Management Managing

“Hey, Kevin,” called Josh.
Kevin looked over from his car and saw Josh approaching him from across the grocery
store’s parking lot, “Hey Josh, how are things?”
“I heard the news,” reported Josh ecitedly.
“!eah, I got the "o#,” smiled Kevin from ear to ear, “It really s$rprised me. %hey told me
that they want me to start in the management training program right away.”
“&ow, management,” echoed Josh, “%hat is '$ite a step. I g$ess o$r little Kevin is
growing $p.”
“!eah,” ch$ckled Kevin a little, “I am really ecited yet, I am a #it apprehensive. I have
never #een in charge of anything or any#ody.”
“(eadership can #e tricky,” agreed Josh, “It takes time and trial and error. I am s$re
tho$gh that yo$ can do well.”
“&hat advice do yo$ have?”
“I don’t know if yo$’ll like what I have to say,” answered Josh with a grin.
“)ive it a try,” smiled Kevin.
“Hmmm, okay, "$st remem#er that everything is yo$r fa$lt.”
Kevin epression went do$r '$ickly, “&hat are yo$ saying? &hat do yo$ mean?”
“%hink a#o$t it. *s the manager, yo$ are in charge, yo$ are the one who hired, and was
responsi#le for training these people. If they are not getting the "o# done, yo$ need to make s$re
that yo$ have given them everything they needed to do the "o# #efore yo$ go talking to them.
+efore yo$ #lame them and write them $p, yo$ need to listen to what they have to say and #e
damn s$re that yo$ gave them everything that they needed to get the "o# done.”
“&hen is it their fa$lt?”
“,arely, if they have everything they need to get the "o# done and they don’t get it done,
chances are it is their attit$de or other things sitting on them,” replied Josh.
“&hat do yo$ mean?”
“&hen I was a manager in Ithaca, -ew !ork, I had a "ewelry manager who did an
o$tstanding "o#. .ne day, she seemed really o$t of it. I let it go thinking she was "$st having an
off day. However, the net day she was still o$t of it. I sat down and talked to her very cas$ally. I
fo$nd o$t '$ickly that her water heater r$pt$red and r$ined the floor of her trailer that she almost
had paid off. I asked her, since she still owed three payments on it, if she had homeowner’s
ins$rance. /he immediately answered, yes. I said that she sho$ld call them first thing tomorrow
and ask if she was covered. I told her to come in late if she needed to in order to accomplish
“&hat happened?” asked Kevin needing to know.
“/he immediately perked $p and said that she wo$ld try it. %he net day when she came
in, she was #$##ling and told me that not only wo$ld they fi her floor and replace the water
heater, they were also going to fi her roof for her. -ow, imagine if I wo$ld have "$st written her
$p for doing a #ad "o#? /he wo$ld have "$st #ecome disgr$ntled and develop an attit$de.”
“+$t her personal life isn’t any of yo$r #$siness, is it?”
“It is when it is affecting their performance. I $sed only ten min$tes of time to listen to
her and give her advice that was a part of my #$siness ed$cation. I invested in her and it paid off
in ama0ing dividends. /he came #ack and contin$ed to do an o$tstanding "o#1 a "o# that wo$ld
have "$st s$ffered $ntil she had fig$red it o$t herself if she ever did.”
“!o$ and I #oth worked for &al23art in 4verett, 5ennsylvania, and people were
constantly #eing coached. -ow, what is #ad a#o$t that?”
“-othing if they are real coachings and are $sed the right way. However, there, they were
little more than a signed confession. If yo$ noticed, there wasn’t anywhere for yo$ to defend
yo$rself, it was all yo$, yo$r fa$lt, yo$r mistake, they had no interests in hearing yo$r side, "$st
that yo$ did it and it won’t #e done again.”
“!eah, I remem#er some of the #lanket coachings where everyone in a section was
written $p for something and not for something they did individ$ally.”
“*nd how did yo$ feel?” asked Josh.
“Honestly? I felt like what the f$ck. I #$sted my ass that night and the thanks is a write
$p, a threat?”
“4actly, I remem#er walking #y the office where they did the coachings and their was a
yo$ng lady #egging the managers inside the room, asking them what she co$ld do to do a #etter
"o# and they co$ldn’t answer her with anything specific, it was "$st vag$e things like do a #etter
"o#, get more done. It is "$st #$llying. (ook at 5a$lette, do yo$ think that she is developing as a
manager "$st constantly writing $p and #laming employees? Imagine how she wo$ld grow if she
act$ally worked with the employees, trained them, saw what the employees had to deal with and
try to solve the pro#lem together #efore there is any coaching6write $p? +$t they don’t, they "$st
#lame the employees instead of working with them to fig$re o$t and solve the pro#lem. It is a
poor management style1 it is a la0y management style.”
“I see what yo$ mean,” conceded Kevin, “If yo$ #lame yo$rself, yo$ force yo$rself to
develop, grow, and see the whole pict$re clearer. !o$ are a#le to motivate instead of cr$sh. !o$
have a #etter grasp on what is going on in yo$r #$siness.”
“-ot only that, #$t yo$r employees see yo$ as a leader, not as a #oss. %hey know that
they can come to yo$ for help and that is very important. I can’t tell yo$ how val$a#le it is to
have an open, honest line of comm$nication. %hat will all sh$t down when yo$ do cheap,
shortc$ts like #lame the employees for yo$r failings.”
“&hen do yo$ write $p, coach, or fire employees?” asked Kevin.
“.nly after I do what I can to help them and still nothing as far as res$lts7some people
are too far damaged or there are other reasons why they are doing what they are s$pposed to like
someone made them get the "o#. -o matter what yo$ do, yo$ will every now and then hire
someone who can’t do it, who really aren’t that interested in the "o# #$t are a#le to p$t on a great
show in the interview. *s yo$ gain more and more eperience, yo$ will learn to #e a#le to spot
warning signs, #$t that only comes with eperience.”
“&ell, hey, I have to get going,” interr$pted Kevin, “%hanks a lot for that great advice. If
I #lame myself and look at myself to see how things can #e improved I will grow and #ecome a
more effective manager6leader. If I "$st #lame employees, all I’m going to do is increase my
t$rnover rate and decrease attit$des towards the "o#.”
“)ood, yo$ learned,” smiled Josh, “*lways seek improvement. %he min$te yo$ think that
yo$ know it all, is the day things will go #ad for yo$ very fast. /ee yo$ later and good l$ck.”
“*gain, thanks for the advice,” said Kevin as he clim#ed into his car.