Jacket Weather

by Frank Roche on September 10, 2012

in Frank's World, Management

I wore a jacket this morning when I walked Snickers the Wonder Dog for the first time in months.

I mark change like that.

Shirtsleeves. Jacket. Daylight. Moonlight.

It’s getting dark in the mornings now.

And I spent part of our walk thinking about getting a headlamp.

About snow.

About the onset of winter.

Employees notice subtle changes at your shop, too.

They might not say much, but they can sense when winter is coming.

How Much to Feed the Fish

by Frank Roche on September 7, 2012

in Management

How do you know how much to feed your fish?

It’s not like they can yip or yowl for more food like your cats and dogs.

And what’s the difference between a skinny fish and a fat fish?

I think managing people is a bit like feeding fish.

How do you know how much is enough?

Or how much is too little?

Or too much?

Most people don’t say a lot about what they need.

And most managers don’t pay attention.

Getting the balance right,

whether in feeding your fish or leading your employees,

makes all the difference.

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day.

Teach a man to feed a fish and you have a clean aquarium for a lifetime.

Curiosity Thrilled the Chat

by Frank Roche on August 6, 2012

in Celebrations, Management

Curiosity flew 352 million miles. And landed safely on Mars last night. There’s the team that made it happen.

Can you imagine their joy? What it must be like to have made millions of calculations and taken millions of risks to get this payoff?

Incredibly well done, NASA and JPL. And well done to the rocket scientists. Dazzling teamwork.

Motivation Trumps Genius Every Time

by Frank Roche on August 3, 2012

in Management

Bukowski said it.

It’s true.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately.

And I’m sure

Self motivation trumps “genius” every time.

Which reminds me of another of the perfectly bitchy comments by Gore Vidal:

“Andy Warhol is the only genius I’ve ever known with an IQ of 60.”

Cats + Rituals + Back Scratches + HR

by Frank Roche on July 23, 2012

in Management, Pets

Look at dat puddy wittle face.

Now, imagine a lion’s roar. Full throat. Plaintive. Only in a 10-pound body.

That yowl — that roar — is Benny J. XXIII demanding his back scratch from me.

It’s part of our ritual. No matter where he is, no matter what he’s doing, no matter how far away he is, the minute I start brushing my teeth and getting ready for bed — there he is, like a feline Chucky doll.

Benny starts his caterwauling while I’m scrubbing my molars. He flops on the bed. Jumps up on the sink. Slinks under my feet. Bumps his head against my ankle bones. And yowls.

Oh, man, the yowling.

Years ago I started this ritual. I’d crawl into bed and scratch Benny’s back. You might know that not all cats love back scratches. Dogs love back scratches. Cats…not so much. But Benny is part dog. The harder I scratch, the more he loves it. And he wants every inch of him scratched and rubbed.

And when I do, he turns into Silly Putty. His purrs start out like a Cummins diesel on a January morning. When I flip him on his back, he goes into BMW M5 mode. And by the time I get under his chin, he’s a full on Ferrari.

That’s every night. Without end.

Goes for employees, too. Once you start scratching their backs you can’t stop. They like the endorphins.

Me? Benny and I have a good thing going. He says so.