People management

Sometimes, it takes several years to learn the obvious, basic things.

Recently, I was asked by one BusinessWorld reader: “What makes lousy workers lousy?”

My answer was: “If you see a turtle on top of a car in your garage, you know it had help from someone in getting there. The same thing can happen in people management. If you, as a manager don’t help your workers do their job, your four fingers will point the blame to you, and you will be in trouble.

Here’s the link to my Feb 6-7, 2015 “In the Workplace” column

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Truth in advertising

To build trust, offer transparency as the first condition of the relationship…

…and make it happen. Since 2000, I worked hard at shaping my customers’ trust in our management seminars using the traditional email marketing. While some of my competitors may be tempted to stretch the truth in trying to reach out to customers, I clinged much on honesty and transparency to build and maintain continued trust with my target market. If one is unhappy, I’m always ready to return his/her money without a condition.

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financial management

To test your character, spend other people’s money and pretend you’ll not be audited.

My daughter Rachel, when she was about four years old knew the value of money and the responsibility of keeping it safe. I remember when she asked me money to buy something at a neighborhood store with our helper in tow.

“Papa, may I have five pesos?” I felt a bit generous at the time, when at that age, Rachel can read the alphabet and give correct answers to basic arithmetic.

I offered her P50, but Rachel refused it. She said something like this: “Papa, please. I don’t want P50. I only want five pesos.”

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Good governance

The best time to cut costs is when you’ve lots of money.

Otherwise, it will be too late. I’m commenting on a Reuters report that Lufthansa is asking its airline employees to do “more savings.” In its Feb. 6, 2015 report, it was reported that more savings are needed “to prevent tough competition on fares and rising external costs.” Here’s the link to the article

Germany’s Lufthansa is not unique. Many people and organizations are happy reaping their cash bonanza in good times, only to stumble as soon as it gets dried up. So what’s the lesson? Do cost-cutting in good and bad times. That’s a sure win for everyone — labor and management alike.

That’s why I’m crazy doing Kaizen as it is a universal and powerful management strategy for everyone.

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Self-confidence is the inner feeling before you fully understand the problem.

A man was driving in a rural area when his car suddenly stopped running. He had coasted to the side of the road and lifted the hood when a horse from nowhere came trotting by. The horse never slowed down. While galloping, he looked at the man and said clearly: “Better check the gasoline!”

The man was shocked. He ran to the nearest farmhouse and frantically knocked on the door. When an old farmer opened the door, the man told him about the talking horse.

“Was this a horse with a floppy ear with blotches of white on his black body?” asked the farmer.

“Yes, yes!” the man exclaimed.

“Oh, well,” the farmer moaned, “don’t believe everything he says. He doesn’t know anything about cars.”

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Whenever you see a successful business, someone has made a courageous decision.

That’s a quote from my management hero – Peter Drucker. You have to be courageous in making an “intelligent” decision. But what if you cannot decide? The answer comes from a thought-provoking scene in Lewis Carroll’s classic children’s tale, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Young Alice comes to a fork in the road and asks the Cheshire Cat which direction she should take. “‘That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,’ said the Cat.

“‘I don’t much care where –’ said Alice.

“‘Then it doesn’t matter which way you walk,’ said the Cat.”

This classic tale is retold in a different manner in my Feb 2, 2015 column in The Manila Times. Check my article titled “Morton’s Fork.”

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Anything worth doing is worth doing to excess even if it’s outside of your business.

What if Apple decides to build a car that competes with first movers in the automobile industry? How about beer-maker San Miguel that sinks its teeth in toll road management, telecoms, airline, and a host of other non-food and beverage businesses? Unthinkable? Here’s another example. Toyota is now in the business of growing rice. Sure, it’s unbelievable. Now check the link