Marcus Aurelius VS bad management

“If only the bird with the loveliest song sang,
the forest would be a lonely place.”
John James Audubon

Ahh… “If only…”.

In France we say “Avec des si on mettrait Paris en bouteille” : “With “ifs” one could put Paris into a bottle”. Makes sense, I suppose…

Bad management is pretty common. If it’s too bad you have to quit, right? It you don’t, you have to deal with it. That simple!

Some managers are lazy, or weak, or just plain stupid. Some are violent, unsteady, irrelevant or beyond understanding.

You can’t fix people, but you can fight, say “It’s enough”, etc. It’s a path, you can go N+1, or use the Union, or make a team with colleagues : I’m not talking about that today.

In front of bad management, you can choose 4 paths :

  1. Have a good ulcer. Or a breakdown.
  2. Find a way to deal with it.
  3. Fight back.
  4. Quit.

Here, Marcus Aurelius is useful :

“If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.

OK, here’s my tool :

  1. Focus for a few minutes and think about what is your job really about.
  2. You’re paid for that, therefore do your job, the best you can.
  3. Consider management as the weather.

That’s all.

  • If you sell things, your shelf displays must be clean and interesting. Vegetable, flowers or books. Great displays. Focus!
  • If you teach, your students must listen and understand, and if they love you, you’re good. Invent tricks and watch them.
  • If you’re a journalist, write great articles, captivate your audience and do your best. Blossom smiles!
  • If you’re a truck driver, drive well and pay attention. Do your job and listen to some good music.
  • Etc. Etc.

Management?

WEATHER

It’s sunny? Good! It’s a storm, it rains, it’s cold, windy? Whatever! GOOD!

You can’t fix people. You can’t fix the weather. Focus.

Do your job, JtfC!

Have a nice day!

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Tricks & Ropes : Two Apprentices

ONE

A Method is ideal, it’s a model, it’s abstract, transmissible and transferable, you can teach it. It’s logical, manageable, and you start from yourself to apply it.

TWO

There’s this new apprentice. He’s young, fast, has instinct, he’s casual, but clever. He’s doing pretty well!

But :

THREE

Of course, as soon as you work with life & its pertained complexities, things begin to hurt, to squeak, to skid and to run out of control eventually. One gets stuck. Two… crashes. Both are surprised!

FOUR

If you’re the person in charge, you have to deal with these apprentices. One has to learn suppleness and how to find colors. Two has to learn methods, to canalize.

FIVE

In French we say “Avoir du métier“, “To have some skills from working experience”.

  • Methods are effective quickly if you work on algorithms, on computer programming.
  • Instinct is great if you draw, take pictures or write poems. You go girl!

But :

There’s always this “stuck moment” where they understand (I hope so) that they have to learn the other skillside, THEN to learn how to build their own engine with both.

Both have to learn the ropes, the magical ones and the logical ones. One has to learn how to be like water, how to adapt quickly. Two has to learn rules (even to bend’em), to find where the levers are…

 

A diplomat, a teacher, a therapist,

 

This Patterntool can be used to study : Diplomacy, Teaching, Photography, Marriage, Poetry, Writing, Architecture, therapy : in every job involving humans or creativity, your skill is made of strict methods AND the fast ability to watch and adapt to the situation.

 

One question : in your field, on what platform of the scale are you?

 

Thanks for reading!

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Backwards Propaganda

I have a good example : advertising of radio. It’s so bad, so wrong, so ridiculous that you facepalm and promise yourself to never buy it. EVER.

You’re in a big store and there’s a “commercial announcement” in the loudspeakers. But the voice hesitates and makes mistakes : a disaster. And it goes on, for days, weeks and months. Flee!

It’s almost all the same for propaganda. When the audience is aware (and that’s not too difficult with this mess : big statements, systematic criticism of the “enemy”, exaggeration of successes), all you reap is inner sarcasms, facepalms and rolling eyes.

So yes, the audience is this “You can’t be THAT stupid, right?” state.

There are entire books of jokes “under communism”, and they are hilarious.

Where else are we confronted today to this overboring crap? Companies slogan? Ads?

Propaganda SAYS something about the propagandist. What is it? What do you do about that? Run away? Indifference? As if enthusiasm if you have to? Inner LOLs?

 

Thanks for reading!

 

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Miles & Pina : Enigmas and what their message addressees make of them

Wandering into a book about Miles Davis, I found one entry : Enigmas. As a director, he indeed oftenly told strange phrases to the musicians he was playing with.

He quickly told, during a concert, “Don’t play the butter notes” to Herbie Hancock, who had to guess what it was about. To forget the fat, the obvious notes, play dry?…

But also “Implicit in Davis’s advice is the counterintuitive idea that having fewer options actually expands the creative possibilities available to a musician, because you have to work extra hard to make up for the absent notes.”

Therefore : a more aerial game AND creativity triggering, from and after a five words injunction!

 

So I think about Pina Bausch telling “I chose you for your weaknesses” to a tough dancer, as an enigma, which totally unblocked the dancer.

 

There’s one tool here, for team managers, who need :

  1. The sense of timing (when to aim, and how)
  2. The sense of immediacy
  3. The will to disturb someone “in a good way”
  4. The Koan talent (find the good phrase to unblock a frustrated collaborator)
  5. The director skills (how to opportunely address a whole team or one of its elements)

Analysis or Vision? Logic or Instinct? It’s up to you…

 

This leads me to an end : Message Addressees.

 

To click on enigmatic messages, to understand a koan, to dismantle a manipulator‘s discourse, you have to think, you need to be trained.

If you’re a fast thinker like Herbie Hancock, you accept the good idea, you understand it and apply it with your possibilities and your will. As if someone showed you a window. Let’s jump through it!

Negatively? Toxic communicators and bad managers will often try to define you, to put you down, to trick you with paradoxes, injunctions or enigmatic assertions. If you’re aware of it, you’ll have fun dismantling all these processes at fast pace, clipping along the suite of sentences and putting the dead bones on your wooden desk : Ok this, then that, and oh this too…

Then you do what you have to do.

 

Now I think about strange movies like Fight Club (Fincher) or Eyes Wide Shut (Kubrick), which have the capacity to bore the bored, and to activate some others…

 

Conclusion : Enigmas, good or bad, are good for thinkers!

 

Have a nice day!

 

 

“The very activity of seeking an answer”

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Instagram : hornsarahberlin

 

 

KOAN : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K%C5%8Dan

“A kōan is a story, dialogue, question, or statement, which is used in Zen practice to provoke the “great doubt” and test a student’s progress in Zen practice”.

 

Ohmylanta ! Bad #management ideas

Here are a few bad management ideas to apply if you want your team exhausted, potatosad, ineffective or bored :

  • Bossy Tinpot Dictators are the worst pain in the ass ever. One could wonder how they just find the drive to “be” that Type.
  • Delation based reports is a plague. You just pick up the worse idiots in your team and give them a little cap. Have your favorites to do this.
  • Micromanagement is exhausting. Just keep check on people and give little orders about their job (where they don’t need you at all).
  • Incompetence or cruelty? Make you team wonder if your strategy is based on one or the other…
  • Give orders without explanations, even if you know that your employees will wonder why you need this.
  • Don’t ask your team what they think how things should be done.
  • Make your team lose their time (for example to fix your mistakes).
  • Give paradoxal orders (a command that would undo the other one).
  • Suspicion : just show your team you mistrust everything they do for the job.
  • Procrastination is great. Just hope the problems will be fixed by magic. Answer it’s “not the moment to talk about it”.
  • Invent useless rules. Watch people struggle.
  • Be unreliable. Say A to Bill and B to Bob. Decide randomly in the end.

 

Tool : 

A team is a clock, an engine. There are two types of managers. You can put a little oil here and there, from time to time, and let people work. They all know their job. Or you can add sand.

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Instagram : marisharasikoskinen

 

#Management : Why the HECK would you want to have an homogeneous team??

Management is funny to study. You’ll find shelves of books to read about that in every good bookstore. So it stays a mystery why we note so many stupid ideas in all hierarchies…

One of the great GREATEST Stupid Idea EVER is the will, from a manager, to have an homogeneous team.

All teachers in the world know that kids have different kinds of intelligence. Some are visual, others need words, etc. It’s the SAME for adults, silly!

You are a manager. You have a team. NOBODY is like the other one. Some are fast, but muddled, others are slow and precise. Some like to talk, others to think, some are one-task, others are multi. Some guys know how to sell, others are great organizers. Some are clumsy but clever, other are dexterous but dumb as dead maggots.

Let people be who they are! USE who they are. Encourage them! They’re good! The LAST thing you should ask people is to follow the same dumb goal. We’re all different, and if you ask people to be the same and get the same objective, you’re just a fool.

Nevertheless, it’s something you’ll see for more centuries. Managers’ stupidity is bottomless. C’est la life, dear. Just facepalm, there’s nothing much more to do here.

Thanks for reading!

 

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Halloween in June

So you work in a store, a big store.

It’s June.

A truck delivers big packs of Halloween shit.

Yeah! That’s the way it works today…

You’re like a bit amazed by such an amount of stupidity.

But you’re told to present all this.

Halloween.

In June.

You place it. All of it.

Then, it’s, you can guess, a big failure.

Dust piles up on orange skulls and pumpkins.

Nobody buys it.

Until this angry day in the end of August…

When your good manager says :

“Sales not good, send all this back to the supplier!”.

Well, of course your mind could be full of WTFs.

But it’s not.

You don’t expect common sense from this world.

You just don’t.

You send all back.

This is “normal”.

Because, one week before Halloween…

You install Christmas stuff.

Right?

Right.

That’s the way this world goes.

 

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Instagram : kloelicious