The World’s Grumpiest Boss

I have been a little tardy of late and, as a result, not written words of wisdom for you, my dear Institute of Mediocre Management members. My poor excuse is that that unfortunately, due to a number of unenforced management errors, my global empire has of late taken a battering. But luckily we have managed to steady the ship and the share price by re-organising, thus maintaining our salaries and bonuses. This was quite simple, we just fired a lot of people. The downside was the paper work, they wouldn’t go without a fuss, thus wasting my management’s time and more seriously mine, so I was not able to update this collection of excellent and enlightening essays . So blame them.

‘The World’s Grumpiest Boss’ dies

It was with great sadness that I read about the recent death of Mike “Do your jobs and keep your mouth shut!” Davies, who was a spiritual mentor of mine.

Mike Davis was a former chauffeur before he became a Houston oil and gas magnate. But he earned an even greater measure of notoriety as the author of blunt and widely circulated office memos that earned him the unofficial title “world’s grumpiest boss.” “There will be no more birthday celebrations, birthday cakes, levity or celebrations of any kind within the office,” the boss wrote on Feb. 8, 1978. “This is a business office. If you have to celebrate, do it after office hours on your own time.”

I had the pleasure of meeting him once and he repeated verbatim the memo he once sent famously  to his employees at the Tiger Oil company in the 1970’s

“Do not speak to me when you see me, if I want to speak to you, I will do so. I want to save my throat. I don’t want to ruin it by saying hello to (all of) you.”

I took that to heart and Anglicised that, telling my associates   oiks to  “Shut up and know your place” – I’m sure that those I haven’t ‘let go’ yet still think of this with some amusement.

grumpy-boss

As a boss,  Mike lead from the front screaming, hung around the middle yelling, whilst pushing from the back swearing. Had he been in management 20 years later his enlightening, challenging and witty epithets would be adorning the walls of most of our major corporations as ‘Motivational Posters’.

His memos (for those under 40 – a memo is what your grandad used instead of email) included:

ON NOTES THAT WEREN’T TYPED: “Handwriting takes much longer than a typewriter. You’re wasting your time, but more importantly, you’re wasting my time. If you don’t know how to type, you’d better learn.”

ON RUNNING OUT FOR CIGARETTES: “I suggest that you people buy enough cigarettes to keep here for yourselves to smoke because, by God, you will not go and buy them on my time.”

ON TAKING THINGS FROM HIS DESK: “I do not appreciate people coming into my office and helping themselves to my candy, cigars, medicine and other personal items … I don’t mind giving, but I would like the privilege of knowing and giving it myself.”

ON HIPPIE-STYLE LONG HAIR: “Anyone who lets their hair grow below their ears to where I can’t see their ears means they don’t wash. If they don’t wash, they stink. And if they stink, I don’t want the son-of-a-bitch around me.”

ON LANGUAGE: “I swear, but since I am the owner of this company, that is my privilege, and this privilege is not to be interpreted as the same for any employee. That differentiates me from you, and I want to keep it that way. There will be absolutely no swearing, by any employee, male or female, in this office, ever.”

We can all learn from his leadership skills, although nowadays you need to be a little less direct due to the namby-pamby HR centric rules that seem to be prevalent in this neo- socialist society that we live in. To cover your tracks just stick up a motivational poster or two like this.

work-hard

The final word must come from Mike and of course I’m sure that I.M.M. members could use this wisdom almost verbatim when addressing colleagues  resources about holiday entitlement.

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And don’t forget this incredibly informative and hugely invaluable book is still available from Amazon UK  and Amazon US  eBook and for posh people in print as well.Book Fan small

 

 

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Sir Philip Green’s masterclass in blame avoidance during MP’s grilling

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Top Model and Philanthropist Sir Philip Green counting his BHS dividends

In front of a committee of MPs investigating the complete fiasco that was the BHS sale to a former bankrupt and retail industry ignorant Dominic Chappel,  Philip Green was trapped in a corner, hoisted by his own petard and fighting for what was left of his reputation.

Much like a Bond movie, the MPs slowly and painfully extricated facts with their proverbial pliers whilst trying to strangle him with clear evidence that he was either complicit or  incompetent. His pained cries of “Sir, Sir, with great respect!” echoed around these chambers as he slithered, ducked and dived trying to avoid questions.

SPGs defence strategy was very simple:

  • He couldn’t remember the details (“I don’t do details”.”It was too long ago” . ” I’m a very busy man”)
  • His key phrase, even though he admitted he was accountable was: “It wasn’t my fault”
  • The fault lay with –  the regulators, the trustees, Chapell, journalists, CFO, Goldman Sachs, Olswang, Grant Thornton, KPMG, his management team (more to follow)
  • He is being bullied by MPs, the Press, everyone else and no-one is listening to him
  • On the actual deal mechanics anything positive that happened, he was the instigator and anything negative it was ‘his team’ as he was too important to bother with the detail
  • He was sure that most of the 11,000 people who are being fired have new jobs or will get new jobs
  • He finished by reading out his list of works for charity that he wanted kept secret

This was a masterclass in blame avoidance and these skills are taught in the MCA course ‘How to Be Successful Without Working Too Hard” by Dick Lannister. So if you want to ‘up your game but avoid the blame’ this is a tome worth reading.

So as Green shuffles back to Monaco to enjoy a well earned rest and to count his wife’s money we should pay tribute to the UK’s favourite Corporate Hooligan and hope that if there is a Brexit he doesn’t get deported back here.

Green Yacht

Philip Green’s dingy awaits in Monaco

Watch this space: Green was so backed into a corner that he has had to say that he will ‘contribute’ to the pension deficit but has cleverly said he has a ‘team of people’ and the regulator working on it. Again his hands will be clean if it goes wrong. The probable date for revealing his contribution is almost certainly June 24th, the day after the referendum.

Notes:

Despite the pension deficit of £571m, Green and his family collected £586m in dividends, rental payments and interest on loans during their 15-year ownership of the retailer.

BHS holding company, Taveta Investments is owned by Tina Green, who resides in Monaco, so Philip can work in the UK. Protestors claim that the couple avoid paying £285 million in UK personal income tax, that would be payable if a UK resident owned the company.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Business Jargon for Dummies

Institute of Mediocre Management graduates demonstrate the art of meaningless psychobabble  that will enable them to progess to the highest levels of management.

Psychobabble

Practise these phrases to become a C level Thought Leader without having to do any real work.

Or if you want the written manual here it is:

Book Fan small

If you would like to avoid paying any tax on this purchase, please use my Panama bookshop outlet giving them your full bank details and any PIN numbers you may have. This way it saves a lot of paperwork for you.

 

Employees are a profit centre if managed correctly

The I.M.M. recently brought in a Change Management consultant to review our employment philosophy guidelines and he came up with a ‘New Thinking’ proposal. As the precocious stripey-shirted oik was charging us a significant percentage of the National Debt per day to come up with this information, initially we had to take it seriously. His report, a 521 page Powerpoint ‘deck’, remains unread, it’s mostly a cut and paste for something he did for B.P., but we did read the executive summary. Well most of it anyway.

Rufus , our MBA qualified Intern has now transposed this onto a single slide with the Institute’s comments. We apologise for the tardiness of the response but our Chairman was concerned about the font and the shade of red used and whether this was ‘on brand’ or not.

New thinking

As you can see from the above,  we will be continuing to used the tried and tested I.M.M. thinking which has worked very well for our members, mostly ‘C’ level execs who all successfully rode out the recession. This thinking is also supported by the vast majority of the FTSE 250 roster whose executive pay has also managed to keep pace with top end house price and luxury car inflation which is awful. “Oh to live in a two up two down in Bolton, so much less hassle” is a common refrain at the Club.

The New Thinking concept is prevalent mainly in new start up companies that tend to locate themselves in Shoreditch (in an industrial estate bordered by an abattoir and London’s largest squat). They all sit on Bean Bags full of Fairtrade Llama fur and play table football while eating Quinoa wraps. It’s a wonder they find time to drag their brains from FaceChat to do any work.

In the end, the only person to make any dosh out of this type of enterprise, will be the founder and his mate. Having borrowed 13 squillion pounds to create an App that links together people who have an unhealthy interest in Armadillos with others who are similarly inclined but also vegan, they then sell out to a multinational techie conglomerate who are desperate to acquire the next new thing and have plenty of spare cash because they don’t pay any taxes.

Therefore our conclusion, unanimously agreed over a rather pleasant lunch at our corporate hospitality box was to leave things as is.  Far less work.

Change

Brian’s report, which he has now modified, to reflect what we thought in the first place,  is available to all our members. It is on the website but of course we can fax it over if you prefer and for our luddite contingent a typed transcript is also available. For really busy Thought Leaders a single 3 bullet point summary may also be requested.

Special Offer! 50% off print version! Guaranteed 50% increase in your income after reading this book!*

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Click here to get 50% 0ff the published price 

HOW TO GET TO THE TOP WITHOUT WORKING TOO HARD

Dick Lannister

If you think the term 􏰀low-hanging fruit􏰁 should describe a soft object that hits you on the head as you walk through an orchard, rather than a business opportunity that is easy to deliver, then you will love this book!

The Master of Corporate Administration (MCA) covers key topics such as finance, marketing, projects and presentations. It’s a course guaranteed to set readers on the path to financial rewards, power and share options, by answering a variety of questions that include:

Why do CEOs with a 4-year contract always have 5-year plans?
Is a liability a financial metric or a description of the leadership team?
How can an inanimate object like a company have corporate values?

How To Get To The Top Without Working Too Hard provides a humorous look at the business and professional world. It’s the perfect, light-hearted read for anyone who wants to get to the top… and fast!

 

*this should read 50% increase in MY income. Apologies for any inconvenience caused

 

 

 

New media terminology – enabling hipster mediocrity to flourish

At last we can consign Paradigm Shifts, Compelling Consumer Propositions, Swim Lanes and all that 20th century mumbo jumbo that enabled us all to bullsh*t our way through two decades of mediocrity, to the dustbin of ridicule.

Now as we start to hand over the reigns of power to a younger generation of hopelessly inadequate, unqualified yet surprisingly confident underlings it is gratifying to see that finally they are beginning to stand on their own two feet*.

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Although late in coming,  our new intake of mediocre managers are finally creating a world of impenetrable, meaningless jargon that can be used to convince others of their supposed intellectual superiority.

Steve Tenants  has provided a useful technical text generator for both young and old techno-babbling jedi spawn which may be used to confuse the client/boss. For example:

They’re inside the array, use the optical CD-ROM mainframe to copy their transistor!

Send the auxiliary array into the bandwidth, it will copy the malware by navigating its HDD network!

Use the fibre optic COM monitor, then you can attach the analogue protocol!

In additional to mouthing mindless inanities, youthful would be managers need to display a typical, traditional, one of the herd look so they don’t stand out but blend in with their peers.

For men, add a beard, remove the trouser belt, display pants and walk around permanently clasping a smart phone to a sweaty palm.

For ladies you do not have to grow a beard.  Try carrying a large designer handbag in the crook of your arm, with a Starbucks in one hand and phone in other whilst tottering around on a pair of Jimmy Choos.

Here at the I.M.M. we senior executives of course still prefer to wear bespoke suits and club ties although Barry/Sheila our senior accountant does like handbags and wearing Louboutin shoes at weekends.

*held up by a couple of workers obviously

Note: This blog is now available on Wankr

 

 

How to Deliver Perfect Projects

This is what happens to projects in the real world! Don't get caught out!

This is what happens to projects in the real world! Don’t get caught out!

PROJECTS THAT ARE ALWAYS WORTH DOING:

1] Copying your competitor:

Find a product that your competitors are selling and then do the same. Copying is the sincerest form of flattery, plus as they are likely to be better than you, the fact they are doing it means it has got to be a good idea

2] From any management book:

Just filter the ideas from a bestseller like ‘13 Habits of Smug Know Alls’ to fit your company profile plus if it goes pear shaped then you can always say Conglomerate Plc did this successfully in 1995 and it was someone else’s fault that it didn’t work here.

3] The standard ‘can’t fail to impress’ projects list:

a] Cost reduction by downsizing the work force

b] Departmental reorganisation

c] Firing the existing provider of an outsourced function and hiring another similar company.

THE PROJECT TEAM:

The Project Manager:

Project Managers organise stuff, like meetings, actions and risk registers. Be nice to the PM, because you don’t want any actions assigned to you. The Project Manager is ideally a contractor so can be blamed and then fired if things are not going well.

The Programme Manager:

They provide progress and status reports plus presentations. Can also be wheeled in front of management to explain what is happening, saving you the time finding out. Also need to be kept on-side, as the presentations they create will be used by you to justify your job.

A Deputy:

They take notes and tell your peers and other stakeholders what to do and then hound them, whilst you take on the onerous task of handing out the plaudits and any good news.

The Expert:

The only person on the project team that knows what they are doing and also has the detail, they are usually passionate and incomprehensible but vital or you’ll deliver a chocolate kettle – lovely but useless.

The Stakeholders:

Usually a couple of appropriate Middle Managers. Their teams are supporting the project or delivering parts of it. They don’t want to be there as this is extra work for no benefit to them. Don’t make eye contact or you’ll get excuses.

 A P.A.:

Fierce ones round everyone up by reorganising their diaries for you. Friendly ones bring you buns and can get you out of meetings when you need to exit fast.

 PROJECT TASKS AND ACTIONS:

These are perfect storms of overlaps and infighting. This is good as you can use the teams’ antagonism towards each other to ensure they don’t bother you with any trivia or work and by showing favouritism to individuals to ensure that they suck up to you and do your bidding rather than the teams

 Briefing the team:

In a nutshell you need to communicate that it’s a key deliverable for the board, you’re only interested in the big picture so you don’t want problems only solutions and as a motivator add that if it doesn’t come together on time and on budget they are all fired, sorry downsized.

Updates:

Demand monthly updates, or weekly if you think you can get away with it, as a full blown, chart ridden, metric heavy presentation. These should be 20 or 30 slides and needs a one page executive summary of the important bits, as you won’t have time to read the rest.

Report back to the board:

This should be monthly and saying how well its going. Don’t take anything but the summary to the meeting or some clever clog is going to start questioning the data. If asked to provide more detail, simply say you will take an action to get back to them on that and then castigate your team for not including the answer in the summary. Also remember to never get back to a questioner with an answer they don’t want. Better not to get back to them at all, if possible, as it will only encourage further questions.

Actions:

These are tasks that need to be completed before the next project meeting. Think Bubonic plague here. Keep away from Actions and anyone who might give you one. To stretch this tenuous metaphor further, if you are a carrier then feel free to infect others.

Steering boards:

An unfortunate fact of life is that things don’t always go to plan and because you are an MCA you don’t have a Plan B anyway. So if a project you are leading is going pear shaped, start looking for scapegoats. Your project team members are the first obvious choice and you may need to throw one or two to the wolves during the project anyway. To paraphrase a French Admiral commenting on the execution of an English Admiral: ‘It’s to encourage the others’.

However this is small fry and the action is expected. The crucial requirement is to involve your peers, so set up a ‘Steering Board’ for the project. This needs to include the Senior Management of any department involved or affected by your project. At this level they won’t be ‘detail’ people so you can get away with telling them very little. Keep it simple and talk about ‘joined up approaches’, ‘key issues being addressed’ and ‘corporate governance’. Your steering board will lap this up and by the mere fact that they turned up can now be allocated partial blame in any cock up.

Project end:

There are two types of project endings. The first finishes on time, on budget and achieves its objectives. This type doesn’t concern us here, as it is a very rare occurrence and you just have to claim the plaudits. In reality, most projects fizzle out when either its clear it won’t work or when the collateral damage to the rest of the organisation becomes so great that your colleagues get nervous and jump overboard, i.e. they stop turning up to meetings.

Both are positive results. There’s no blame attached and you are remembered for the positive reports that indicated clearly you were on top of the task the whole time it was running. You can also afford to look slightly disappointed that the project was ended and will get some sympathy from the senior management for its cancellation. Always, of course, put a brave face on it and say how you can also see the ‘big picture’ that they can and fully understand and support their wise decision to can it.

Extract from the best selling How To Get To The Top Without Working Too Hard (Dick Lannister)

Available from Amazon UK and Amazon US and all good online stores

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10 Things That Employees Will Love You For……. And How To Stop Doing Them

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A new survey by Reed.co.uk has found that most people rate a good work/life balance above salary when it comes to career satisfaction.The survey found that the following 10 factors were most important for contentment at work:

  1. Easy daily commute
  1. Cool / fun work space
  1. Good work / life balance
  1. Salary
  1. Job security
  1. Work social events
  1. Working alongside inspiring colleagues
  1. Good promotion prospects
  1. Extra holiday
  1. Dress down Friday

The I.M.M. therefore suggest that if you are looking to downsize efficiently, i.e. get the ungrateful lot of money grabbing, whining malcontents that drain your company’s profits off the books may we respectfully suggest the following ‘re-organisation’

  1. Move the office away from public transport and have manager-only parking
  1. Introduce hot desking and ensure plebs, sorry staff, pay for beverages
  1. Ensure overtime is expected at both ends of the day
  1. Make the pay look like the minimum wage is an aspirational target
  1. Introduce zero hours contracts
  1. Hold alcohol and food free events on Friday evenings
  1. Deliver a blame culture which should keep everyone on their toes
  1. Create an office mantra: ‘Suck up or stay down’
  1. Make it known that time off is frowned up and impacts #8
  1. Tell Staff to wear what they are told to wear

10 Reasons to Stop Working So Hard

1. Quantity kills quality

2. Sleep matters

3. You suck when it counts

4. Your mood is a buzzkill

5. Your judgment is impaired

6. You’re setting a bad example

7. There will always be more work

8. You’re hurting your relationships

9. You’re screwing up your health

10. Most of the work is less important than you think

From: 10 Reasons to Stop Working So Hard | Inc.com.

Executive High Pay | Because We’re Worth It | Hug a Fat Cat in 2014

rich_fatcat_banker_or_businessman_with_a_pot_of_gold_0521-1001-2913-3608_SMU

2014 has been another successful year for we the management elite. One is reminded of that dear old Greek chap Aristotle who so accurately opined

For that some should rule and others be ruled is a thing not only necessary, but expedient; from the hour of their birth, some are marked out for subjection, others for rule.

(Aristotle made his fortune from the invention of the Kebab and never looked back)

According to the High Pay Centre[1]    In 2014, we have done rather better financially than expected and one might reasonably ask: ‘What Recession?’

Our executive pay has grown from 60 times that of the average worker to almost 180 times since the 1990s said their report.

The FTSE 100 Chief Executives are paid an average £4.3 million[2], equivalent to hourly pay of well over £1,000. Executive pay has increased by 74% over the past decade, while wages for ordinary workers have remained flat.

Top bosses now take home more in two and a half days than the average worker earns in a year so we are well on our way to our target of; 1 day’s work for us equals 1 year’s work for the Great Unwashed, which feels about right.

Of course we have to thank a few others for helping us rise to these glorious heights where we rightfully belong. Our Conservative Party colleagues, for helping us drive the little people’s wages down enabling our profits to rise and triggering our performance related bonuses. The Socialist lot for electing Ed as their top man, who is as effective as a non-exec in a remuneration committee and of course, UKIP who have managed to convince everyone that it’s immigration that’s at fault and why the country is in such a state rather that the mis-management of the banking, financial and other key industries by us the Fat Cats[3].

To be clear we don’t want Farage’s lot in power or else we are going to have to pay a living wage to some UK born and bred chap who actually has some rights.

So in this season of goodwill to all, let us put apart our differences and remember those less fortunate and poorer than us by raising a toast to all skint people everywhere who support us by their toil and strife and especially those who aspire to be like us and don’t rock the boat.

A Happy Xmas to You All

Dick

Notes:

1: A bunch of socialist malcontents mostly on the average wage

2: For the benefit of HMRC we actually earn £43,000 in the UK the rest is earned in

Lichtenstein

3. Fat Cats are very popular on YouTube as although they are a teensie bit selfish

underneath they are lovely and huggable, just like us really.

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