Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas is a story beloved by millions. Like Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, Dr, Seuss told a tale of a sour Christmas-hating man who achieves forgiveness and redemption even after his many bad deeds. The story was told in a way small children understand. For me, it also explained why people do the bad things they do; why goodness often is the end result of badness.
It did NOT explain why some still can only mistrust even as they stare into the faces of those who wish to help them.
So, with deference to the author for I am no poet, MBMI now presents a story of one broadcaster’s quest for redemption in the eyes of his employees, and the hard learned truth that life goes on.Read more
Far from the violence we saw last week, recently one of our teams watched a petty office issue between two employees gather steam until the boiler was about to burst. Just then, the owner of the business overheard the shouting and stepped into the discussion. He asked both parties to join us in his office.
He looked at the men and said, “Guys, what I just saw was unnecessary and unprofessional. It could ruin one of your careers, and I like both of you, so please let me share a story while you guys cool down a bit.” He gave them bottled water from his office fridge, handing both bottles to the man closest to him, to force him to offer the remaining bottle to his co-worker. (more…)Read more
Yesterday, I had the opportunity to talk to another candidate for MBMI’s Career Rehab program. The program is more of a study course, really, than it is anything else. Participants learn how to evaluate themselves, play to their strengths and weaknesses, interview, and apply skills they may not even have known they possessed, to new or better positions.
Unfortunately, regardless of all the stories of sunshine and roses that we hear each month from the government, radio and television broadcast jobs are becoming increasingly more difficult to acquire and maintain. Long time veterans, people with marquis names, are being put out to pasture. Often these are people for whom broadcasting was a lifelong career. Now, at ages that apparently exceed the tolerance threshold of some Boards of Directors, these pros are, as Joel Denver used to say, “On the Loose.”
A situation that borders on age discrimination.
But NOT the insurmountable and paralyzing event that some newly unemployed victims make it out to be.
We have discussed this topic in the past, but the relevancy of it makes it another discussion worthwhile.
So, if you fall into this category, or any other in which you recently have found yourself without benefit of employment, or if you think that you can hear the train coming around the bend but you can’t quite yet see the headlight, MBMI offers you
This client stands out for another, less favorable, reason: Its employees don’t feel important. That is where we encountered the problem and where your organization can benefit from what we observed.
We frequently have pointed out in our blog posts that employees need to possess a clear understanding of the objectives of any mission. They need to hear and believe that their contributions are necessary and appreciated. In the case of this particular organization, though, the employees suffer from what they think is a lack of appreciation. It isn’t. The employees are greatly appreciated and, for the most part, compensated according to skill levels. These employees suffer from a lack of communication. The inability of this company’s senior staff to communicate to frontline supervisors is as startling as it is remarkable. What makes this situation sadder and more serious is that that senior management doesn’t even communicate within its own ranks. The vacuum of meaningful manager-to-subordinate feedback is obvious, and we have raised warning flags about this issue at every level of the company in the hope of correcting the problem before it is too late.
“Too late?” you ask. Yes. We have seen this movie before and the ending always makes us cry. (more…)Read more
Since MBMI was founded in 2010, members of our management team have been privileged to meet and speak with some of the world’s top managers, like media moguls Barry Diller and Jonathan Newhouse, Coca Cola CEO Muhtar Kent, fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg, renowned chef Rainer Becker, and Hublot Watch Company’s Chairman, Jean Claude Biver.
To simply listen to these industry leaders’ conversations and insights is akin to taking Doctorate level courses at the finest universities. So, this week, our blog passes along a few pearls of wisdom and thought-provoking ideas and observations from each of the people previously mentioned, as Management Lessons Learned Over Small Talk. (more…)Read more
Throughout my career, I learned management skills by considering my experiences and those of others with whom I have worked. I read about what good managers do and I listen to how great leaders speak to everyone in their spheres of influence. Observation and mimicry have been my allies. I’ve tried to draw on everything, everywhere to become a better manager.
Recently, I came to the startling realization that a member of my own household, years younger than myself, has taught me about management for the last four years: My dog, Kyleigh.
Before you cancel your agreement with MBMI because I’ve lost it, I ask you to consider the possibility that I am not alone in my capacity to learn from a big red dog whose mother was more than a tad indiscriminate about the heritage of her gentleman callers.
I have come to admire the ways in which my dog interacts with the family. Like a middle manager, she both manages and requires management. That is why I now present “The Management Lessons I Have Learned from My Dog:” (more…)Read more
You probably know him and subscribe.
On the off chance you missed his comparison of Amateurs vs. Professionals, we feel obligated to offer it to you here with Bob’s kind permission. (more…)Read more
Knowing my friend as I do, this position is custom made for him and it is in one of the cities he desired to be in the most: New York City.
My buddy has been extremely successful there before, just as he has been successful in virtually every challenge he has accepted. (more…)Read more
Things were different before the copier. Why would we ever need an expensive thing like that?
Things were different before the fax machine. Wow! What’s wrong with Federal Express? Isn’t it hard to use that fax thing?
Things were different before email. Who needs email? Faxes are great. And this Internet thing is such a fad. Who can understand it?
So, yes, things were different before consolidation, for many a frightening event in a timeline of events that set in motion events that changed our lives. Like copy machines, faxes and emails, consolidation raised fear. Remember how you couldn’t figure out what a domain name was? What did we need all this techy stuff for, anyway? The principle of change through consolidation often conjures the same specter.
Employees worry about losing their jobs, their self-respect, and the esteem of their colleagues. The rules change, too. So does interaction with superiors and subordinates. Our colleagues often become our new bosses. The whole world turns upside down with the stroke of Acquisition’s pen. Your email has old acquaintances reaching out again, in fear of the unknown after years of acceptance of consolidation.
Looking back, those early days of consolidation were frightening to many of us. Today, conditioned by years of operating in an atmosphere of “Am I next?” many of the GMs who survived the first wave fear being the men and women they once were. In today’s business world, regardless of industry or application, strong managers must set aside their reservations and remember it is their responsibility to lead, to grow, and to create value.
One of the best radio stories that demonstrates this notion involves a General Manager in Baltimore, Maryland in the early days of consolidation. This GM was known for his management prowess, leadership, and decisiveness. Some of the most skilled managers and talent in the country moved to Market #19 just to work for him.
On the fateful day that he learned that his facility had been bought by a large broadcaster bent on consolidation, this GM called together his staff and promised that things would change for the better, providing that each employee remain confident and fearless, while performing just as he or she had for years before consolidation.
“Let’s achieve new heights based on the benefits of consolidation,” he said. “Have no fear. I’m going to be the same guy tomorrow that I am today.” He was, too.
A few weeks later, the Baltimore Orioles placed concurrent calls to every major radio and television GM, to offer tickets on the field to witness Cal Ripken’s record-breaking Game 2131 at Camden Yards. One catch: The tickets were ten thousand dollars. First come, first served.
Greatness is born of courage and leadership. Without courage, rarely can one lead. At that moment, this General Manager could have considered the political ramifications of asking his new boss for unbudgeted marketing money. He could have quietly thanked the caller and asked for some time to think about it. He could have put his own skin before the success of his station. Instead, he saw those tickets as a way to show his courage and his leadership and grasp an opportunity to make a statement to his new consolidation masters. It was a gargantuan risk. He committed to the tickets. Then he called his new boss.
The next evening, the ticket winners wore the station’s sport shirts to that special game. You can see them as Cal runs by the winners, sees the shirts, and stops and runs back to shakes the hands of those winners. In front of the whole world. In front of every potential listener. In front of every meaningful buyer of advertising. It’s all on the ESPN tape.
The GM later moved to another company in a top five market. He remained fearless, left that company after awhile, and started his own. He is still fearless.
In this round of consolidation, step up and be fearless. The copier is waiting.