Management truths

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Hiya… I finished reading ‘Dilbert and the way of the weasel’. At every page I could not help but exclaim; “That is so true… thats exactly how it happens”… let me reproduce a few of my favorites from the book here:

  • In meetings, the person who is least competent usually does most of the talking… Five minutes after you leave a meeting, you won’t remember what anyone said but you will remember who did most of the talking.
  • An inexpensive way to motivate employees is through pep talk.There are two types. One method tells the employees they are worthless slackers and need to work harder in order to justify their presence on this earth. The other method tells employees they are the best in the industry despite what their paychecks say.
  • There’s a special word for bosses who care about their employees: unemployed. The whole point of being a boss is to get employees to do more work than they want to do and accept less pay than they deserve.
  • “Our employees are slightly below average because all the good ones left for better jobs”
  • The best employees are the ones who will do anything to avoid going home.
  • Business enjoyment: A form of enjoyment experienced in the workplace that uses no company resources and includes no enjoyment
  • The idea behind empowerment is that employees were authorized to make their own decisions, but only if those decisions were the same ones the boss would have made. In practice, this is exactly like giving employees no authority whatsoever with the added advantage that you can punish them for not reading your mind.
  • You can make a job redundant in several ways. One method is to hire an additional weasel and give the new weasel the same duties as the targeted employee but under a different job title. Then wait a few months and fire the first weasel for being redundant.
  • Any positive trait can be weasel-worded to sound like a flaw. For example, if you are accurate, then you are too much of a perfectionist. If you are the sort of person who always sees the big picture, then you don’t have good attention to details. If you work long hours, that’s the same as not knowing how to manage your time. If you don’t ask inane questions during meetings, you’re not participating. If you do your important work instead of being diverted down rabbit trails by disorganized coworkers, then you’re not a team player. If you’re smart, you’re too analytical.
  • Another cushy job is chairman of the board. As far as I can tell, the company president is the one who runs the company. The CEO’s job is bossing around the president. That’s easier than running the company, but still work. However, the chairman enjoys full weasel retirement. As you work your way up the chain of management, you tend to know less and less about the specifics of the wider and wider scope of activities in the company until eventually you know absolutely nothing about everything. Then you become chairman, which, as the name implies, involves sitting in a chair.
  • Another good utility phrase is “I use the eighty/twenty rule”. Toss it into conversation at any time. This will generate strong agreement because it fits any situation where you have no data. It doesn’t even matter what part is eighty and what is the twenty. It just always sounds right.
  • It’s always a good idea to gather lots of opinions from your staff before making important decisions. That way, when you do whatever you were planning to do anyway, you’ll look like a person who cares about the opinions of other people, not like the manipulative, autocratic weasel that you are.
  • Step one in marketing is to do research to learn what customers want. Step two is to ignore what people want and try to package whatever it is that your company knows how to make. That’s called product development.
  • The whole point of “leading” is making you do things you didn’t want to do on your own.
  • Freedom of speech: You can’t yell “Fire!” in a crowded theater. You can’t say “Mayday” on the radio just for fun. You can’t joke about anthrax in the lunchroom. You can’t describe your genitalia to your coworkers. You can’t threaten to hurt someone. You can’t say you are a cop if you’re not. You can’t lie under oath. You can’t curse too much on television. You can’t insult minorities. You can’t complain about your employer without getting fired. You can’t insult gang members and live. You can’t mention bombs at the airport. And you can’t solicit sex for money.


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