07.06
Meandering man management

We had a recent initiative at work which required each of us to write a short guide on on how to get the most of us. This seemed a good task to delegate to my wife as she has a much better idea of how to manage me than I do.

This is her advice.

My first question is why would you want to try to do this? If you are looking for a challenge, climb Kilimanjaro, play cricket for England or solve world hunger. There is a reason that Simon has his own business rather than working for somebody else – he doesn’t like being managed.

But if you insist.

1. “No” doesn’t necessarily mean “no”,  in fact it often means “yes”. When you first ask Simon to do something he will invariably tell you that he is unable to do it or that it would be extremely difficult to do it. Say nothing. Definitely do not try to persuade him. In fact, say that is fine you’ll do it yourself. Usually you will then find that he will come around to doing it.

2. Be very precise about what you would like him to do. For example “it would be great if you could look into getting a new BBQ”, might mean to you “please get a new BBQ” but to Simon it will mean exactly what you said – look once, job done, he’ll be expecting you to get the BBQ.

3. Give Simon space. A room on his own, with music and wifi access will make him very happy. Never go into that room unless invited.

4. Express a contrary point of view. Simon is happiest when he is disagreeing.

5. If you want the company to invest in something, always suggest the most expensive option. Likewise if you want Simon to dislike something tell him it is the cheapest or “great value”

6. If you want Simon to agree with a point of view tell him you read it in the Guardian or that the Guardian rated something highly. Recommendation by the Daily Mail will have the contrary effect.

7. Simon is very competitive and likes to win, so posing anything as a competition is likely to be effective – especially if you fix it so that he will win. Likewise he likes to be right, so setting up a fall guy to be wrong could be highly effective.

8. Despite running a company based upon feedback, Simon doesn’t like feedback very much. So be prepared, if you do need to give him feedback, for him not to talk to you for several hours or even days afterwards.

    Gerry Miller
    2015-06-10 17:02:32
    "No surprises here. A man who knows his own mind handled by a woman who knows it better."

    Goff Moore
    2015-06-10 14:45:50
    "As someone who was Simon's Director in the late 1980s, I don't remember having to manage him at all. He was a complete self starter. In fact, I think he managed me."

    Zena Sanders
    2015-06-08 08:37:07
    "Love it. Top tips on man management."

    Mia Kennedy
    2015-06-08 07:38:15
    "Nice one Ros. I imagine Simon won't be talking to you for the next few days."

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