ASQ - Team and Workplace Excellence Forum

Online Edition - May 2000

Issue Highlight - The Oversight Fallacy
---There is a persistent belief in this culture that when you have a problem, the way to solve it is to find blame, institute controls and watch it more closely...

In This Issue...
The Costs Of A New Economy
Behavior: It's Not Just For Sociologists Anymore
An Art In Museum Exhibits
Battle Over Stress

Peter Block Column
Views for a Change

Heard on the Street
Diary of a Shutdown

Book Reivews with a Twist

"It's OK to Ask 'Em to Work...and Other Essential Maxims for Smart Managers"
by Frank McNair
5 Stars

--Funny, insightful, memorable and easy-to-follow old sayings with a new millennium spin on them, is why I really like this extremely interesting and well-written book.

--What's more, the book is indeed a treasure of fundamental truths about leading and managing people. Furthermore, the simple, unpretentious style and many gems of wisdom are what makes "It's OK to Ask 'Em to Work" such an exciting, stimulating and useful volume. Most, if not all readers, will enjoy the statements like: "Count is what you get, so count the right things; the madder you get, the dumber you are; common sense ain't near as common as it used to be; people will respect what you expect if you inspect; and the managerial golden rule: do unto others as they would like to be done unto."

--Frank McNair, president of McNairspeaks ( public speaking firm) and partner of LTM Associates (consulting and training company), makes his case in how to apply human, financial and material resources judiciously, against the challenges of taking care of employees, serving customers and making a profit in business.

--At the end of each chapter there are summarized maxims for reflections.

The greatest lesson to remember: All things are true some of the time and nothing is true all of the time.

Favorite quote: "Ignoring improvement in performance will extinguish it; ignoring shippage in performance will encourage it."

Second favorite quote: "It's not what we don't know that gets us in trouble; it's what we don't do."

Most useful features: Feedback flow charts, relationship audit matrix and simple coaching method.

Really practical elements: Coach, motivational, SMART ONE Feedback and stress-creation models.

Truly innovative idea: The motivation charter, which outlines when employees are motivated.

Favorite humorous saying: "You can be a hardass, or you can be a candyass, but you've got to be consistent."

Message I'll remember for 10 years: You can waste a lot of time feeding "carrots" to "stick" people (based upon one of the book's key premises that people come in two types: Carrot people and stick people.)

The bottom line: Application of the book's 119 maxims will unquestionably (based on my 30 years of experience) help a manager and/or supervisor to achieve measurable business results consistently through the effective use of employees.


"It's OK to Ask 'Em to Work....and Other Essential Maxims for Smart Managers." Frank McNair, 2000, AMACOM, New York, ISBN 0-8144-0517-7,154 pages. Reviewed by Ben L. Walton, distribution services manager, Janus, Denver, Colo.


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