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    MANAGEMENT

    Test pilots have a litmus test for evaluating problems. When something goes wrong, they ask, "Is this thing still flying?" If the answer is yes, then there's no immediate danger, no need to overreact. When Apollo 12 took off, the spacecraft was hit by lightning. The entire console began to glow with orange and red trouble lights. There was a temptation to "Do Something!" But the pilots asked themselves, "Is this thing still flying in the right direction?" The answer was yes--it was headed for the moon. They let the lights glow as they addressed the individual problems, and watched orange and red lights blink out, one by one. That's something to think about in any pressure situation. If your thing is still flying, think first, and then act.  

    Capt. Alan Bean, USN, Apollo Astronaut, in Reader's Digest.


    Ed McManus, editor of The Jokesmith newsletter, has put out a booklet of humor about folks in human resources. It's called What is a Human Resource? and in it he explains how people get assigned to particular jobs. You leave them in a conference room for four hours. Then, you go back to see what they're doing. If they don't look up when you enter the room, assign them to the Security Department. If they're counting the butts in the ashtray, put them in Finance. If they've taken the table apart, put them in Engineering. If they're screaming and waving their arms, send them off to Manufacturing. And if they've left early, put them in Sales. 

    Bits & Pieces, March 4, 1993, p. 10.


    Connie Mack was one of the greatest managers in the history of baseball. One of the secrets of his success was that he knew how to lead and inspire men. He knew that people were individuals. Once, when his team had clinched the pennant well before the season ended, he gave his two best pitchers the last ten days off so that they could rest up for the World Series. One pitcher spent his ten days off at the ball park; the other went fishing. Both performed brilliantly in the World Series. Mack never criticized a player in front of anyone else. He learned to wait 24 hours before discussing mistakes with players. Otherwise, he said, he dealt with goofs to emotionally. 

    In the first three years as a major league baseball manager, Connie Mack's teams finished sixth, seventh, and eighth. He took the blame and demoted himself to the minor leagues to give himself time to learn how to handle men. When he came back to the major leagues again, he handled his players so successfully that he developed the best teams the world had ever known up to that time. 

    Mack had another secret of good management: he didn't worry. "I discovered," he explained, "that worry was threatening to wreck my career as a baseball manager. I saw how foolish it was and I forced myself to get so busy preparing to win games that I had no time left to worry over the ones that were already lost. You can't grind grain with water that has already gone down the creek." 

    Bits and Pieces, December 13, 1990.


    When you give a guy a raise, that's the time to increase his responsibilities. Reward him at the same time you motivate him to do even more. Hit him with more while he's up, and never be tough on him when he's down. When he's upset over his own failure, you run the risk of hurting him badly and taking away his incentive to improve. As a mentor used to say, "If you want to give a man credit, put it in writing. If you want to give him hell, do it on the phone. 

    Lee Iacocca with William Novak, Iacocca: An Autobiography.


    Stephen Stumph of N.Y. Univ's graduate School of Management, has identified six major skills needed at the top once you get there. They are: 1) Having a vision. Executives must fashion a vision of what the company can be, champion that view and get employees behind it. 2) Managing rivalry. A CEO should not try to eliminate competition between subordinates and sub-units entirely, because it can be positive. 3) Thoroughly knowing the products, customers, and competition. 4) Maintaining a consistent strategy. The best managers stick with the strategy once it is set. 5) Identifying problems early. 6) Accommodating adversity. Senior executives must be able to get around roadblocks and bounce back from failure.

    What mistakes do all good managers avoid? James K. Van Fleet, a consultant on managerial motivation techniques, suggests the most common mistakes: 1)Trying to be liked rather than respected. 2) Not asking your subordinates for their advice and help. 3) Not developing a sense of responsibility in your subordinates, and not expecting it from your peers. 4) Emphasizing rules rather than skills among your employees, and thwarting personal talent. 5) Not keeping criticism constructive. 6) Ignoring employee complaints. 7) Keeping people uninformed--not respecting their right to know.

    Source Unknown.