EppsNet Archive: Business

Two Mediocrities Are Not Better Than One

Effective executives rarely suffer from the delusion that two mediocrities achieve as much as one good man. They have learned that, as a rule, two mediocrities achieve even less than one mediocrity — they just get in each other’s way. — Peter Drucker, The Effective Executive Read more →

Know Why the Meeting Was Called

People call business meetings for seven reasons, so plan accordingly: To get you to decide something. (Probably useful to you.) To hone their own ideas. (Maybe useful to you.) To convey information. (Probably not useful; ask for a document instead) To test out a presentation. (Probably not useful unless it’s your boss.) To accomplish group writing. (Never useful to anybody.) To prove their own importance. (Never useful to anybody.) To fulfill a process step. (Never useful to anybody.) — Geoffrey James Read more →

The Surprising Benefits of Nonconformity

New research finds that under certain circumstances, people wearing unconventional attire are perceived as having higher status and greater competence. — The Surprising Benefits of Nonconformity | MIT Sloan Management Review Read more →

Topics for 2014

In 2014, I hope some sage business illuminato will gather his wits and take a stab at defining the difference between “management” and “leadership.” Long overdue . . . Read more →

Six Drucker Questions that Simplify a Complex Age

Via Harvard Business Review. My personal favorite is “What would happen if this were not done at all?” Read more →

How to Lose Your Job : A Fictional Memoir (Part I)

Because of the huge productivity differences between good programmers and bad programmers — 10x? 28x? More? — my biggest leverage point as a development manager is my ability to hire people. At my last job, we had an HR Director named Lucy. In every one of our annual Employee Satisfaction Surveys, Lucy’s group had the lowest scores in the entire organization. Nobody liked or respected her. She was, however, close with the CEO, which made that irrelevant. Lucy’s friend Kathy Slauson runs the Slauson and Slauson recruiting agency, so that’s where we got our programming candidates, who were mostly terrible. The Slauson agency doesn’t specialize in IT candidates, although they do have a “technical recruiter,” who unfortunately knows nothing about technology. They don’t bring candidates in for in-person interviews. They take whatever candidates give them in the form of a résumé and they pass the résumés along to clients like… Read more →

It’s a Seller’s Job Market in IT Right Now, Especially for Agile

I recently concluded a 3-month job search. As part of my networking, I met a number of unemployed people in other fields who were having trouble not only getting jobs, but even getting interviews. I talked to a lot of people and averaged about an interview a day, including phone interviews, mostly for development manager jobs. For every development manager job, there are multiple development jobs, so if you’re a developer, your situation is even better than mine was. I live in Southern California, but the demand is not just local. I had multiple contacts from companies outside the SoCal area that can’t find qualified candidates. I’ve been working again for over two months, I no longer have an active résumé on job boards, and I still get emails and calls every day from recruiters all over the country. Agile and Scrum are in demand The situation with Agile and… Read more →

Rand Paul at the RNC

Highlights When I heard the current president say, “You didn’t build that,” I was first insulted, then I was angered, and then I was saddened that anyone in our country, much less the president of the United States, believes that roads create business success and not the other way around. Anyone who is so fundamentally misunderstanding of American greatness is uniquely unqualified to lead this great nation.   In Bowling Green, Kentucky, the Tang family owns The Great American Doughnut Shop. Their family fled war-torn Cambodia to come to this country. My kids and I love doughnuts, so we go there frequently. The Tangs work long hours. Mrs. Tang told us they work through the night to make the doughnuts. The Tang family have become valedictorians and National Merit Scholars. The Tangs from Cambodia are an American success story, so Mr. President, don’t go telling the Tang family that they… Read more →

Great Moments in Government Regulation

To paraphrase President Obama: Look, if you’ve been unsuccessful, you didn’t get there on your own. If you were unsuccessful at opening or operating a small business, some government official along the line probably contributed to your failure. There was an overzealous civil servant somewhere who might have stood in your way with unreasonable regulations that are part of our American system of anti-business red tape that allowed you to not thrive. Taxpayers invested in roads and bridges, but you might have faced city council members who wouldn’t allow you to use them. If you’ve been forced to close a business – it’s often the case that you didn’t do that on your own. Somebody else made that business closing happen or prevented it from opening in the first place. You can thank the bureaucratic tyrants of the nanny state. — Mark J. Perry, Great Moments in Government Regulation: How… Read more →

Stephen Covey, 1932-2012

Stephen Covey, the author of the best-selling book “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People,” died early Monday morning at 79 years old, according to The Associated Press. — TODAY.com Here are the seven habits: Be Proactive Begin with the End in Mind Put First Things First Think Win/Win Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood Synergize Sharpen the Saw One way to assess the value of advice is to ask, “Would anyone advise the opposite?” If the answer is no, then all you have are platitudes and truisms. Let’s try it: Let Life Wash Over You Like a Big Wave Go Off Half-Cocked Proceed in a Frivolous, Undirected Manner … You get the idea. By selling more than 25 million copies of this book, and becoming known as one of the leading business thinkers of his time, Covey revealed the vacuousness of the modern mind, although I don’t… Read more →

For Some Things, You Need a Man

80 Percent Of Lightning Strike Victims Are Male, But Why? — NPR Same reason all of your top executives are men — because we’re risk takers and we don’t run and hide under our blankies at the first sign of danger. Read more →

Goldman Sachs

I was shocked and dismayed –I think we all were- to learn that Goldman Sachs had been involved in whatever it was they did. I had always ranked them with unlicensed boxing promoters and taxi drivers in Cairo, as people who inspire one with absolute confidence. — Chase me ladies, I’m in the cavalry Read more →

Twitter: 2010-04-07

We are using the word 'guru' only because 'charlatan' is too long to fit into a headline. — Peter Drucker # Read more →

Twitter: 2009-11-13

Notes on Strategy from the Harvard Business School: http://bit.ly/1jTVWO # The fastest way to improve your interface is to improve your copy-writing. With examples: http://bit.ly/daUqF # Read more →

Twitter: 2009-09-02

HarvardBusiness.org: 3 Things You Didn't Know About Marine Corps Leadership http://bit.ly/3XHmHu # Philip Garrido's Guide to Low-Budget Dating #badbookproposals # Read more →

The Capitalists Failed Us

There are some things that one just didn’t do. That’s the way I was brought up. It’s not gray; it was black and white. Now the ethical standard seems to be if everybody else is doing it, I can do it too. Carry that over into the banking. Everybody else is doing these funny loans and having earnings grow faster, building up their margins, leveraging those margins. The more leverage A gets, the more leverage B feels inclined to get. So the system fed on itself and drove bankers to making decisions that they, presumably, should have known better than to make. I don’t blame government for this. I was at a meeting of CEOs, even though I haven’t been to one for quite a while, and someone asked me to sum up the morning. This was a bunch of bankers and other CEOs. They said, what do you think… Read more →

Chick’s vs. Dick’s

Last year, Dick’s Sporting Goods bought Chick’s Sporting Goods. According to the Orange County Register, the four Chick’s locations in Orange County, including the one in Tustin that I shop at, will all be replaced by Dick’s by the second half of 2009. I’m not happy about this. Oh, I know there are people who like Dick’s, and there are people who are 50-50 on the matter and can go either way, but there are also a lot of people like me who really prefer Chick’s. In fact, I’ve been doing Chick’s for so long that I don’t see how I’m ever going to get used to Dick’s. Read more →

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