Posts tagged ‘human resource management’

Ten Rules that help get the Job Done


A lot of people respect and admire the work of a good consultant/manager. At the same time, however, it is very hard to find people who would appreciate the methods half as much as they appreciate their results.

This short write-up will try and explain how (in my finite and prone to error opinion) being nice (with an exploitative, opportunistic audience), or being forgiving (with someone who will go right back to sleep once you turn around) is not always a prime priority when you set out to get the job done – however big or small the context may be. The objective is to help management professionals realize how a bit of tweaking within our daily stance for work can lead to massive changes w.r.t productivity and results.

The following applies to both a 5 year sprint at a tech company as well as your next visit to the grocers for celery.

What to do (and more importantly, what NOT to do) is summarized in the following points:

1. Prioritize.
Know what you are setting out to do, make it your number ONE priority (not the second, third or fourth). If you want a ‘work-life balance’, you wont make it to the top.

2. Plan.
Plan BEFORE you jump into the water. Not when you’re halfway out of breath. ‘it’ll work out’ is for losers. Proactive>reactive>ignorant. Sun Tzu – AOW says – The winning general first seeks victory, then seeks battle. You normally get stuck at things ‘you didn’t foresee’ first off. Think of all possibilities, and your reaction to each of them. Do it all the time.

3. Act.
If you intend to sit on your hands, stay home. In the words of Alladins genie, “thats the problem with doing the right thing, you have to do it all by yourself.” Don’t expect people to deliver. Be prepared to get your hands dirty, and lead from the front. If you’re not in a situation you can control on your own, you have bitten off more than you can chew. Supportive people are an added luxury, not a necessity. You will have to work with the best (who will question/attempt to supersede your authority every step of the way) and the worst (who will pretty much fail at every other task). Be ready to handle both, by example.

4. Delegate
If you think you can do it all on your own, you probably can, but that will slow you down. No amount of expertise will give you a 25th hour in the day. So delegate. effectively. Give more work (and rewards) to someone who delivers. Take work off someone who doesn’t. Continue to do that until one turns into the other, just like free market mechanics. Do not compromize on quality. Set clear expectations, and do not tolerate sustained failure to meet them.

5. Be Just – Not Nice

This is the part most people fail at, as managers. Leading is not about being a nice guy (or a jerk for that matter). its about being able to do both, as and when needed. Be just. reward the guy that deserves it, to an extent that it inspires others to follow. Conversely, kick when you need to, and kick hard enough for trash to stay out of your team.


Whatever you do, don’t..

6. Bluff (esp. when you KNOW you’re wrong).

Go by logic. Just because you’re in-charge doesn’t mean you cant be wrong. If someone has shown you a better way, take it, and acknowledge their guidance. Unless you want them to supersede you in the long run.

7. Be distracted.

When at work, use your head. Not your ..heart. Mind on the money. Nowhere else. If somethings distracting you, that means its a priority over work.

8. Do unto others that you do not wish in return.

The categorical imperative. Yes, it works professionally. E.g. Don’t fire a guy for incompetence if you don’t want to get fired for incompetence yourself.
Normally what people do in response to this logic, is that they stop firing incompetent people. What you’re SUPPOSED to do, is stop being incompetent, so you can fire as many incompetent people as is necessary. Don’t breed the same weaknesses within you that you despise within others.

9. be a people pleaser

You set out to get the job done, remember. Prioritize. Most of us make a mess of priorities when it comes to interacting with/convincing others. If you wont give your subordinate a piece of your mind when he messes up the first time, he will mess up again, and probably lose his job if you’re not there to cover up again. Similarly, taking unnecessary shit from your boss once will only help ease it on again, harder next time. So, do whats needed, say whats needed, in a politically accurate way.

10. Stand in line

You won’t ever get ahead when you’re standing in line like everyone else. Respect yourself and find a legitimate alternative. If you feel there is a better way around, take it. Show others that its better. Nothing speaks for itself better than success. Do not doubt your ability as an individual and do not stand in need of appreciation / approval from people. The only person you need to convince w.r.t. your skill, is yourself. How far you get in life is directly dependent on how much you respect the person you see in the mirror every day.

Hope this helps. Questions and comments welcome!