Thursday, January 12, 2012

Values Are Always Applied

Question: In management, does one size fit all? Can you come up with a set of principles and apply them uniformly in all circumstances, or do you have to adjust your principles to the people and circumstances involved?

The evidence is overwhelming that there is no single-size solution for successful management. It is clear that managers must assess their situation and respond accordingly in order to motivate and innovate in the workplace.

However, one can argue for the fact that a manager may base their decisions on certain values that remain constant from situation to situation. The RO book touches on this topic while discussing Gladwell's "blink" process. The non-conscious, split second decisions result in what is called "affective judgments" which allow the manager to feel confident in their decisions.

I have read that these gut feelings are not at the mercy of a person's whim, but are tied into deep-seated values. These values are always present and part of a person's make up. This is from the Harvard Business Review Blog Network:

Granted, these core values do not exclude a manager from changing their approach when circumstances warrant it, but it does influence their decisions. While the article deals with CEOs, I feel that all people make decisions based on their values, this includes the choice that managers have in the style they choose.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A Million Miles in a Thousand Years

A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: How I Learned to Live a Better Story [Paperback]

Donald Miller (Author) 
My wife gave me this book as a birthday present in May. I started reading it right after Thanksgiving. I give it a 5 star rating and recommend that everyone find time to read it. This is Don Miller's best work since his breakthrough Blue Like Jazz.
Technical Merit
This book is a collection of essays that build on one another. These essays are heavily influenced by Miller's personal experiences. His stream of consciousness style takes a little getting used to, but once it is grasped it becomes poetry in prose.
Subject Matter
While writing the screenplay for a movie version of Blue Like Jazz, Donald Miller realizes that the elements that make a good story also contribute to a good life. He realizes that his approach to life was not conducive to success. As a result, his life transforms from an overweight couch-potato bum to a cyclist who makes a cross-country trek for a good cause. 
More importantly, Miller stresses that the components of a good life revolve around the relationships you build. In order to build and maintain relationships, one must take risks and face conflict. Remember, "We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment." (Romans 5:3-5a)
Remember, if you would not want to watch your life on the silver screen, then maybe something's gotta give.
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