Quote of the day/week/however long

"Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does."
~William James

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Five Rules of Supervision

Madam is rarely struck silent by anything less than far too much tequila on a warm, dark night. But she has to admit that this item succeeded in not only sealing her lips but making her forget to blink for quite a long time.

Now that she has regained control of the most vital bodily functions, she feels this might be an appropriate time to turn away from blatant WTF stupidity and look at how the competent do - and should do - their jobs.

There are as many lists of such laws/rules/regulations/suggestions as there are people willing to write them, and this one is in no way definitive. But it is far shorter than most. It is clear, broad and simple and, while not getting into details, has been known, all on its own, to provide a reliable highway along which to drive a successful career - and pick up good karma along the way.
Control the controllable.  Life is a balance between what we can and cannot control. If you can fix the inefficient, the impolite, the repetitive, and the time-gobbling, absolutely do so. If it's hard, so what? What better things do you have to do? And what will give you the most satisfaction when you look back on your career?

Eliminate the uncontrollable. The true price of anything is the amount of time you exchange for it. If something you’re doing or thinking isn’t fixing or improving the situation, then it’s wasting your time. If you can, stop doing it. If you're certain that you can't, then explain, apologize, and get on with things.

Give away all the credit. You will be right to do so. Your employees will see what you're doing, and will love, support, and defend you when it counts. They will be emboldened to present long-suppressed great ideas that will truly improve the process. And you might make up for many years of credit-sucking officers who came before you.
Take all the blame. Protect your employees even at your own cost, always. That's your job. And if you had done your job properly, they wouldn't have made that mistake, right? They will see what you're doing, and will love, support, and defend you. And you might make up for a few of the many FSNs casually tossed under the bus by selfish, callow, shallow officers who came before you.

Bring the cookies. Madam is continually dismayed to watch officers chow down on the FSNs' contributions to the snack table (and don't even try to tell her that you don't have such a thing. She has seen it.) while providing nothing of their own.

Think this is trivial? It absolutely is not. It's a behavior that does not go unnoticed, and it implies all sorts of unflattering things about those who practice it: hierarchy-snobbery, selfishness, self-importance, cheapness, stinginess (not the same thing), untrustworthiness, disrespect.

 Can't (or won't) make complex local dishes? Nobody expects you to. Frequent bags of Oreos will serve. They will feed far, far more than tummies.
Yes. In your conscience.

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