Gut Rumbles

January 23, 2005

heal thyself

Were you ever encouraged at work (or even COMPELLED) to read the latest book on management techniques and become a totally new person as a result? Did you read the books and realize that you weren't a totally new person when you were finished?

I read who moved my cheese?

I read the hunters and the hunted.

I read fish.

I watched every one of the massey tapes.

I spent a week in Winter Park, Florida at philip Crosby's quality college, then a few years later spent a week in San Antonio, Texas, attending a similar "college" run by procorp associates.

I don't believe that any of the books, the tapes, the training exercises or the lectures at the colleges told me anything that I didn't already know. In fact, every one of them sent the same message, just in a different envelope. There is nothing wrong with that message--- it's all good advice--- but practicing it in the workplace is an altogether different proposition.

Consultants don't have to do that. They live in an ideal, theoretical world. They tell you how to deal with theoretical people, not the real thing.

I'm thinking about writing a self-help book myself. I know all the key words: teamwork, thinking outside the box, risk-taking, empowerment, zero-defects, management of change, comfort-zone, learning on the fly, communication, walking the talk, and "leadership skills." All I have to do is string those words together into something semi-coherent, preferably in the form of an allegory so that I don't have to be very precise, and I'll have a best-seller on my hands.

I think I just found my cheese.


I've read (and seen the movie clip) of Who Moved my Cheese. I've taken more management classes that Carter had liver pills. As you say, the message is the same but in a different cover. It's all common sense anyway. The thing of it is, you have to deal with problems, as they come your way, and what you do is highly dependent on the people and the problems. I would love to see some of these consultants/teachers/authors put in a real life situation. My money says they'd be in way over their head.

Posted by: Moogie on January 23, 2005 11:29 AM

Why don't you just become an Amway salesman and try to run a pyra--- I mean a multi-level marketing sche-- program? Same shit, just less studying.

I thought you had common sense already Rob. That stuff was a complete waste of your time, and you or your company were bilked, face it.

Gimme a break! I don't care where your freaking cheese is - I'm lactose intolerant.

Posted by: Jimmy Antley on January 23, 2005 11:50 AM

You forgot 6 Sigma! By far the most boring of all those corporate classes they sent me to in my 34 years with airplane motor factory.

Posted by: GrandmaP on January 23, 2005 12:38 PM

I never got past Green Belt in Six Sigma, and that training was done at my plant. But you're right---I forgot about that one.

Posted by: Acidman on January 23, 2005 12:57 PM

How many times have you had to take the Myers-Briggs test?

Posted by: Moogie on January 23, 2005 01:03 PM

Whenever you get around to writing that book be sure to include buzzwords like "new paridigm" and "pro-active". MBA's love that.

Posted by: Jack on January 23, 2005 01:34 PM

The missing link in most of those programs, is that the people who cause the most trouble and need to be fired, are the ones in command.

Write a book that those nitwits think will help them, and word the book so that it absolves them of their stupidity, and you will be the Next Big Thing. Then you can throw us all a party.

Posted by: og on January 23, 2005 01:40 PM

Only 2 self-help books worth reading: Dialogues of Plato and the New Testament. (I think their average age is about 2,000 years old). Everything else is just a re-tread of those two. Go figure.

Posted by: torchpraise on January 23, 2005 02:46 PM

I have a new boss who couldn't find his ass with both hands and a flashlight. SInce he doesn't know the business his idea of managing is to give us one of these books every two weeks or so. As soon as he leaves I just throw them in the fucking trashcan. Books like that can dumb down a smart person real quick.

Posted by: Velociman on January 23, 2005 03:09 PM

Thank you, Motorola, for Six Smegma. Don't forget ISO 9000 either. If you spend any length of time at one place in Corporate America you'll see so many "programs du jour" they'll seemingly run together.

I've come to the realization the only companies that make money from these systems are the companies doing either the training or the auditing to implement them.

Posted by: Ralph Gizzip on January 23, 2005 04:26 PM

I should write a book like that:

"I will mount your severed head on a pike if you touch my fucking cheese, you assholes!"

Yeah, this is why I don't work in management-

I'd be effective, but the lawsuits would be expensive....

Posted by: Graumagus on January 24, 2005 12:16 AM

I spent 30 years in the Army, and I spent many hours in all kinds of management, human relations, and leadership courses. I am now out in the civillian world and have been subject to many courses that Rob talks about. I can break it all down to one phrase, " Lead by Example". All the rest is bull shit.

Posted by: James Old Guy on January 24, 2005 07:51 AM

Rob... I've been exposed to quite a few of these myself in 30+ years of Corporate activity/work. The only one that really had something of real value in my opinion was the Massey tape: What You Are Is Where You Were When. I still think about that presentation and what it meant.

You are right... Preaching is one thing, but putting it into practice is something else!

Posted by: Bob on January 24, 2005 09:34 AM

Someone's already written your book for you. It's called "The Leadership Secrets of Atilla the Hun." Admit it, you'd WANT to have your name on a book like that, wouldn't you?

Posted by: John Stephens on January 24, 2005 02:57 PM
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