Monday, June 22, 2009

On Ruthless Management

Recently I read a book titled "Ruthless Management". Not that I'm encouraging you to manage that way but I think the key takeaway I had was that as much as we don't want to, we have to measure everything and align employee's interests with the company.

The most illustrative example they had was a chart that outlined an employer vs. an employee's priorities.

How much profit can we produce today?

  1. Taking care of kids
  2. Holding marriage together
  3. Planning for the weekend
  4. Planning night out with girls/guys
  5. Who will win American Idol?
  6. Social relationships at the office; who's a b*tch, who's my friend
  7. Getting to work on time
  8. Getting off work right on time or early if possible
  9. How much profit can I produce for the company today?
Clearly we see a mismatch of priorities, and you can't blame them! YOU are the one running the business with your blood, sweat and tears and sadly, on the other end, they are here for a paycheck. So the best you can do is try to motivate and provides incentives for them to help build the company.

Don't get me wrong - there are employees that will be with you through the good times and the bad, take a cut in their paycheck to help out your cash flow issues, with an understanding that they will be rewarded in the future for their loyalty (and you should definitely reward them).

The bottom line is that as employers, we shouldn't impose our priorities on our employees; just remember that when you were an employee you were probably wanting to get off right on time as well. This teaches us a lesson that we should spend time figuring out what motivates each employee and act accordingly.

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