Lessons Learned At The Water Cooler
by Maryann Brennan
Business News Briefs
Book Reviews With a Twist
Six Silent Killers: Managements Greatest Challenge by James R. Fisher, Jr.
Heres an author who gets his ideas and data directly from the workplace. James R. Fisher, Jr. has worked inside of the corporate world for more than three decades. His conclusion? We dont know how to manage, motivate or mobilize our brilliant workforce, and as a consequence this spawns six silent killers which destroys the foundation and infrastructure of the organization within without anybody noticing it.
The six silent killers that Fisher identifies are: passive
aggressive, passive defensive, passive responsive, approach avoidance, obsessive
compulsive and malicious obedient behaviors. He sees these silent killers
invading organizations much like termites invade and destroy the foundation
and infrastructure of homes and buildings, silently and systematically until
it is too late for damage control.
Favorite Quote: Make no mistake, the workplace is in the midst of a revolution. Yet the focus more often than not is exclusively on management, not workers. This is due to the faulty belief that if you fix management, you fix the problem. Social engineers have been fixing management for a quarter of a century with little success.
Second Favorite Quote: A high need to please others should not be confused with the need to serve others. These are worlds apart. The high need to please others is actually self-serving and reactive. The person doesnt develop a point of view, but tries to perceive the most valued point of view and then attempts to echo this sentiment.
Who Should Read this Book: This book is for anyone who works for a living, but it is directed at the professional workforce. Fisher feels that this workforce is far from reaching its potential because it is managed and measured as if it were making widgets.
Why Should you Read this Book: It will stimulate, anger, amuse and delight you the way a college bull session once did. It will get your dander up, but it will also put you in touch with those buried feelings, thoughts and concerns you have shied away from pursuing.
Best Parts: Chapters that provide real-life examples of how the silent killers apply to people in all professions. Examples include Ivan Boeskys downfall for insider trading, John Deloreans misadventure in Northern Ireland and Gary Harts derailed run for the presidency.
Most Useful Section: How to establish a real and effective culture of participative management, where workers not only accept power, but accountability as well.