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Posts Tagged ‘people’

on good and bad


I am an avid reader. I have been since I learned to read and have always got a book on the go. At the moment I have three; one a technical tome that I read on the dining table, and e-book biography that I read on my ‘phone over breakfast and breaks at work and a paperback biography for bedtime reading. From two of this trio comes some thought on good and bad in people.

There was a man who was prominent in a field that I know a lot about. He was, in many ways, a pompous ass and was not quite as good at what he did as he thought he was. I would have loathed having to work with him in that respect, but on the other hand he did a lot of good things. Overall I have always though of him as a decent enough bloke, but one of the books that I am currently reading alleges that he was far from good.

It is a common enough theme; Rolf Harris gave a lot of pleasure as an entertainer before certain facts became known and he went to prison for his actions. Jimmy Savile did a lot of good for various charities, but was also found to be a bad lot after he had died and no doubt you can think of your own examples.

Over the years I have worked with people who have been lovely as individuals, but a nightmare to work alongside. There have been others who have been a delight to work with yet were not people that I would have wanted to know outside of the office. My view is that I have a job to do and it will get done regardless of how I feel about the people around me and I am sure that there are people who have known me who did not like me at work or would not have wanted to socialise with me. It matters not to me.

There seems to be a view these days that people should be perfect, but we aren’t. There is always the possibility that there will be something about us that would offend others. For most of my life that didn’t matter; I have always had friends who had different political views to me, supported sports stars or teams that I can’t abide, were deeply religious (I am an atheist) or whatever. Our differences often cemented the friendship as we argued our respective points of view.

My friendships have also survived where the other party has done something that they should not have done. I am not going to abandon a pal lightly; if you are my friend and you are in trouble you know that I will be there for you. This is not something that I was directly brought up to, more that it is how my attitudes have evolved.

I do not expect perfection from anyone, let alone politicians and business leaders. Yes I would like them to behave to a standard that I would find acceptable, but why should my standards prevail? There is good and bad in us all and I can live with that.

the lockdown log 7


So far the day goes well. Thursdays I have off from my part time job and so I, being an early riser, get on with more personal projects. This morning I have written a new page for the companion blog to this one and saved the draft for reviewing later and been out for my essential chores trip. Read more…

on why good teams can  emerge around bad leaders


There is a lot written and taught about good leadership being behind the development of good teams and I have contributed my fair share. But is a good leader essential to the creation of a good team? Read more…

on knowing your team


Something that I learned, the hard way as usual, early in my management career was to know my people. I don’t mean that you need a dossier on them, but being aware of what makes them tick and something of their history and hopes gives you something to work on. Read more…

on the leadership line


Around the factory at the moment is a whiff of success; one of the front line team is moving up to be a first line supervisor and a couple of others are taking up middle management roles. It is so good to see people getting on. Read more…

Dad’s Army had it right


Two of the immortal catch phrases from Dad’s Army are Corporal Jones’ “Don’t panic!” and Private Fraser’s “Doomed; we’re all doomed” and when I hear or read the news these days I often think of those characters and the circumstances that they uttered their lines. Read more…

on demotivating people


We all have obsessions and those of us who lead teams may have a few for we are driven people. We like to refer to these foibles as being focussed, having a clear vision or something of that kind, but behind whatever management speak we wrap it up in we are still obsessed.

Read more…

on getting things done

December 10, 2018 1 comment

There are the things that we love to do and then there is everything else, but whatever our job is we have to get done what needs doing.

Planning helps, but as any military person knows your plans ho out of the window on first contact with the enemy. For most of us civilians the enemy will take the form of colleagues, customers and life in general all of whom will be queuing up to screw our best intentions.

What we have to do is to get our heads down and get on with it, doing our best to prioritise our time. If we work alone that is not too hard as long as we stay focussed, but when you are part of a team you need to be thinking about colleagues too. There is little point in sitting back smugly regarding your own success if everyone else is deep in the smelly stuff and your contribution to the team goals should be more important than your own.

So how do you do it? There is a lot of nonsense out there in terms of time management, but the one or two true sets of guidelines. One is the Eisenhower Method, the other is Pareto. I use both and have done for many years, but the key to both, and any other way of working, is being able to overcome procrastination.

If you dither nothing will get done, so work out what needs doing and get it done. No matter how hard it is or how much you loathe doing it, once it is done you can move on and most of the time you will better for having done it.

on consequences


I had been watching a documentary on TV and had become bored enough to have picked up my tablet and started checking emails by the time that the programme ended. I was so engrossed that I did not realise that a new programme had begun until some of the dialogue started to prick my hearing. Read more…

on improving the breed


For some years now the concept of continuous improvement has been embedded into management culture. We have had all the Japanese influences, lean manufacturing (and then lean everything else, except, perhaps, in management speak where fat is good it would seem), and so there is a general willingness to work towards improving product and process. Some of this is disguised in the throwaway culture we have with cars, white goods and technology where as soon as you have bought the latest the next generation is announced, but there is one area where improving the breed seems to be not just overlooked, but is sometimes supressed. Read more…