrow so Plan B has been adopted. Read more…

the rioja revelation; a seasonal tale

Les Floggit left the sales conference platform on a personal high and to seemingly rapturous applause. They would all repair to the bar now no doubt to enjoy the remaining hours of their two day, three night break in Malaga far from the cold of pre-Christmas Britain. A five o’clock check in tomorrow would see them all hung-over no doubt, but for now the moment of triumph was his as he headed for his hotel room. Read more…

acting unethically does not make good business sense

One of the topics I try to deal with in this column is ethical behaviour. Apart from my need to maintain such standards in order to comply with the code of ethics for each of the three professional bodies of which I hold membership it reflects a basic principle that I was brought up to observe. Read more…

musings on poor procurement and management on the soccer front

Although I am not a close follower of football these days, the nonsense of making a stadium all seater in the interests of safety and then allowing everyone to stand up is enough to put me off, and then there are those ridiculous shorts! But I do keep a passing interest, and a couple of things caught my attention last week. Read more…

monday musings of FM in the boardroom

We talk a lot about getting FM into the boardroom and similar ambitions to further our profession and in these aims we are no different to many other specialist disciplines; when wearing my purchasing hat my colleagues there are no different, but when I have my logistics hat on my colleagues there don’t often have that issue, for they are usually firmly embedded at the top table, so how do they do that and what can FM learn? Read more…

you have what you’ve got: use it well and more will come

This wasn’t written with the financial crisis in mind, but, in proof reading it, it could well have been. My thoughts were more on developing teams and, because teams are made up of them, individuals.

If you lived in that ideal world of fluffy bunnies and blue skies then you could always pick your own team. Fortunately, at least for me, we don’t live there. It wouldn’ be much fun anyway as there would be no challenges, and so back here in the real world we will, as leaders, have to make something of what we have. Read more…

More musings on Winston Churchill and bullying in leadership

This week’s blog is inspired by what I am reading. I read a lot of non-fiction for a start, and across a broad range of subjects where the common denominator is, to varying degrees, personal success or failure. And as for fiction, well a good story almost always revolves around the interplay between the cast of characters. Yes these are creations of the author’s imagination, but a well written book will involve a lot of things that apply to team dynamics and can provoke one’s thoughts on how well, or otherwise, things can be handled in the real world.

Talking of characters, a TV commercial has just been on featuring Darth Vader. As an example of a great fictional character there is a classic villain; just far enough over the top to still retain credibility, but leaving you in no doubt where you would stand as a subordinate. Compared to some of the plonkers I’ve worked for over the years Lord Vader would have been a welcome change.

Amongst my reading over the coming three weeks or so one Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill will loom large. He is a man who fascinates me. My parents could not stand him at any price and they both knew him best from his years of greatest triumph in World War 2, Dad having joined the Royal Navy at 19 as a stoker (like his Dad before him) and Mum serving as a 20 year old nurse in Coventry at the start of real hostilities.

We accord WSC heroic status these days, naming him as the greatest Englishman and so on, but this is all largely based on what he did in around 5 years of a 91 year life that, in many ways, saw so many failures. He did badly at school and had more careers than most people could contemplate; soldier, journalist, writer, historian and politician as well as being an accomplished artist. Crossing the floor from Tory to Liberal (and later back again), Under Secretary for the Colonies, President of the Board of Trade, Home Secretary and First Lord of the Admiralty and then leaving for France to command an infantry battalion on the Western Front at 40.

So many of these, and later, positions led to failure of some sort, but there is little doubt that he was the man for the moment when, in those dark days of May 1940. At that time the British Empire stood alone against enemies on many fronts around the globe and WSC gave us the focal point that we needed.

I mentioned him here in the context of bullying in leadership a few weeks back. I am in no doubt that he was, in many ways, a bully, but does that diminish his leadership? Like so many things, it isn’t a straightforward question to answer. On the one hand how can we defend bullying, but I think that we also have to acknowledge that in doing so we are applying the standards of today to an age where things were very different. It was a time of urgency in getting things done and where hard decisions had to be made and objectives delivered.

The difference is that the type of bullying we need to stamp out is where someone torments the weak for the sake of it, but also acknowledge that there are people who will need to be coerced to do what is necessary to achieve a mutually required objective. WSC may have bullied the strong around to his way of thinking, but he never bullied the weak for personal pleasure.