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A h a r d c o v e r edition of this book w a s published in 1996 by H a r p e r B u s i n e s s , a division of HarperCollins Publishers. Copyright 1 9 9 6 by United F e a t u r e Syndicate, Inc. All rights r e s e r v e d .

. Printed in t h e United S t a t e s of America. No part of this book may be u s e d or r e p r o d u c e d in any m a n n e r w h a t s o e v e r without written permission e x c e p t in t h e c a s e of brief quotations e m b o d i e d in critical articles a n d reviews. For information a d d r e s s HarperCollins Publishers, Inc., 10 E a s t 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022.
DOGBERT'S TOP SECRET MANAGEMENT HANDBOOK.

HarperCollins b o o k s may be p u r c h a s e d for educational, b u s i n e s s , or s a l e s promotional u s e . For information p l e a s e write: Special Markets D e p a r t m e n t , HarperCollins Publishers, Inc., 10 E a s t 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022. http://www.unitedmedia.com/comics/dilbert First p a p e r b a c k edition published 1997.

Designed by Nancy Singer


T h e Library of C o n g r e s s h a s c a t a l o g u e d t h e h a r d c o v e r edition as follows: A d a m s , Scott, 1 9 5 7 Dogbert's top secret m a n a g e m e n t h a n d b o o k / as told to Scott A d a m s . 1 st ed. p. cm. ISBN 0 - 8 8 7 3 0 - 7 8 8 - 4 1. Supervision of e m p l o y e e s H u m o r . 2. ExecutivesHumor. 3. P e r s o n n e l m a n a g e m e n t H u m o r . 4. Supervision of e m p l o y e e s Caricatures and cartoons. 5. E x e c u t i v e s C a r i c a t u r e s a n d c a r t o o n s . 6. P e r s o n n e l m a n a g e m e n t C a r i c a t u r e s a n d c a r t o o n s . I. Title. HF5549.12.A3 1996 658.3'02dc20 ISBN 0 - 8 8 7 3 0 - 8 8 1 - 3 (pbk.) 9 7 9 8 9 9 0 0 01 /RRD 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

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Contents
BACKGROUND Introduction Why You N e e d This H a n d b o o k 1 ACTING LIKE A MANAGER 1.1 Two P a t h s of M a n a g e m e n t 1.2 M a n a g e r L a n g u a g e 1.3 M a n a g e m e n t Z o m b i e S t a r e 1.4 Looking like a M a n a g e r 1.5 M a n a g e m e n t Personality 1.6 Talking Too Long 1.7 T e c h n o l o g y Primer for M a n a g e r s 1.8 M a n a g i n g Your C a l e n d a r 1.9 Being Late for M e e t i n g s 1.10 E x e c u t i v e R e t r e a t s 1.11 M a n a g e m e n t P h y s i c s 1.12 Making D e c i s i o n s 1 . 1 3 Trust 1.14 L e a d e r s h i p 1.15 Identifying Potential M a n a g e r s

CONTENTS

2 MOTIVATING EMPLOYEES 2.1 E m p l o y e e Satisfaction 2 . 2 Hierarchy of N e e d s 2 . 3 Motivation Task F o r c e 2 . 4 Shallow C o m p l i m e n t P r o g r a m 2.5 Pretending to Care 2 . 6 W o r t h l e s s Gifts 2 . 7 F o r c e d Interaction with U n p l e a s a n t P e o p l e 2 . 8 Interesting Work 2.9 Challenge 2 . 1 0 Certificates of Appreciation 2.11 Empty P r o m i s e s of P r o m o t i o n s 2 . 1 2 A C h a n c e to Meet a Vice P r e s i d e n t 2 . 1 3 C a s h A w a r d s for T h i n g s T h a t Would H a p p e n Anyway 2 . 1 4 Incentives for Bringing Your G e r m s to Work 2.15 Objectives 2.16 Performance Evaluations 2 . 1 7 I n c r e a s i n g Productivity 2 . 1 8 Team-Building E x e r c i s e s 2.19 Removing Obstacles 2 . 2 0 E m p l o y e e Rejection Plan 2.21 Setting Priorities 2.22 Micromanaging 2 . 2 3 C r e a t i n g a F a l s e S e n s e of U r g e n c y 2 . 2 4 C a s u a l Day 2 . 2 5 Competition 2 . 2 6 R u m o r Control

CONTENTS

3 COMMUNICATING 3.1 Verbal Instructions 3.2 Newsletter 3 . 3 Staff M e e t i n g s 3.4 Making P r e s e n t a t i o n s 3 . 5 Your New E S P 3.6 Your E m p l o y e e s H a v e E a s y J o b s 4 S U C C E S S STRATEGIES 4.1 Taking Credit for Your E m p l o y e e s ' I d e a s 4 . 2 Blundering Your Way to t h e Top 4 . 3 Training 4.4 Empowerment 4 . 5 Diversity 4 . 6 Hiring C o n s u l t a n t s 4.7 Reorganizations 4 . 8 Artificial C o m p l i a n c e 4 . 9 Merging 5 COMPENSATION

5.1 C o m p e n s a t i o n P r o g r a m s 5.2 Setting B o n u s e s for S u b o r d i n a t e s 5 . 3 Why You're Paid S o Much 6 GETTING RID OF EMPLOYEES 6.1 Downsizing 6.2 E n c o u r a g i n g P e o p l e to Quit 6 . 3 Staffing Levels

CONTENTS

7 HOW TO BE A HAPPY MANAGER 7.1 M o n e y C a n ' t Buy H a p p i n e s s 7.2 Whining S t r a t e g i e s 7 . 3 T h e E m p l o y e e Morale T r a p 7.4 Dealing with Bad E m p l o y e e s 7.5 Secretaries 7 . 6 D e l e g a t i n g All Your Work 7 . 7 O n e - o n - O n e Review 7.8 Creating Strategies 7.9 Human R e s o u r c e s 7 . 1 0 Identifying S u c k - u p s 8 CONCLUSION

8.1 C o m m o n S e n s e APPENDIX A: M a n a g e m e n t R e s o u r c e List APPENDIX B: History of M a n a g e m e n t B.1 In t h e Beginning

Background
This book will t e a c h you the Dogbert M a n a g e m e n t Method. All modern m a n a g e r s u s e this book as their primary guide. When you finish this book you will know what they know: Leadership isn't s o m e t h i n g you're born with. It's s o m e t h i n g y o u learn by reading Dogbert b o o k s .

WARNING IF YOU ARE NOT A MANAGER, P U T THIS BOOK DOWN RIGHT NOW. T H E R E ARE S O M E T H I N G S Y O U ' R E B E T T E R O F F NOT KNOWING.

If you a r e reading this handbook, it is either b e c a u s e you a r e a mana g e r or b e c a u s e you a r e a curious little wanker who h a s ignored my

BACKGROUND

earlier admonitions against reading this far. Let's s a y you're a manager, just for argument. You n e e d to develop the distinctive m a n n e r i s m s and practices that will distinguish you from the exploited m a s s e s . As any expert will tell you, there's no better s o u r c e for this kind of information than a small white dog with g l a s s e s . That would be me. You should listen to me b e c a u s e my brain is much larger than yours. To illustrate my point, imagine that my brain is, for example, repres e n t e d by the continent of Africa. Now imagine that your brain is repr e s e n t e d by something very tiny; let's say, for example, your brain. I think you can s e e the contrast here. And if you can't, trust me, you're reading the right handbook. As a m a n a g e r you could do a lot of thinking, experimenting, and continuous training. Or you can just do what everyone else d o e s a n d blindly follow my directions like an unthinking zombie. Blind obedie n c e is e a s i e r than the alternatives a n d the pay's the s a m e . In fact, the pay is better, if you look at it from an hourly perspective. So k e e p reading.

1. Acting like a Manager


In an ideal world, your job as m a n a g e r would include setting goals a n d acquiring the r e s o u r c e s to achieve them. But you don't live in an ideal world, largely b e c a u s e there are people like you in it. Since you don't h a v e the authority to establish goals and acquire resources, you a r e left with only two logical choices: ALTERNATIVE 1. Do nothing. 2. Do irrational and unproductive things. RESULT Get fired for doing nothing. Get rewarded for being a c a n - d o m a n a g e r who m a k e s things h a p p e n .

To m a k e matters worse, you will be e x p e c t e d to s p e n d as much as forty hours every week doing m a n a g e m e n t stuff, regardless of how much m a n a g e m e n t is really n e e d e d . Obviously, u n l e s s things a r e seriously broken, most of what you do will be "filler." Fortunately, there are many "managerish" things you can do to pack your s c h e d u l e and m a k e yourself look like a c a p a b l e executive.
M A N A G E M E N T TIME F I L L E R S

Renaming the d e p a r t m e n t S t a t u s reports Teamwork e x e r c i s e s Office relocations Writing mission s t a t e m e n t s R a n d o m organizational c h a n g e s Making view g r a p h s Micromanagement

It's not a good idea to refer to the dolts who report to you as dolts. It m a k e s them more d a n g e r o u s than they already are. Although it c a n be very entertaining to rile them up, it's not r e c o m m e n d e d . As a m a n a g e r you h a v e to learn to be more diplomatic. Use the more a c c e p t a b l e term resources. It m e a n s the s a m e thing as dolt but for s o m e r e a s o n it doesn't get the s a m e reaction. Likewise, the terms team member and associate should be used instead of the

diminutive terms pud and loser, respectively. The new terms sacrifice nothing in accuracy while doing much for your personal security. In this book I'll refer to the people who report to you as employees b e c a u s e that term e n c o m p a s s e s all of t h o s e diminutive meanings. It's important that your e m p l o y e e s think you a r e smart. Judging from the fact that you're reading this book, you'll probably h a v e to fake it. Listen carefully to the zombie-like s p e e c h patterns of other m a n a g e r s and try to imitate them. If you h e a r a new m a n a g e m e n t buzzword, jump on it like a starving squirrel on the last p e a n u t on earth.

Combine your new m a n a g e m e n t l a n g u a g e skills with the Management Z o m b i e Stare. Learn to hide every trace of c o m p r e h e n s i o n and c o m p a s s i o n in your expression. Your f a c e should s e n d this message:

Logic is futile.
S o m e rookie m a n a g e r s m a k e the mistake of inviting input from the e m p l o y e e s , hoping for s o m e valuable insight or contribution. As far as unwarranted optimism g o e s , this is roughly equivalent to panning for gold in your own shower.

TIP: IF YOUR EMPLOYEES WERE CAPABLE OF GENERATING ANY N U G G E T S OF WISDOM, THEY WOULDN'T BE WORKING FOR YOU.

Clothes m a k e the leader. E m p l o y e e s probably won't ever respect you as a person, but they might respect your clothes. Great leaders throughout history h a v e understood this fact. Take the pope, for example. If you took a w a y his impressive p o p e hat, his authority would be seriously diminished. Ask yourself if you would take advice on birth control from a guy wearing, let's say, a J o h n Deere hat. I don't think so. You can learn from the p o p e ' s example. W e a r impressive clothes. This will be the primary s o u r c e of your respect, if any, for the remainder of your career. It will no longer be n e c e s s a r y to be witty or attractive in order for people to pay attention to you. As a manager, your power a n d charisma will carry you through any social situation. In fact, you can be physically repulsive a n d still have a good c h a n c e of bedding o n e of your attractive e m p l o y e e s through the u s e of subtle intimidation. From a strict legal perspective, this is criminal behavior. But let's f a c e ityou didn't b e c o m e a m a n a g e r so you could get the best parking s p a c e . You did it so you could talk dirty to attractive people who couldn't complain. Your jokes will also take on a new air of richness and humor, no matter how many times you tell the s a m e o n e s . Your e m p l o y e e s will feel

obliged to laugh heartily. And if you mix in s o m e sexual innuendos, that's the s a m e a s foreplay. S o m e people s a y you shouldn't a b u s e your power as a m a n a g e r . But being timid is no way to live. Go out and grab s o m e gusto. And if the gusto files a lawsuit, claim you were misinterpreted. Before your rise to power you felt obliged to stop rambling when your listener s h o w e d signs of starvation, c o m a , or rigor mortis. That's all in the past. If you're part of a meeting that's s c h e d u l e d for sixty minutes, feel f r e e to u s e it all. And r e m e m b e r : A g e n d a s a r e suggestions, not rules. And rules were m a d e to be broken; therefore, s u g g e s t i o n s a r e m a d e to be ignored. That last paragraph didn't m a k e any s e n s e , but logic is not a luxury that a busy m a n a g e r can afford. S o m e t i m e s you h a v e to cut c o r n e r s to m a k e more time for babbling. As a manager, all meetings have the s a m e objectives for you:
O B J E C T I V E S FOR MEETINGS

1. Clear your d e s k by assigning t a s k s to the powerless dolts trapped in the meeting. 2. Exhibit your keen conceptual g r a s p of the big picture.

3. Babble. 4. Avoid answering any questions. S o m e t i m e s you'll blunder into meetings called by people who h a v e a "mission" or a "purpose" for the meeting. That's the sort of thing they should be doing on their own time, not yours. Ignore their r u d e n e s s a n d proceed with your own good work. It is not n e c e s s a r y for you to understand the technology that drives your company, or even the technology that raises and lowers your big puffy chair. You are a manager, not a detail person. And you can pay the "little people" to do the boring technical work for you. However, there a r e a few key technical c o n c e p t s you should m a s t e r to avoid e m b a r r a s s m e n t . 1. W h e n you fax a p i e c e of paper, your original piece of p a p e r d o e s not actually travel through t h e p h o n e lines. Nor c a n you s a v e on travel e x p e n s e s by faxing yourself to a distant location. 2. If your PC is plugged into the power outlet, that d o e s n ' t m e a n you're c o n n e c t e d to the Internet, despite all the hype you h e a r about how e a s y it is. You also n e e d software. 3. You don't n e e d to move your d e s k or put on s n e a k e r s in order to be "running under Windows." 4. Ethernet will not m a k e you lose c o n s c i o u s n e s s , even if you sniff a broken cable.

About o n c e a week, you should skim technical m a g a z i n e s s u c h as Newsweek or Peopleand ask your staff, "Why aren't we doing this?" Then watch them squirm as they try to convince you that it's impossible or hideously e x p e n s i v e . They a r e lazy and deceitful. Ignore their so-called expertise a n d d e m a n d that they do your bidding. Try to pick your technology challenges at random, as o p p o s e d to choosing t h o s e that have s o m e immediate relevance to work in progress. This s h o w s the s c o p e of your intellectual g r a s p of technology. For example, if your department is building a new customer d a t a b a s e , insist that it incorporate the ability to store a r o m a s and music (in c a s e you n e e d t h o s e capabilities later). If you're too lazy to skim technology m a g a z i n e s for good ideas, simply combine any two good concepts, then challenge your staff to m a k e it h a p p e n . For example, you could say, "Why don't we m a k e all of our electrical outlets digital?" or "Why don't we get s o m e multimedia fax m a c h i n e s ? "

Prior to becoming a m a n a g e r , you handled your own calendar. From now on, your s c h e d u l e will be m a n a g e d by a secretary w h o s e goal is to s e n d you to m e e t i n g s that are far away from the office. To illustrate this point, let's s a y your most important priority is to hire additional staff m e m b e r s to improve client service. Your secretary will respond by booking you on a mining expedition to the Axlon Nebula star s y s t e m . This might not h a v e much to do with your priorities, but the alternative is to m a k e your own appointments, a n d that is not what leaders do. L e a d e r s do what their s e c r e t a r i e s s c h e d u l e them to do.

Take

Napoleon

Bonaparte,

for e x a m p l e .

He

was

originally an

accounting m a n a g e r in Paris. But his s e c r e t a r y h a n d l e d the c a l e n d a r a n d s h e h a t e d him b e c a u s e he had s o m e sort of a short-guy p e r s o n ality disorder that had no n a m e at the time. So his s e c r e t a r y would book him for things s u c h as "Invade R u s s i a during the winter" a n d "Waterloo2 P.M." Don't complain if your s e c r e t a r y s e n d s you out of the office. T h e alternative is w o r s e . If you've b e e n a tyrant lately, your s e c r e t a r y will s e e k r e v e n g e by using the "Idiot Trickle Torture." This involves filling your c a l e n d a r with slow-talking, dim-witted e m p l o y e e s w h o form a never-ending line outside your office door. You won't get a lot of work a c c o m p l i s h e d u n d e r this n e w scheduling s y s t e m , but luckily, as a m a n a g e r , your pay is not linked to the quantity of your work. Your pay d e p e n d s on the appearance of work plus the intangible q u a l i t i e s you bring to t h e job, s u c h as "leadership" a n d "motivation." And you c a n pay other p e o p l e to do that stuff for you, as in this e x a m p l e :

More good news: Intangible leadership qualities a r e difficult for anybody to actually notice. That is your p a s s p o r t to leisure. Nobody will really know if you're exuding h u g e quantities of leadership and motivation or if you're just walking around bothering people. To the untrained observer, t h e s e activities a r e identical. So you c a n do whichever is e a s i e r a n d it will have no impact on your pay.

As a m a n a g e r you a r e no longer e x p e c t e d to be on time for any meeting with your underlings. They will entertain t h e m s e l v e s by making small talk, so n a m e d b e c a u s e of the size of their p a y c h e c k s . It's e a s y to calculate the n u m b e r of minutes to be late: Multiply the n u m b e r of people in the meeting by three a n d then show up whenever you feel like it. (It's more of an art than a science.) T e a s e your helplessly waiting underlings by walking briskly past the doorway with a d o c u m e n t in your hand a n d saying something like, "I just h a v e to m a k e o n e p h o n e call." Then leave for the afternoon. They'll still be there in the morning, so t h e r e ' s no r e a s o n to m a k e

special efforts for people who don't know how to act e m p o w e r e d . They must learn to be independent. An executive retreat is a p r o c e s s in which all the decision m a k e r s in your c o m p a n y go to a nice resort and a s k t h e m s e l v e s two questions: 1. How can we m a k e the e m p l o y e e s work harder for less m o n e y ? 2. Why is morale so low? Both problems a r e a d d r e s s e d by working on such things as the "mission" and "vision" and "guiding principles" of the company. T h e s e activities might not s e e m directly related to the two questions, but the p r o c e s s is effective b e c a u s e it t a k e s a long time. And the longer the executives a r e away, the higher the productivity a n d morale will be back at the office. As a m a n a g e r you a r e automatically e n d o w e d with special powers to manipulate time, matter, and s p a c e . You can s u s p e n d the relationship between c a u s e and effect a n d m a k e time move at any rate you c h o o s e . This is handy more often than you might think.

Your special p o w e r s can be useful when, for example, your lazy e m p l o y e e s tell you that an important task will take at least six months to finish. And let's s a y you just told your b o s s that the task would only take two w e e k s . Solution: All you h a v e to do is adjust the timeline down to two w e e k s . This seemingly simple c h a n g e will c a u s e a chain of e v e n t s that will ripple through the fabric of s p a c e time and result in the energy-free transfer of blame from you to your e m p l o y e e s at approximately the s p e e d of light.

As a m a n a g e r you will also be able to control gravity. Sir I s a a c Newton s h o w e d that d e n s e objects, s u c h a s m a n a g e r s , h a v e m o r e gravity. Your office will b e c o m e a black hole into which all e m p l o y e e input will be lost forever. No matter how m a n y times your employe e s give you somethingdiskettes, d o c u m e n t s , w h a t e v e r y o u can claim you never got it. Best of all, it's not your fault; it's the law of gravity.

You might wonder how m a n a g e r s acquire t h e s e special powers. You've heard how s o m e t i m e s a blind person d e v e l o p s good hearing. It's like that, except in this c a s e it's more like a blind person who acquires a limp. Nothing good ever c a m e from a m a n a g e m e n t decision. Avoid making decisions w h e n e v e r possible. They can only get you in trouble. Here a r e s o m e good m e t h o d s for avoiding decisions while still doing stuff that a p p e a r s m a n a g e r i s h .

WAYS TO AVOID MAKING D E C I S I O N S

Act c o n f u s e d . Form a task force of people who a r e too busy to meet. S e n d e m p l o y e e s to find more data. Lose d o c u m e n t s submitted for your approval. Say you're waiting for s o m e other m a n a g e r to "get up to speed." T h e most popular method for avoiding decisions is the "margin scrawl" technique. Use this method w h e n an e m p l o y e e l e a v e s a d o c u m e n t on your d e s k that requires a decision. In the most illegible handwriting you can g e n e r a t e , put little q u e s t i o n s in the margins of the d o c u m e n t a n d give it to your secretary to deliver. Here a r e s o m e good e x a m p l e s of margin scrawl:
MARGIN S C R A W L E X A M P L E S

Mlun yho a c k ? Aroo't we arlaygge nob y a ? Poon ya r h e b a c k ? Your e m p l o y e e will be s t u n n e d a n d infuriated by this r e s p o n s e , but since you're never available to clarify your c o m m e n t s , the e m p l o y e e will e m b a r k on an a b s u r d o d y s s e y to find a n s w e r s to your questions. This can take months. And when the e m p l o y e e tries again, you c a n repeat the p r o c e s s with this scrawl: "Ya bloo n e e p wha???!!!" T h e exclamation marks s h o w that you're getting angry a n d warn the e m p l o y e e not to submit a n o t h e r unclear request.

T r u s t i s a n i m p o r t a n t a s s e t for a l e a d e r t o h a v e . T h a t m i g h t b e a problem if you're a h u g e , u n s c r u p u l o u s w e a s e l b e n t on a b u s i n g your p o s i t i o n o f p o w e r f o r p e r s o n a l g a i n . F o r t u n a t e l y t h e r e ' s a tool f o r l e a d e r s like y o u t o o ; it's c a l l e d "lying."

Lying isn't a g o o d i d e a i n n o n w o r k s i t u a t i o n s b e c a u s e b a d t h i n g s c a n h a p p e n i f y o u g e t c a u g h t . But w h e n y o u ' r e d e a l i n g with e m p l o y e e s , they h a v e f e w retaliatory options a s long a s you k e e p t h e s u p p l y c a b i n e t locked. And if you lose their trust, you c a n a l w a y s u s e f e a r a n d intimidation t o g e t t h e s a m e r e s u l t s . T h e r e ' s n o real risk.

Leadership can best be understood by the Alaskan dogsled analogy. It t a k e s several d o g s to haul o n e h u m a n in a sled. But if t h o s e d o g s wisely threaten to bite the human, then that o n e h u m a n can haul many d o g s riding comfortably in the sled. Leadership is like that, except without the d o g s and the sled a n d the frozen tundra. (Note: I don't know what a tundra is, but I'm pretty sure you wouldn't want yours frozen.) Leadership skills a r e quite different from m a n a g e m e n t skills. W h e n you "manage," by definition, you're trying to distribute r e s o u r c e s w h e r e they will do the c o m p a n y the most good. When you "lead," by definition, you're trying to get t h o s e r e s o u r c e s distributed to yourself. Obviously, leadership is a better way to go. It's e a s i e r too. Always "lead by example." Let's s a y you're trying to r e d u c e c o s t s in the company. You c a n set an e x a m p l e by ordering your chauffeur to get his hair cut at S u p e r Cuts. This is the kind of personal sacrifice

that inspires the e m p l o y e e s . Soon you'll be able to s q u e e z e their health benefits like a tourniquet on a s e e d l e s s grape. You can also a g r e e to s h a r e a s e c r e t a r y with another leader to reduce costs. You might h a v e to work that secretary eighty hours a week, until the secretary is bitter a n d unattractive to look at, but when you m a k e personal sacrifices like this, it's contagious. Before long, every e m p l o y e e will be willing to take a bullet for you. And if they aren't, just grab o n e by the arm a n d pull him in front of you at the last minute. It all works out the s a m e , bulletwise. Don't get me wrong. Leadership isn't only about selfish actions. It's also about empty, m e a n i n g l e s s e x p r e s s i o n s . Here are a few you should memorize: Work smarter, not harder. It's a new paradigm. It's an opportunity, not a problem.

T h e whole concept of leadership involves getting people to do things they don't want to do. The trick is to convince e m p l o y e e s that they will feel good if they do t h e s e thingsnot in the s e n s e of having a d e q u a t e food and shelter, but in the s e n s e that their h e a r t s and souls will be nourished. Fortunately, their e g o s a r e so b e a t e n down that they're like g o a t s trying to munch tin canswilling to digest any ridiculous thing you f e e d them. You can u s e t h e s e ego-stroking m e s s a g e s to inspire e m p l o y e e s to work harder without extra money: You're a valued m e m b e r of the team! Nobody can do the things you can do! You're helping m a k e the world a better place! If the e m p l o y e e s continue to whine about being paid l e s s than a Uruguayan gnat farmer, that dissatisfaction must be c a u s e d by s o m e d e e p c h a r a c t e r flaw they invariably s e e m to have. And that's not your problem. You're busy leading. You can't be a psychiatrist

O n e of your j o b s as a m a n a g e r is to identify a n d promote n e w m a n a g e r s . Ideally, e a c h new m a n a g e r should be l e s s qualified than you. Otherwise that new m a n a g e r will try to t a k e your job or m a k e you look d u m b . It's in your best interest to k e e p the talent pool as thin as possible, just as the p e o p l e who promoted you h a v e d o n e , until eventually the only c r e a t u r e s getting promoted a r e single-cell organisms. When we a r e born, all h u m a n s a r e clueless, self-absorbed, a n d helpless. Most b a b i e s will grow out of it. T h o s e who don't b e c o m e m a n a g e r s . But adults with m a n a g e m e n t potential are s o m e t i m e s

hard to spot. As a m a n a g e r yourself, look for t h e s e telltale signs of high-potential m a n a g e m e n t c a n d i d a t e s .


SIGNS OF POTENTIAL MANAGERS

1. When you sit down suddenly, you crush their h e a d s . 2. They get whiplash from nodding vigorously while you talk. 3. They mimic your m a n n e r i s m s a n d a p p e a r a n c e in such detail that you can u s e them as a mirror to locate a n d remove bits of food from your teeth.

2. Motivating Employees
You might be t e m p t e d to try to k e e p e m p l o y e e s satisfied in order to maintain productivity. That's not easy. Employee satisfaction can be expensive, s o m e t i m e s even unhygienic. T h e r e is only o n e g e r m - f r e e and economical alternative to a d d r e s s i n g the e m p l o y e e satisfaction issue. S e e if you can locate it on this list.
EMPLOYEE SATISFACTION ALTERNATIVES

1. Increase salaries. 2. Improve the working environment. 3. Do an e m p l o y e e satisfaction survey a n d ignore the results. Choice 3 is the correct answer. But be careful how you design the e m p l o y e e satisfaction survey. If you allow the e m p l o y e e s to s a y what's really bothering them, they might expect you to c h a n g e something; i.e., expect you to do work, a n d that would pretty much h o s e all the benefits of this a p p r o a c h .

A good e m p l o y e e satisfaction survey s e e k s to accomplish o n e thing: Divert the e m p l o y e e s ' attention away from the things that really bug them a n d toward a r e a s that look like their own fault. T h e s e a r e good survey questions to include. EMPLOYEE SURVEY Q U E S T I O N S (GOOD) On a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being "true" a n d 5 being "very true." I know how to do my job and when I fail it's only b e c a u s e I'm either lazy or stupid. My m a n a g e r c o m m u n i c a t e s with me often, but I don't pay attention. T h e c o m p a n y h a s a clear vision and strategy but it d o e s n ' t s e e m that way to me b e c a u s e my brain is fuzzy. My co-workers a r e a bunch of back-stabbing w e e n i e s but there's nothing that m a n a g e m e n t c a n do about it. Given the c h a n c e , I would gladly a c c e p t a cut in pay. 1 1 1 1 1

T h e s e are s o m e survey questions you want to avoid. EMPLOYEE SURVEY QUESTIONS (BAD) On a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being "true" a n d 5 being "very true." My b o s s is an ignorant tyrant. Working in a cubicle h a s m a d e my e g o shrivel like a raisin on an Egyptian sidewalk. Everything I do is u s e l e s s t h a n k s to the c o n s t a n t bungling of m a n a g e m e n t . I am surrounded by idiots. My pay is so low c o m p a r e d to other people in my industry that I s p e n d all of my time fantasizing a b o u t working at other c o m p a n i e s . T h e goal of " e m p l o y e e motivation" is to m a k e your e m p l o y e e s feel so h a p p y a b o u t their j o b s that they lose sight of their own b e s t interests. If your e m p l o y e e s are fixated on selfish short-term goals such as food, shelter, and happiness, that is exactly the time when skillful m a n a g e 1 1 1 1 1

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ment is most n e e d e d . Your challenge is to convince the e m p l o y e e s to focus on long-term goals, such as their m a n a g e r ' s career. Before you can h o p e to motivate e m p l o y e e s you must understand their hierarchy of n e e d s .

Employee Hierarchy of Needs


E m p l o y e e s will not develop a n e e d for things at the higher levels of the pyramid until they h a v e totally satisfied their n e e d s at lower levels. Make s u r e they get plenty of the stuff on the lower levels, but not so much that they develop a n e e d for more money.

Much of what we know about e m p l o y e e motivation c o m e s from observing satisfied workers a n d learning from them. Take doctors, for example. Doctors are a m o n g the most motivated workers in the world. They work very long hours in return for incredible a m o u n t s of money and the opportunity to heal sick people. Obviously, their motivation c o m e s from their desire to work long hours. You can u s e what we've learned about doctors to m a k e your employe e s more motivated too. If they squawk about low pay and unfulfilling work, increase their workload. Soon they'll be as happy as a bunch of doctors. And if not, they might at least h a v e the s a m e high rate of suicide as doctors, a n d that's what we call a self-correcting problem.

If you want to deflect blame for using the motivational t e c h n i q u e s that you've learned h e r e (and it's a good idea to do so), form a task force of e m p l o y e e s to s u g g e s t new w a y s to motivate t h e m s e l v e s .

The e m p l o y e e s on the task force will build their recommendation around the two things they can all a g r e e on: The m e e t i n g s a r e very long and it really d o e s n ' t matter what they c o m e up with. Don't worry about the task force coming up with a recommendation that you can't a c c e p t . Although they may be dumb, no group of e m p l o y e e s is naive e n o u g h to c o m e up with r e c o m m e n d a t i o n s that reflect what they really want to say. If they did, they might s o u n d like these:
H O N E S T E M P L O Y E E R E C O M M E N D A T I O N S YOU WON'T S E E

1. We would be very motivated by a c h a n c e to whack our m a n a g e r with a big stick.

2. Give us more money, you nearsighted, p o m p o u s bag of monkey excrement. 3. The only thing we're s u r e is NOT motivating is being forced to work on a motivation task force. Instead, you will likely get a politically a c c e p t a b l e recommendation for an e m p l o y e e motivation campaign that incorporates many of the e l e m e n t s you'll s e e in this handbook. O n e of the e a s i e s t p r o g r a m s to implement is the Shallow Compliment Program. T h e theory is simple: T h e m a n a g e r walks around and compliments the e m p l o y e e s , t h u s creating a rise in the employe e s ' endorphins which block the ability of the brain to perceive pain. Consequently, the e m p l o y e e s will work twice as hard a n d then go h o m e and h a v e wild jungle s e x with a s p o u s e or, in the c a s e of s o m e e m p l o y e e s in the procurement department, a close relative. Anytime is the right time for shallow compliments. For example, the m a n a g e r might notice that a monthly s t a t u s report is especially well written a n d point that out. "Hey, this is o n e heckuva s t a t u s report. It's got shading and everything. Have you ever b e e n t e s t e d to s e e if you're a genius?" Never mind that the status report will eventually be consolidated into one bullet point by another employee who h a s no greater value to the c o m p a n y than consolidating status reports into bullet points. And

never mind that it took the employee all day to create the status report, thus eliminating the possibility of doing any real work. The important thing is that the employee w a s recognized for the high quality of this meaningless work. That's what fuels the productivity engine.

When a m a n a g e r p r e t e n d s to care, an immediate bond will form with the e m p l o y e e s . This bond can be u s e d later to extract extra work for no pay. You can pretend to c a r e by inquiring about a e m p l o y e e ' s family, medical status, or personal lifebut do so in a situation that g u a r a n t e e s you cannot be trapped listening to a tedious story involving s a d n e s s a n d other things you really don't want to hear. The best way for a m a n a g e r to avoid this trap is by driving briskly through the c o m p a n y parking lot and shouting "HOW'S YOUR FAMILY??!!" at the e m p l o y e e s as they h e a d into the building. T h e driveby method gives the best ratio of perceived "caring" to actual "listening."

Let's s a y o n e of your e m p l o y e e s h a s worked sixteen hours a day to develop a product that is making millions of dollars for the company. You can kill two birds with o n e motivational stone. Call a big meeting and p r e s e n t the hardworking e m p l o y e e with a gift that he would never buy with his own money, such as a belt buckle featuring the c o m p a n y logo. This sort of public recognition h a s the double benefit of motivating the hardworking e m p l o y e e to greater heights a n d also making his p e e r s insanely jealous of the belt buckle, thus becoming c r a z e d workaholics t h e m s e l v e s . Never give rewards that h a v e actual value, s u c h as stock options or b o n u s e s . It s e n d s the wrong m e s s a g e . S o m e e m p l o y e e s might start thinking of t h e m s e l v e s as merely paid help instead of the beltbuckle-owning "family" that you want them to be.

An excellent way to m a k e e m p l o y e e s glad they're alive is to force them to s p e n d more time with their b o s s e s a n d co-workers. For example, you could form a c o m p a n y bowling t e a m and u s e subtle p r e s s u r e to c o e r c e people to participate. With a bowling t e a m you can combine the joy of being o v e r e x p o s e d to annoying co-workers with the thrill of wearing u s e d s h o e s . As your bowling t e a m wallows in the entrails of d e f e a t at the h a n d s of your laughing a n d talented o p p o n e n t s , the e m p l o y e e s will learn new things about e a c h other and about life itself. Unfortunately, much of what they learn about life will c a u s e them to wish it w e r e over sooner. But eventually they will learn how to a c c e p t d e f e a t n o t as individuals but as a collection of co-workers who resent e a c h other. That will cut down on the idle chatter during the day.

Despite all the prattle you h e a r from your e m p l o y e e s about wanting more money, greater dignity, and shorter hours, what they really want is "interesting work." T h e more the better. But remember, what might s e e m boring to you as a s e a s o n e d mana g e r is actually quite fascinating to the e m p l o y e e s . T h e r e ' s no point in taking s o m e perfectly interesting jobsuch as a c c o u n t s payable clerkand trying to m a k e it more interesting than it already is. J u s t m a k e it harderthat's practically the s a m e thing.

E m p l o y e e s thrive on "challenge." Give them as many artificial chall e n g e s as possible. For example, you could ask them for frequent presentations a n d s t a t u s reports until the e m p l o y e e s h a v e no time left to actually work. That's exactly the kind of challenge they're looking for. When you h a v e an exceptionally nasty project, p r e s e n t it to your e m p l o y e e as a "challenge." That seemingly minor c h a n g e in syntax will c a u s e the e m p l o y e e to feel like an Olympic athlete instead of the boot-stomped carpet mite that he is. Words matter. Nothing inspires an e m p l o y e e quite like the thrill of receiving a certificate of appreciation. It's not the value of the item that matters, it's the m e s s a g e that it c o m m u n i c a t e s . Specifically, the inspirational m e s s a g e is this:

You are as valuable as this certificate.


Although the certificate f o c u s e s on p a s t a c h i e v e m e n t s , it is still motivational b e c a u s e it reinforces the possibility that with continued hard work the e m p l o y e e might s o m e d a y get a n o t h e r certificate of appreciation, m a y b e next time in its own plastic f r a m e . (That's a false hope, of course, b e c a u s e you'll want to s p r e a d the a w a r d s around so everybody g e t s motivated, not just the gogetters.)

It can be e x p e n s i v e to promote an e m p l o y e e . But it c o s t s you nothing to promise a promotion at s o m e undefined future time. That way you get all of the motivational benefits without any of the costs. When the future arrives (and believe me, That m e a n s it's time for the "team leader" s c a m . S o m e t i m e s you c a n fool an e m p l o y e e into thinking h e ' s b e e n promoted. Designate him as "team leader" a n d a s s u r e him that his salary is higher than that of the other people in the group. As t e a m leader he won't h a v e a c c e s s to the personnel files, so t h e r e ' s no way to disprove your claim. it often does), the e m p l o y e e will complain that the promotion h a s not materialized.

This method c o s t s you nothing a n d h a s the a d d e d a d v a n t a g e of the t e a m leader doing much of your job in addition to his own. E m p l o y e e s believe that c o m p a n y vice presidents a r e unscrupulous, incompetent, uncaring turds. Needless to say, employees are delighted by the opportunity to s p e n d s o m e time with them. That's why a powerful motivational incentive is to promise you'll give your e m p l o y e e s "exposure" to senior m a n a g e m e n t as a reward for doing a good job. E m p l o y e e s think e x p o s u r e is a good thing. They eat it up. They fantasize about the executive noticing the special twinkle in their e y e and the wisdom of their words. They imagine the executive begging them to b e c o m e a special adviser.

FANTASY S C E N E

E m p l o y e e : I w a s thinking we should h a v e a bigger parking lot. Vice President: My God! That's an incredible idea! I'll order it done. E m p l o y e e : It w a s nothing. I've got lots of them. Vice President: From now on, I won't m a k e a move without consulting you first. E m p l o y e e : I'm blushing.

Believe it or not, c a s h s e e m s to motivate s o m e e m p l o y e e s . It's not a proven connection, but the anecdotal e v i d e n c e is becoming hard to ignore. C a s h a w a r d s should be small e n o u g h to h a v e no impact on company earnings but large e n o u g h so the e m p l o y e e won't rip the check up, c h e w it until it b e c o m e s a p a p i e r - m a c h e saliva ball, and spit it against the side of your h e a d . Try $500. Only a few s u p e r s t a r s should qualify for the award during the c o u r s e of the year; otherwise the value of the award will be c h e a p e n e d . You want e m p l o y e e s to c o m e in every morning a n d s a y to themselves . . . "I may be the worst e m p l o y e e in the c o m p a n y now, but if I work eighteen hours a day I'll h a v e a one-in-a-hundred c h a n c e of winning $ 2 5 0 in after-tax s p e n d i n g money! Helloooo Monte Carlo!"

This type of incentive will c a u s e people to evaluate all of their actions during the day. As a result they will tend to avoid unproductive activities, such as teamwork. Only t h o s e a c c o m p l i s h m e n t s "above a n d beyond" the normal e x p e c tations of the job should be considered for a w a r d s . At first glance, the e m p l o y e e s might think they do a lot of things that are beyond the call of duty. But it's the job of the thrifty m a n a g e r to continually redefine the e m p l o y e e ' s objectives so they include anything a h u m a n can reasonably do. This m a n e u v e r is s o m e t i m e s called "empowerment" and it h a s s a v e d corporations billions of dollars in c a s h awards. S o m e t i m e s your e m p l o y e e s will u s e death a n d d i s e a s e as e x c u s e s for staying home. U s e incentives to limit that behavior. You don't n e e d to give expensive gifts to motivate good a t t e n d a n c e . As previously noted, the c o m m o n e m p l o y e e is thrilled with small digital clocks, golf t e e s , even writing tools. The important thing is that you recognize the value of the a t t e n d a n c e . S o m e e m p l o y e e s might complain about co-workers who crawl into work while shedding g e r m s like a s h e e p d o g shaking off a bubble bath. Remind them that they too might be sick s o m e d a y (probably soon), so they should not be so quick to "cast the first stone" at their co-workers.

Ask your e m p l o y e e s to participate in the creation of their own objectives. This p r o c e s s is called "buy-in" a n d it can be very a m u s i n g to watch.

Ask e a c h e m p l o y e e to write up a set of objectives that s e e m s appropriate. The s m a r t e r e m p l o y e e s will invent fun a n d u n m e a s u r a b l e objectives like t h e s e .
FUN AND U N M E A S U R A B L E O B J E C T I V E S

S c a n periodicals to determine important t r e n d s that affect our industry. Acquire state-of-the-art technology a n d investigate the Internet for strategically important information. Attend trade s h o w s and conventions in sunny, low-crime a r e a s in order to "network" with important clients. Act as adviser emeritus on all important projects.

T h e e m p l o y e e naturally e x p e c t s you to "toughen" the objectives a n d also m a k e t h e m a bit more m e a s u r a b l e . It's a natural p r o c e s s of give-and-take that eventually leads to a well-defined c o n s e n s u s ; i.e.,

"buy-in." At the e n d you should h a v e a set of objectives that h a v e this level of specificity a n d measurability.
SPECIFIC AND MEASURABLE OBJECTIVES

Build a computer operating system that will give the c o m p a n y a monopoly over all computing in the solar s y s t e m by the fourth quarter. The new operating system must run under Windows 95. C r e a t e daily s t a t u s reports that i n c r e a s e the profits of the company by 20 percent. Construct a new s a l e s office using only your body as tools. R e d u c e c u s t o m e r complaints by 150 percent by any m e a n s necessary, including but not limited to violence. Discover oil in your cubicle. Most of allhave FUN!! That last objective is there to show that you care. At s o m e future point, typically while the objectives are coming out of the printer, the environment will c h a n g e a n d the objectives will b e c o m e moot. Rather than rewrite the objectives for every little shift in direction, you c a n verbally a s s u r e the e m p l o y e e that the objectives will be mentally a d j u s t e d in your mind.

You won't believe the calm and r e a s s u r e d look you'll get w h e n you tell an e m p l o y e e that his objectives h a v e b e e n adjusted in your mind. His e y e b r o w s will wrinkle a n d he'll start to wring his little h a n d s and shift in his s e a t . He might start updating his r e s u m e right in front of you. You don't have to be an expert in body l a n g u a g e to know that t h o s e a r e all signs of trust. By the time the actual review period is up you will be transferred to a n o t h e r group to m a n a g e . Don't worry about the e m p l o y e e s you left behind. C o m p a n y policy s a y s you must complete the p e r f o r m a n c e reviews of the e m p l o y e e s in your old department, but that policy is only m e a n t to k e e p the e m p l o y e e s motivatedit's not something you actually h a v e to do. However, you will be a s k e d to review the e m p l o y e e s in your newly inherited group. You'll h a v e no idea what they've d o n e all year, but that won't matter b e c a u s e their objectives will be moot by that time anyway. Blame the previous m a n a g e r for not giving you any f e e d back a n d s a y you've got a call in. Keep that up until you're transferred again a n d the trail grows cold. If for s o m e reason you stay in o n e job for too long, you may be forced to do a performance review and assign raises. Begin by asking the e m p l o y e e s to write their own performance review. This may s e e m irrational to them, since ultimately they're not going to have any s a y about their own rating. And it might s e e m like they're doing your job for you. T h o s e c o n c e r n s can be eliminated by pretending to care.

Naturally, the e m p l o y e e s will complain that they can't rate t h e m s e l v e s against objectives that have b e c o m e moot during the year. Instruct them to invent s o m e after-the-fact objectives b a s e d on what they actually did and then rate their performance on t h o s e objectives. At that point the e m p l o y e e s will be seriously questioning w h e t h e r you're worth all the oxygen you're c o n s u m i n g on earth. But rather than deal with the philosophical question, they will delight in the opportunity to e x a g g e r a t e their a c c o m p l i s h m e n t s in the h o p e of getting a large pay increase. They a r e funny that way! You might feel s o m e w h a t trapped by the fact that the e m p l o y e e s will rate t h e m s e l v e s "godlike" on every single objective. That would s e e m to indicate a big pay increase. You h a v e two strategies for foiling them: 1. Explain that although they e x c e e d e d their objectives, the objectives t h e m s e l v e s were not very important to the company. Your policy is to reward only the people who "make a difference." 2. Explain that although their p e r f o r m a n c e is indeed impressive, it h a s b e e n a very difficult year for the c o m p a n y and so everybody g e t s a b o u t the s a m e size tiny raise.
T h e a n n u a l p e r f o r m a n c e evaluation is your m o s t valuable motivational tool. T h e only d o w n s i d e is t h a t it m i g h t r e q u i r e y o u to talk to y o u r e m p l o y e e s m o r e t h a n o n c e a y e a r . But d o n ' t worry; y o u c a n u s u a l l y count on moving to a new a s s i g n m e n t before that's necessary.

Your objective is to convince e a c h e m p l o y e e that his p e r f o r m a n c e review is a m e a s u r e of his performance. In reality, of course, the p e r f o r m a n c e review only m e a s u r e s your ability to predict c h a n g e s in the environment that a r e inherently unpredictable. But e x p e r i e n c e s h o w s that if you explain it that way to the e m p l o y e e s they get all cynical instead of motivated. You must u s e your a w e s o m e p o w e r s of persuasion to m a k e them think the environment is a predictable fixed point and only their p e r f o r m a n c e is variable.

It would be nice if e m p l o y e e s would work at their maximum level of p e r f o r m a n c e without any prodding. But as you might h a v e noticed, e m p l o y e e s a r e lazy a n d selfish u n l e s s you apply modern m a n a g e ment techniques. The three keys to obtaining higher e m p l o y e e productivity a r e 1. S l o g a n s 2. T h r e a t s 3. Mandatory unpaid overtime

I don't m e a n to imply that you can achieve higher productivity simply by creating a slogan. You also h a v e to h a v e the slogan put on a big b a n n e r on the wall. That s h o w s you m e a n b u s i n e s s . If you don't go the extra mile, your e m p l o y e e s will not realize how committed you a r e to making them do extra work for free.

T h r e a t s a r e an excellent way to i n c r e a s e productivity. To illustrate my point, let's s a y you drop two s c u b a divers in shark-infested w a t e r s at the s a m e time. O n e diver is motivated by a desire to be the best shark avoider he can be. The other diver is motivated by the fear of being e a t e n . Which o n e will swim f a s t e r ? Actually, it d o e s n ' t matter b e c a u s e neither diver can outswim a great white shark, so they'll both b e c o m e "chums," if you catch my s e a drift. So the point of my story is that if you want productivity, don't hire s c u b a divers, hire sharks. The s h a r k s a r e faster and they never whine about c o m p e n s a t i o n .

But if s h a r k s won't work for you b e c a u s e of s o m e ethical consideration or other, h e r e a r e s o m e other m e t h o d s to try.

T h e r e are many hours in the day that get w a s t e d b e c a u s e employe e s insist on eating, sleeping, and procreating. You can r e d u c e t h o s e unproductive periods by forcing them to work unpaid overtime. But don't refer to it as unpaid overtime. Refer to it as a "commitment to professionalism" or s o m e other noble-sounding n a m e . Never, ever refer to it as "HA HA HA, YOU'RE WORKING HARD FOR NOTHING!!!" That would be demotivating. Employees might seem to be more creative when they work long hours, but don't worry about that threatit's not really creativity, it's only dementia. Dementia is similar to creativity but without the e x p e n s e of art supplies. Creativity can c a u s e no end of trouble in your company, w h e r e a s dementia can help keep salary e x p e n s e s in check. It's a fine line, but you can tell the difference by looking at the e a r s of your e m p l o y e e s . If an e a r is pierced several times, that's creativitya sign of trouble. But if an e a r is missing entirely, that's dementia. That's good.

If you hate your employees, or if you want them to resign without a s e v e r a n c e p a c k a g e , let them know by sending them to mandatory team-building exercises. The best o n e s a r e the o n e s that could result in death or d i s m e m b e r m e n t . Team building is more than just a way to r e d u c e h e a d count. It also allows e m p l o y e e s to learn about e a c h other in a way that will i n c r e a s e productivity. For example, w h e n an e m p l o y e e s e e s that coworkers are incompetentnot only at their jobs but at a whole r a n g e of artificial team-building c h a l l e n g e s t h e e m p l o y e e will a b a n d o n any h o p e of getting help back at the office. This cuts down on meetings, thus improving productivity.

You can improve motivation by offering to "remove obstacles" that block the e m p l o y e e s ' s u c c e s s . This won't be easy, since the problem is usually you. And any problems that aren't your fault tend to be so large that you couldn't fix them if you tried. The best solution is to promise to remove o b s t a c l e s and later s a y that you tried but s o m e b o d y didn't return your calls. Alternately, you could report that you "used up all of your chips" trying to m a k e it happen.

Your e m p l o y e e s a r e a rich s o u r c e of i d e a s that would m a k e you look like a moron for not thinking of the i d e a s yourself. They will insist on sharing t h e s e i d e a s with you. It is not motivating to respond by beating them with a knickknack from your c r e d e n z a . Instead, you want to maintain their fevered pitch of motivation by designing a program to systematically reject their ideas. You c a n call the program the "Employee Suggestion Plan" to disguise your true intent. Offer c a s h rewards for i d e a s so the e m p l o y e e s will feel like part of the family (assuming they c o m e from a family of prostitutes). T h e program should be d e s i g n e d to route all s u g g e s t i o n s to the person who should h a v e thought of the idea in the first place. That person can deny c a s h payment to the s u g g e s t e r for o n e of t h e s e foolproof r e a s o n s : 1. "I thought of that exact s a m e idea yesterday. Great minds think alike!" 2. "It won't work b e c a u s e [insert illogical r e a s o n that s h o w s a lack of c o m p r e h e n s i o n about the idea]. Thank you for your suggestion."

When o n e of your lazy e m p l o y e e s a s k s you to set priorities, it is a devious trick to avoid doing whatever you rank lowest. You can thwart that transparent m a n e u v e r by ranking all a s s i g n m e n t s as top priorities. Later, if an a s s i g n m e n t doesn't get done, you can blame the employee for not working on the highest priorities. It's that simple. If the lazy e m p l o y e e whines that priorities should be ranked differently, you can smooth t h o s e ruffled f e a t h e r s by becoming noticeably angry. If you h a v e to fake anger, u s e t h e s e simple tricks: If you're male, reach below your d e s k and s q u e e z e your testicles until your f a c e b e c o m e s flushed and your e y e s bulge. If you're female, think about the fact that the male m a n a g e r s are sitting at their d e s k s s q u e e z i n g their testicles a n d getting paid more than you are; the result will be similar. If your employees think you're less effective than a cardboard hammer, you can correct that misperception through a technique called "micromanagement." Micromanagement is part attitude and part action. Attitude: Tell yourself that every o n e of your e m p l o y e e s is d u m b e r than a Yugo full of anvils. They n e e d your help! Action: Pitch in to give your e m p l o y e e s helpful guidance on every little thing they do, from paragraph indentation to complex microchip design theory.

Micromanagement is especially effective when applied to your e m p l o y e e s ' written work. It is e a s y to improve d o c u m e n t s that h a v e b e e n created by your illiterate and untalented staff m e m b e r s . But if you can't find any obvious errors, here a r e a few u p g r a d e s that will allow you to display your value.
G E N E R A L U P G R A D E S FOR ANY D O C U M E N T

1. "Your periods aren't thick e n o u g h . S e e if you can thicken them." 2. "Work the p h r a s e 'proactive synergies' into it a few times." 3. " S e e if you can get it all on o n e page." 4. "You u s e the letter e way too much. It's unprofessional." Document m i c r o m a n a g e m e n t is most effective when there's a tight deadline and the d o c u m e n t t a k e s hours to print. That gives the e m p l o y e e time to fully appreciate your contribution.

Micromanagement can also be applied to technical decisions. Let's say, for example, your e m p l o y e e h a s a m a s t e r ' s d e g r e e in electrical engineering from Stanford University. And let's s a y that you almost graduated from Ernie's College-o-Rama with a d e g r e e in art history. (In this context, "almost graduated" refers to the fact that you considered applying but you didn't have any p o s t a g e stamps.) You can u s e your superior education, combined with your impenetrable logic, to find and correct the mistakes of your worthless employee, t h u s demonstrating your value. In our hypothetical situation the e m p l o y e e might complain bitterly that your unfamiliarity with the subject matter is causing you to m a k e bad decisions. But you can quickly dissipate the tension through a p r o c e s s called intimidation. Micromanagement is risk free as long as you have the power to assign blame to the innocent. If your galactic i n c o m p e t e n c e e n d s up micromanaging a perfectly good project into a s w a m p , blame the closest e m p l o y e e for not "speaking up" sooner.

S o m e t i m e s you won't have any pressing problems in your departmentat least n o n e that you're choosing to acknowledge. W h e n this situation arises, the e m p l o y e e s will get all w e a k and puffy a n d lose the rhino-in-quicksand work ethic that you'd like them to have. You can remedy that situation by creating a false s e n s e of urgency.

Your d e s k is an excellent place to "age" work that isn't d u e for a few w e e k s . When the deadline h a s p a s s e d , dole out the a s s i g n m e n t to any e m p l o y e e who is not already more t e n s e than a cat on water skis. Make s u r e that you point out how urgent the a s s i g n m e n t is a n d that it's already past due. To get the full effect, ask to s e e the employee's r e s p o n s e to the assignment before it is submitted. Then let it sit on your desk for another week. It's that final week of aging that m a k e s all the difference. Another good way to c r e a t e a false s e n s e of urgency is to e x a g g e r ate the capabilities of your competitors. Your e m p l o y e e s will believe that the competitors a r e f e a r s o m e b e c a u s e i n c o m p e t e n c e viewed from a distance always looks better than the i n c o m p e t e n c e that sur-

rounds you. No matter how stupid and ineffective your competitors are, they will look like Ivy L e a g u e u n d e r w e a r models c o m p a r e d to the a s s e m b l a g e of ugly dolts in your company. This will inspire your e m p l o y e e s to greater effort, albeit primarily directed toward trying to get a job with the competitor.

If your e m p l o y e e s normally wear "business" clothes, you can motivate them by establishing a "casual day" on Fridays. The corporate definition of casual h a s three related parts.

DEFINITION OF CASUAL CLOTHES


1. Clothes that m a k e you look neither attractive nor professional. 2. Clothes you don't own. 3. Clothes that m a k e your a s s look flat. Blue jeans, s n e a k e r s , and shorts are specifically excluded b e c a u s e they are comfortable a n d attractive and everybody owns them. As any s e a s o n e d investor knows, any of the "forbidden clothes" can lead to a decline in shareholder value. C u s t o m e r s c a r e about that kind of thing.

SHOPPING TIP: WHEN YOU S H O P FOR A NEW C O M P U T E R ,


ALWAYS ASK WHAT KIND OF C L O T H E S ARE WORN BY THE MANUFACTURER'S EMPLOYEES. IF YOU DON'T LIKE WHAT YOU HEAR, MOVE ON.

Although there a r e no scientific studies to support the connection b e t w e e n forbidden clothing a n d total economic collapse, it's just c o m m o n s e n s e . At best, forbidden clothes lead to bad decisions. At worst, global warming. Don't let that be on your c o n s c i e n c e . When it c o m e s to competition, knowledge is power. And all m a n a g e ment knowledge c o m e s from two s o u r c e s .

SOURCES OF MANAGEMENT KNOWLEDGE


1. Hackneyed sayings s u c h as "knowledge is power." 2. Logic. Hackneyed sayings are the foundation upon which we can apply logic, thus allowing us to understand the world in more depth. For example, let's e x a m i n e three h a c k n e y e d sayings (i.e., unquestionable facts) and s e e w h e r e the logic leads us.

UNQUESTIONABLE FACTS
Competition is healthy. When you h a v e your health you h a v e everything. You only hurt the o n e s you love.

Logically, since competition is healthyand when you h a v e your health, you h a v e everythingit follows that when you have competition, you have everything. And when you h a v e everything, nobody else can h a v e anything b e c a u s e you h a v e it all. Therefore, if people want something, they h a v e to beg you for it. When you m a k e people beg it hurts their pride. And since we know that we only hurt the o n e s we love, then logically it must be true that competition m a k e s us love everyone. To summarize this chain of logic:

Competition = Health = Everything = Begging = Hurt = Love


So in order to g e n e r a t e as much love as possible, you n e e d plenty of competition. If the wimpy c o m p a n i e s in your industry don't give you as much as you n e e d , c o m p e n s a t e by creating internal c o m p e tition a m o n g your e m p l o y e e s . It's e a s y . Give o n e e m p l o y e e an a s s i g n m e n t during a meeting; then, during a n o t h e r meeting, give the s a m e a s s i g n m e n t to a n o t h e r e m p l o y e e without mentioning the duplication. (Note: It's a good idea to establish a reputation for being quirky a n d irrational a h e a d of time. I r e c o m m e n d biting the h e a d off an intern in front of witnesses.) When the two e m p l o y e e s realize what you've done, they will try to a s k you to "clarify" their roles. Tell them to "work it out," then scowl

as though it's their fault for not acting e m p o w e r e d . Practice looking u n a p p r o a c h a b l e a n d slightly a n n o y e d . A good way to a c h i e v e the proper look is to e a t a lot of c h e e s e the night before. The two competing e m p l o y e e s will quickly realize that their salaries d e p e n d on thwarting the other a n d being the first to complete the task. They will start to fight like drunken pit bulls in a traffic accident. At first blush, it might s e e m that your e m p l o y e e s a r e becoming frustrated, stressed-out, maniacal heart attack c a n d i d a t e s . But in fact, it's healthy competition. People h a v e thrived under t h e s e conditions well into their fifties. Best of all, it allows the "cream to rise to the top." Then you c a n skim it off in the next round of downsizing. (Notice that many of t h e s e m a n a g e m e n t s u g g e s t i o n s work best when they a r e u s e d in t a n d e m . ) R u m o r s a r e an excellent way to k e e p your e m p l o y e e s nervous a n d edgy, which is similar to being alert. Actually, it's better. When they're alert they realize what you're doing to them a n d they resist. But when they're edgy they work like c r a z e d b u m b l e b e e s and die of s t r e s s before they b e c o m e cynical. In other words, everyone wins. A good way to start a rumor is by denying it. Everyone knows that most b u s i n e s s rumors are true, or at least b a s e d on truth. The b e s t way to m a k e your denied rumor a p p e a r true is to slip in a detail that you really wouldn't know if the rumor w e r e false.

RUMOR DENIALS THAT NOBODY WILL BELIEVE


"No, we are not going to sell low-performing e m p l o y e e s to a medical school that n e e d s eighteen of them for the next c a l e n d a r year starting in September!" "No, we a r e not going to replace you with primates who can do your job 10.3 times faster!" "No, we a r e not considering building a new office over a toxic w a s t e d u m p in order to r e d u c e rent e x p e n s e s by 23 percent."

3. Communicating
Give verbal instructions, not written, w h e n e v e r you think you might want to deny that you w e r e involved in a decision. If an e m p l o y e e later tries to implicate you, just look at him as if he must be insane. If you continue this practice consistently, the e m p l o y e e will actually become insane, t h u s covering your trail completely, not to mention making downsizing a b r e e z e . But it's not all good news. There can be s o m e negative c o n s e q u e n c e s to making all of your e m p l o y e e s insane. R e m e m b e r , there's no free lunch (unless you a s k your secretary to buy it for you a n d then you "forget" to reimburse). So it should be no surprise that having a d e p a r t m e n t full of lunatics might h a v e a downside risk. T h e d a n g e r begins when mild lunacy turns into d a n g e r o u s insanity. Look for t h e s e warning signs.

SIGNS OF DANGEROUS EMPLOYEE INSANITY


A p p e a r s p l e a s e d to get constructive criticism. Acts as though c a r e e r a d v a n c e m e n t is a possibility. Irrational love of microwaved popcorn. U s e s the word proactive in c a s u a l conversation.

If employees are unmotivated, s o m e t i m e s that can be a sign that they don't have a newsletter. A newsletter is an efficient method for mana g e m e n t to "get the m e s s a g e out" about the priorities of the company. Select a m e m b e r of your staff who h a s no valuable job skills a n d put that person in c h a r g e of creating a newsletter. Any e m p l o y e e would consider it an honor to be singled out in s u c h a c o n s p i c u o u s way. T h e newsletter-writing task can be a d d e d on top of any existing job description, so it's essentially free to the company. R e m e m b e r to point that out to the e m p l o y e e you select for the job. Employees often whine about a lack of communication from senior management. The newsletter is an effective way to fill the communication gap without imparting any information. Remember, nothing can be more demotivating than the truth, so try to fill their brains with other stuff. Let's say, for example, the e m p l o y e e s a r e worried sick about the possibility of layoffs. You could h a v e a Question and Answer section in your newsletter that g o e s like this:

Q: I noticed that profits are down 70 percent. Is the c o m p a n y considering layoffs? Correct (motivating) r e s p o n s e : A: We c a r e about the e m p l o y e e s . Layoffs are the last thing we want to do. All other options will be explored before we even consider layoffs. Incorrect (demotivating) r e s p o n s e : A: Duhhh!

E m p l o y e e s n e e d lots of communication to remain motivated. That can s o m e t i m e s be at o d d s with your desire to k e e p them in the dark a n d continue shoveling work on them. If you already h a v e a c o m p a n y newsletter, the best way to g e n e r a t e more communication without the risk of transferring information is the "staff meeting."

By definition, a "staff" is a group of people who report to the s a m e person a n d h a v e very little n e e d to talk with e a c h other. It's a good idea to m a k e them sit in a room together for up to 10 percent of their total productive life focusing their e n e r g i e s on the following vital topics. Reiterate the things that e m p l o y e e s h a v e already heard through other c h a n n e l s . This part of the meeting h a s no value to the employe e s , but it's an e a s y way for you to show leadership.

You can count on at least one member of your group to ask endless "clarifying" questions on e a c h subject, thus demonstrating his incredible analytical prowess until every other m e m b e r of the group begins to fantasize about strangling him with the cord from the overhead projector. Give e a c h e m p l o y e e an opportunity to d r o n e endlessly about uninteresting job-related problems. The e m p l o y e e will instinctively u s e a c r o n y m s a n d o b s c u r e r e f e r e n c e s that prevent any information from being transferred to other m e m b e r s of the group. Don't e n c o u r a g e the e m p l o y e e s to be relevant, interesting, or brief. R e m e m b e r , the goal is communication, not a transfer of information. If the e m p l o y e e c o n c l u d e s his monologue by asking for your help, brush it a s i d e by saying, "Let's take that discussion off line," m e a n ing, "If you bother me with that again I'll s e n d you to gather data." Invite your e n e m i e s from other d e p a r t m e n t s to give presentations on things that a r e of no relevance to the group. This a c c o m p l i s h e s two additional goals: 1. It m a k e s you look like a t e a m player. 2. It prevents your e n e m i e s from getting any work done, thus increasing their c h a n c e s of failure. Anytime you can give the a p p e a r a n c e of teamwork while making coworkers look bad, you h a v e d o n e your job.

Your staff might try to trick you into talking a b o u t things that matter to them, such as salaries, staffing levels, a n d pending reorganizations. Deny having any information about t h e s e subjects. T h e s e topics a r e demotivating by their very nature and they should be avoided. Simply remind them of the competitive environment and tell them it's "business as usual." That will have a calming effect. If you h e a r a rattling sound, that's the noise e m p l o y e e s ' brains m a k e while spinning around in their skulls. It's quite natural a n d no r e a s o n to be alarmed. As a manager, you will h a v e the least a m o u n t of useful information of a n y o n e in the organization. You can c o m p e n s a t e for that by being the o n e who d o e s all the presenting. Use computer slide s h o w s a n d o v e r h e a d t r a n s p a r e n c i e s to disguise your c l u e l e s s n e s s . The key to presenting information you don't understand is to try to limit the presentation to a few a r e a s that a r e so boring and obvious that your a u d i e n c e will be a b s o r b e d with t h o u g h t s of a s s i s t e d suicide (yours) a n d they won't h a v e time to dwell on your lack of knowledge. The best way to know if a topic is suitable for your presentation is to s a y it aloud a n d listen for an involuntary "Duh!" s o u n d springing from the bowels of your throat. (Yes, you do h a v e bowels in your throat. All m a n a g e r s do.)

GOOD PRESENTATION POINTS


We're in a competitive b u s i n e s s . (Duh!) We plan to improve our products a n d services. (Duh!) My tiny empire n e e d s more r e s o u r c e s . (Duh!)

If you don't feel like giving verbal instructions, you can u s e your new E S P to s e n d m e s s a g e s . As a m a n a g e r it is sufficient to "think" what you want and wait for your e m p l o y e e s to implement it. S o m e e m p l o y e e s will whine that they cannot pick up on your thought w a v e s . But logically, if you're sending the thought w a v e s a n d the e m p l o y e e s aren't receiving them, the problem is on their end. Document their communication failures so you can refer to them during the next p e r f o r m a n c e review cycle. As a m a n a g e r you will be able to b e n d s p o o n s with your mind as easily as you can bend them with your m u s c l e s . In other words, not at all. You're a manager, not a triathlete. And t h o s e s p o o n s a r e sturdier than they look. As a m a n a g e r you will be getting paid much more than the people who report to you. Therefore, logically, it is s a f e to a s s u m e that what you do is much more difficult than what they do. They might try to convince you otherwise, but it's a trick to avoid work.

For example, they might ask for your approval on d o c u m e n t s that you don't u n d e r s t a n d . The only possible explanation for your lack of c o m p r e h e n s i o n is that the d o c u m e n t s a r e put together by s o m e o n e who h a s poor communication skills. Be s u r e to point this out. R e m e m b e r : Communication is a two-way street.

4. Success Strategies
It's rare, but s o m e t i m e s your e m p l o y e e s will accidentally c o m e up with a good idea. W h e n that h a p p e n s you must first reject the idea and then later claim it as your own. You can reject the idea using o n e of t h e s e time-tested p i e c e s of logic.

IDEA REJECTION OPTIONS


1. If it's s u c h a good idea, why isn't e v e r y o n e e l s e doing it? 2. It's too late. Everyone else is already doing it. Then let the good idea a g e for a while. An hour is good. Call the e m p l o y e e into your office and explain the idea in detail as though your previous conversation had never h a p p e n e d . At this point you might think the e m p l o y e e would recognize "your" idea as his or her own a n d protest. But experience s h o w s that the

e m p l o y e e ' s central nervous s y s t e m will go into shock when you explain "your" idea, thus causing the deer-in-the-headlights reaction that you want. S o m e t i m e s , despite your most diligent efforts to prevent it, your e m p l o y e e s will c r e a t e something s u c c e s s f u l without giving you an opportunity to hijack credit during the idea p h a s e . If you a r e victimized by that s c a m , don't panic; you can still take credit by affixing your n a m e to the finished product. Justify it to your e m p l o y e e s by reminding them that the other people in the c o m p a n y are too "level conscious" a n d you n e e d to m a k e s u r e their work g e t s the attention it d e s e r v e s . List your n a m e as the " E s t e e m e d Project Leader." T h e e m p l o y e e s who did the actual work should be given less important sounding titles, s u c h as "Typist," "Staple Person," and "Assistant Photocopier." Many people m a k e the mistake of trying to get a h e a d by s u c c e e d i n g at difficult tasks. That's much more effort than the alternative that works just as well: screwing up something important. Your stature as a leader grows primarily through the p r o c e s s of getting lots of attention. It's hard to get attention by s u c c e e d i n g , b e c a u s e your b o s s will deftly hog the glory. But if you screw up a h u g e project, your b o s s will slither a s i d e faster than an a d d e r at the Ice C a p a d e s . Your n a m e will b e c o m e forever linked with the epic failure you h a v e c r e a t e d .

Being linked with epic failures s o u n d s bad, but it's not. The next time senior m a n a g e m e n t n e e d s s o m e o n e to m a n a g e a big project, they'll say, "Who h a s experience?" Your n a m e will be on the top of the list. Everyone else will either be busy or unknown. You'll be the obvious choicethe person who knows what pitfalls to avoid. And don't worry that t h o s e senior m a n a g e r s will scrutinize this decision too closely. They're busy screwing up things to e n h a n c e their own careers. Your e m p l o y e e s will often whine about the n e e d for training. Try to ignore them. Training can lead to no good. In the short term it c a u s e s missed work. In the long term it c a u s e s e m p l o y e e s to leave for jobs that pay a living w a g e . Nobody wins when that h a p p e n s . Your first line of d e f e n s e is logic. Try to talk your e m p l o y e e s out of taking training c l a s s e s by using this bulletproof argument: "Why do you n e e d all of t h e s e technical training c l a s s e s ? I didn't n e e d any training to do this job." S o m e t i m e s logic won't be enough, especially if the dolts in the budget d e p a r t m e n t allocated money for e m p l o y e e training. The employe e s will point to the training budget as justification for their futile requests.

Solution: Travel. And lots of it.

Sign yourself up for trips to exotic locations to "attend workshops" and "visit with customers." This will drain your total budget to the point where strategic cuts are n e c e s s a r y ; i.e., elimination of the training budget. When the training budget d i s a p p e a r s , the e m p l o y e e s will be disgruntled, but at least they won't h a v e e n o u g h skills to get a job s o m e place else. And that m e a n s increased productivity. But even as you work to eliminate the s c o u r g e of training, it will be n e c e s s a r y to constantly s a y things s u c h as "Training is a high priority." That k e e p s the e m p l o y e e s from thinking you're a clueless, oxygen-wasting piece of dung. Try itit really works!

E m p o w e r m e n t is t h e p r o c e s s of shifting b l a m e f r o m yourself to t h e e m p l o y e e s . A c c o r d i n g t o highly p a i d c o n s u l t a n t s , t h i s will m a k e t h e e m p l o y e e s happier, t h u s r e d u c i n g their u n r e a s o n a b l e d e m a n d s for a living w a g e .

T h e most efficient way to implement an e m p o w e r m e n t program is to h a v e meetings w h e r e you punish people for the decisions they m a d e while at the s a m e time encouraging people in the group to think for t h e m s e l v e s . Eventually the e m p l o y e e s b e c o m e numb, t h u s developing a healthy tolerance to the h o p e l e s s n e s s of their situation. H o p e l e s s n e s s isn't the s a m e as h a p p i n e s s , but it's e n o u g h to m a k e the e m p l o y e e s stop complaining, and that's a good start.

If you're a narrow-minded bigotand I'm g u e s s i n g that you a r e you can disguise that fact by supporting the c o m p a n y ' s plan for diversity. If you've b e e n a m a n a g e r for a while, and you've shown incredible favoritism to people who look and act like yourself, you can a d d r e s s that problem head-on by forcing the victims a n d the innocent b y s t a n d e r s in your d e p a r t m e n t to attend diversity training classes. Don't worry that all this f u s s about diversity will m a k e it impossible to openly discriminate against other people. You can still do that, but you'll have to shift your focus.

YOU MUST STOP DISCRIMINATING ON THE BASIS OF . . .


Ethnicity Sex Disability Age

Sexual p r e f e r e n c e (if it's a type the n e w s media approve of) Religion (if it's o n e that h a s a lot of money)

YOU MAY CONTINUE TO DISCRIMINATE ON THE BASIS OF . . .


Ugliness Stupidity Height

Reputation of alma mater

Weight Hair Clothing Religion (if it's a stupid little unpopular one)

Sexual p r e f e r e n c e (if it's a type the n e w s media don't like)

If you're an imbecile, you might want to hire s o m e m a n a g e m e n t gurus to give you advice. If it s o u n d s as though it would be hard to follow their r e c o m m e n d a t i o n s , don't worry; you can pick the parts of their r e c o m m e n d a t i o n s you like and still get many benefits. For example, let's s a y your consultant advises you to s e e k employee input and m a k e c h a n g e s b a s e d upon it. That would be a lot of work, and your e m p l o y e e s generally have bad ideas. What you can do is accept the parts of the recommendation you like (collect employee input) and discard the rest (the part about making changes). You'll get half the benefits of the consultant's advice but without the hassles.

You c a n c r e a t e t h e illusion o f b e i n g d e c i s i v e b y r e o r g a n i z i n g t h e department. To the ignorant observer, reorganizations look like

p r o g r e s s . And s i n c e mostif not a l l o b s e r v e r s a r e in fact quite ignorant, visionary. any organizational shuffle will make you look like a

You can reorganize every six months without anybody catching on to what you're doing. Any more than that a n d it will a p p e a r random. Any less than that and it will m a k e you look like you don't have a plan. A handy way to remind yourself when to reorganize is to do it at the s a m e time of y e a r that you adjust the clocks by an hour. (Tip: That's also a good time to replace the batteries in your s m o k e detector at home.) (Another Tip: Don't move the clock o n e hour in the s a m e direction every time you c h a n g e it. S o m e t i m e s you have to move it in the other direction, e v e n if you don't understand why.)

Reorganizations give you an excellent r e a s o n to m a k e the employe e s move their p o s s e s s i o n s to identical cubicles a few feet away. The e m p l o y e e s will whine and c u r s e about the loss of productivity during this time. It is your job to explain the obvious benefits of the move:

BENEFITS OF CUBICLE RELOCATIONS


Enjoy the s o u n d s and odors of new neighbors! Improve communication a m o n g co-workers who have totally unrelated jobs! Get to wear c a s u a l clothes on move day! And best of all: et cetera!

During your tenure as manager, many bizarre corporate initiatives will pop their h e a d s out of holes like d e m e n t e d woodchucks, looking for any opportunity to run over and bite you on the foot. Examples:

BIZARRE, DEMENTED PROGRAMS


Total Quality M a n a g e m e n t Reengineering ISO 9000

Nobody e x p e c t s you to m a k e t h e s e bizarre m a n a g e m e n t t e c h n i q u e s work. But you will be e x p e c t e d to look like a t e a m player. T h e r e ' s an e a s y rule to r e m e m b e r when it c o m e s to artificial participation:

If it's on a coffee mug, it's a program.


As soon as your c o m p a n y rolls out, for example, the "Excellence in C u s t o m e r Care" program, order coffee m u g s with that p h r a s e a n d give them to all of your e m p l o y e e s at the "rollout meeting." You could

extend your deception by ordering n o t e p a d s with the slogan emblaz o n e d a c r o s s the front. Coffee m u g s a n d n o t e p a d s s e n d an important m e s s a g e to the e m p l o y e e s . Specifically, that m e s s a g e is, "Pretend you're buying into the program a n d m a y b e you'll get s o m e more free stuff." Find the most u s e l e s s e m p l o y e e in your d e p a r t m e n t and put that person in c h a r g e of whatever the new m a n a g e m e n t initiative is. Give that person a title like "Manager of Excellence in C u s t o m e r Care." This way you a p p e a r to be complying with the corporate initiative but you lose very little in productivity, except for the e n d l e s s b u r d e n s this person will place on the other poor e m p l o y e e s who are trying to do real work.

After coffee m u g s and n o t e p a d s , the primary tools of any bizarre corporate program a r e (1) The U s e l e s s Meeting, and (2) T h e Useless Tracking Report. You should require lots of both. Otherwise people will think you're cynical.

When the new program is a n n o u n c e d , your e m p l o y e e s will run like frightened chipmunks at a jackhammer convention. They will try to redefine whatever they're doing as part of the Excellence in Customer C a r e program. Play along with their c h a r a d e b e c a u s e you're all in the s a m e boat, and ask them to track their progress weekly. Call the m e a s u r e m e n t s "metrics" so the whole thing doesn't look stupid.

If you have no idea how to do anything useful at your company, s o m e times you can disguise that fact by merging with a c o m p a n y that is even more clueless. Stock market analysts like it when two clueless, limping c o m p a n i e s get together to "leverage their synergies." Mergers take a long time, g e n e r a t e a lot of press, and involve lots of money. T h e s e a r e all good things for your career, especially the part about it taking a long time. With any luck, you'll be prancing off to a new job long before another m a n a g e r begins selling off what's left of the merged c o m p a n y at g a r a g e s a l e s a n d flea markets.

You c a n find w a y s t o l e v e r a g e s y n e r g i e s with a l m o s t a n y t w o c o m p a n i e s . F o r e x a m p l e , let's s a y o n e c o m p a n y m a k e s l a u n d r y d e t e r gent a n d a n o t h e r m a k e s soft drinks a n d h u m o r m a g a z i n e s . T h e r e ' s a n a t u r a l s y n e r g y b e c a u s e e v e r y c u s t o m e r w h o l a u g h s w h i l e drinking a s o f t drink will n e e d t o w a s h t h e n o s e - s n o r t a g e o u t o f h i s g a r ments. This is an important market s e g m e n t .

Other e x a m p l e s of leveraging synergies: COMPANY #1 Coca-Cola + COMPANY #2 Head = MERGED COMPANY Coke Head

(beverages)

(sports equipment)
AST

(sport drink)

Bayer

Bayer AST

(aspirin)
Hertz

(computers)
A. B. Dick

(nudist camps)
Hertz Dick

(rental cars)

(office equipment)

(circumcisions)

5. Compensation
5.1 COMPENSATION PROGRAMS
T h e c o m p e n s a t i o n plan is an important tool for keeping salaries low. Your weasel-like e m p l o y e e s may try to manipulate the s y s t e m to get more money for t h e m s e l v e s , using various s c a m s s u c h as hard work and significant accomplishments. You can parry any thrust by using the following r e s p o n s e s to their p l e a s for more money. EMPLOYEE SAYS . . . My p e r f o r m a n c e w a s exceptional. Give me a raise. My pay is below industry s t a n d a r d s . Give me a raise. MANAGER SHOULD SAY . . . But your pay is c o m p a r a b l e to the industry. Go away. But your p e r f o r m a n c e w a s bad. Go away.

EMPLOYEE SAYS . .

MANAGER SHOULD SAY . . .

My p e r f o r m a n c e w a s exceptional and I'm paid less than the industry a v e r a g e . Give me a raise. My p e r f o r m a n c e w a s exceptional, I'm paid less than the industry a v e r a g e , and the c o m p a n y had record profits.

But it h a s b e e n a difficult y e a r for the company. Go away.

How would you like to be a t e a m leader?

You can increase your bonus by making it impossible for your subordin a t e s to get b o n u s e s of their own. This is known as good budget control and it is always rewarded. There are two main ways to do this: 1. Link subordinates' b o n u s e s to goals so far in the future that the earth will first be destroyed by a rogue asteroid. 2. Link subordinates' b o n u s e s to goals that can be easily thwarted by your single-minded drive to b e c o m e a leader via the p r o c e s s of screwing up gigantic projects. Most subordinates will s e e right through this subterfuge and b e c o m e angry and bitter. With any luck, s o m e will quit, thus lowering e x p e n s e s and increasing your bonus even more. You a r e entitled to more money than the n o n m a n a g e m e n t employe e s b e c a u s e you take on much more risk. That's basic economics, although s o m e people don't s e e m to understand it.

HIGH RISKS OF MANAGERS


1. Risk of being revealed as an empty suit. 2. Risk of being hit by lightning while golfing. 3. Risk that nobody will do C P R on you. 4. Risk of having to s p e n d time with other m a n a g e r s . To c o m p e n s a t e for t h e s e high risks, m a n a g e r s are entitled to

o b s c e n e salaries. I don't m e a n o b s c e n e in the s e n s e that the expresidents shown on the currency aren't wearing any p a n t s e v e n though they aren'tI m e a n o b s c e n e in the s e n s e that there's a lot of money involved. In contrast, n o n m a n a g e m e n t e m p l o y e e s earn l e s s pay b e c a u s e they take on less risk.

LOW RISKS OF NONMANAGERS


1. Loss of squalid shelter known as "home." 2. Starvation. Obviously, n o n m a n a g e m e n t e m p l o y e e s h a v e so little to begin with that their total risk is limited. So if they start whining about how much money the m a n a g e r s m a k e c o m p a r e d to them, remind them that it's completely fair b e c a u s e m a n a g e r s h a v e more risks. That should satisfy them, o n c e they understand the logic of the situation.

6. Getting Rid of Employees


G o v e r n m e n t s are not the only o n e s who can print money. You can too, in effect, through the p r o c e s s called "downsizing." You probably refer to your e m p l o y e e s as the c o m p a n y ' s "most valuable a s s e t s , " a n d with good r e a s o n e v e r y time you get rid of one, earnings increase, and so too d o e s the value of your stock options a n d bonus. It's like printing your own money. T h e e m p l o y e e s who stay behind b e c o m e shell-shocked, bitter, a n d overworked. But amazingly, this h a s no impact on you whatsoever. In fact, it might even m a k e them a bit more responsive to your r e q u e s t s for s t a t u s reports.

It's never fun to fire s o m e o n e , unless you're having a bad day yourself. But it can be very entertaining to torment employees until they quit on their own. It's economical too. You can s a v e money on layoffs by being so unpleasant that people quit without qualifying for any separation package. Use t h e s e techniques to e n c o u r a g e people to resign.

WAYS TO ENCOURAGE PEOPLE TO QUIT


Staff m e e t i n g s Teamwork Your personality If that's not e n o u g h to m a k e people quit, you might n e e d to work the opposite angleto e m p h a s i z e the positive a s p e c t s of being u n e m ployed. E m p h a s i z e the fact that s o m e of the happiest people alive a r e jobless, a n d that can't be a coincidence.

HAPPY UNEMPLOYED PEOPLE


Children

Retired billionaires Dead people in h e a v e n H o m e l e s s people with shopping carts The last categoryhomeless people with shopping cartsisn't as obvious as the others. But think about it; they get to simulate the joy of shopping all day long without anybody ever asking them if they want the extended service warranty. That would m a k e many people happy.

Employee turnover can be a healthy thing. It g e t s rid of highly paid malcontents a n d i n f u s e s the c o m p a n y with a healthy d o s e of bargain-priced, untrained e m p l o y e e s . And you can always c o m p e n s a t e for the s h o r t a g e of e m p l o y e e s by making the remaining e m p l o y e e s work harder. T h e r e ' s no logical limit to that. To e n s u r e a robust turnover, gradually d e c r e a s e the quality of the working environment until the company's retirement plan looks good in comparison. As with all harmful activities, you will want to d r e s s it up with a positive-sounding n a m e such as "Competition 2000" or the like.

7. How to Be a Happy Manager


Money can't turn you into a happy m a n a g e r . You also n e e d stock options, parking s p a c e s , free meals, and the opportunity to humiliate t h o s e below you. As a manager, you'll experience the rush of power and prestige that will m a k e you more attractive to the opposite s e x (assuming whatever you're doing sexually h a s an opposite), or to your own s e x (if that's what you prefer), or to various battery-powered or inflatable devices (if you're not a "people person"). You can magnify this euphoric m a n a g e m e n t experience by increasing the g a p b e t w e e n your s t a t u s a n d that of your e m p l o y e e s . T h e r e a r e two ways to i n c r e a s e the gap.

STATUS GAP IMPROVEMENT


1. Grab more loot for yourself, t h u s increasing your status. 2. Humiliate your e m p l o y e e s , thus lowering their status. Depending on the profitability of your company, there might be a limit to how much loot you can grab for yourself. But luckily there's no logical limit to how much you can humiliate the e m p l o y e e s . Gradually chip away at your e m p l o y e e s ' perks a n d benefits until they h a v e nothing left but their human dignity. T h e n start chipping on that. You can't expect to get it all at once; it's best to think of it as a longterm project. Use the Twelve-Step Employee S t a t u s Reduction Program, which starts with the biggest s t a t u s items and gradually m o v e s to the more subtle elements.

TWELVE-STEP EMPLOYEE STATUS REDUCTION PROGRAM


1. D e c r e a s e the a v e r a g e size of raises. 2. Eliminate internal promotions. 3. A n n o u n c e an end to "job security." 4. R e d u c e health c a r e options. 5. Cut training a n d travel budgets. 6. Combine sick d a y s with vacation d a y s and call it a "time bank." 7. R e d u c e the size of cubicles. 8. Ban decorations on cubicle walls. 9. Ban microwaved popcorn. 10. Monitor Internet u s a g e . 11. Start an "Employee of the Month" program. 12. S h a v e their h e a d s .

Although the e m p l o y e e s are not terribly bright, they might notice a trend developing after about the ninth s t e p of the program. You can disguise your true intent by pretending to give them something that c o m p e n s a t e s for their losses. For example, you can allow them to d r e s s in bad clothing o n e day a w e e k a n d call it "casual day." This a c c o m p l i s h e s your primary objective of lowering their status while still cleverly appearing to give them a benefit.

T h e biggest threat to your h a p p i n e s s as a m a n a g e r is the neverending p a r a d e of whining e m p l o y e e s who will try to bring gloomy "issues" into your life. Your only options a r e to ignore the e m p l o y e e s or to punish them. But realistically, only o n e of t h e s e options h a s entertainment value, so it's an e a s y choice if you're feeling playful. Punish your whiners with any of the following methods.

WHINER PUNISHMENTS
1. Assign the whiner to "fix" the problem in his "spare time" without "spending money."

2. Put the whiner on a task force with people who whine even more. 3. Make the whiner the chairperson of the Morale Committee. In time it will b e c o m e e a s i e r to ignore the whining n o i s e s e m a n a t i n g from your e m p l o y e e s . You could even learn to enjoy it, like crickets on a s u m m e r night, except they're much bigger and uglier, a n d you wouldn't want them on your property after dark.

At s o m e point you'll realize it's silly to try to m a k e your e m p l o y e e s happy. There a r e so many e m p l o y e e s , a n d they all want different things. O n c e you a b a n d o n the irrational goal of improving e m p l o y e e morale, then you c a n start enjoying your work. Take every opportunity to improve your personal h a p p i n e s s at the e x p e n s e of your inherently disgruntled workforce.

There are two t y p e s of e m p l o y e e s : bad o n e s a n d good o n e s . Bad e m p l o y e e s bumble through the day, not making any significant c h a n g e s , not questioning the system, not doing much of anything with an impact. They a r e largely harmless. The so-called good e m p l o y e e s a r e more d a n g e r o u s . They a r e constantly trying to innovate, to c h a n g e , to question the s t a t u s quo and take bold b u s i n e s s risks. Obviously you h a v e to get rid of the good people as s o o n as possible or they will m a k e you miserable. You might h a v e to pay them to leave, using what's called a Reduction-in-Force (RIF) program. This program offers large c a s h payouts to e m p l o y e e s who a r e willing to resign. The magic of the program is that it pinpoints the good e m p l o y e e s with laserlike efficiency, since they a r e the only o n e s c a p a b l e of getting a job elsewhere. After a RIF, the bad e m p l o y e e s remain happily behind, delighted to be employed. Everybody wins. S o m e t i m e s your professional staff will not be nearby w h e n you feel like abusing your power. That's why you h a v e a secretary. Not all secretaries a r e born bitter and resentful. You h a v e to train them to be like that. But it's worth it, b e c a u s e o n c e your secretary is molded into a venom-spewing, two-headed pit bull, your other e m p l o y e e s will leave you alone. That's how leisure time is g e n e r a t e d .

TRAINING YOUR SECRETARY TO BE MEAN


Personal P h o n e Calls: S e c r e t a r i e s should be e n c o u r a g e d to m a k e lots of personal p h o n e calls to loved o n e s . This g u a r a n t e e s an endless stream of tragic and unsettling n e w s that will k e e p your s e c r e tary edgy and m e a n . You can try to g e n e r a t e unsettling n e w s in the office, but it will be only marginally effective. For the good stuff you h a v e to let them call home.

Menial T a s k s : It is your job to s e a r c h continuously for a s s i g n m e n t s that a r e s e n s e l e s s a n d d e g r a d i n g t a s k s that m a k e d o u ble-sided photocopying look like o r g a n t r a n s p l a n t surgery. For e x a m p l e , you could a s k your s e c r e t a r y to sort your pencil s h a v ings into small, m e d i u m , a n d large s i z e s . Or a s k your s e c r e t a r y to s e n d a fax w h e n you're s t a n d i n g right in front of t h e fax m a c h i n e . For t h e m a x i m u m impact, s a y s o m e t h i n g like "You're so m u c h better at it."

C o n d e s c e n s i o n : A good way to humiliate your secretary in front of others is to refer to him or her as "your boss."

Complain About Your Pay: T h e r e ' s nothing that a n n o y s your underpaid secretary more than hearing you complain about your financial problems. But do it indirectly so you don't a p p e a r insensitive. S a y things like "My God, do you know how much M e r c e d e s Benz wants for s h e e p s k i n s e a t covers?!!"

B o s s A m n e s i a : O n c e a day, ask your secretary to do something stupid and then later act a m a z e d and disappointed that it w a s done. When your secretary points out that it w a s your specific direction, just s h a k e your h e a d and mumble something about "attitude" in a vaguely menacing way. Multiple B o s s S y n d r o m e : S h a r e your secretary with another mana g e r who also d e m a n d s 100 percent availability. As icing on the cake, have your secretary "supervised" by a senior administrative person who is even more psychotic and bitter than you are. The contradictory goals of the many b o s s e s will drive normal secretaries to the brink of murder or suicide, and that's right w h e r e you want them.

In the unlikely event that your job g e n e r a t e s any real work, fob it off on your underlings by having them form "self-managed t e a m s . " That's an elegant way of saying they do your job in addition to their own. This is a bit like teaching the c o w s to milk t h e m s e l v e s , but it's possible if they're flexible. T h e ultimate goal of all m a n a g e r s is to d u p e the e m p l o y e e s into doing to t h e m s e l v e s the things that m a n a g e r s would normally do to them. You'll n e e d to give the e m p l o y e e s a r e a s o n for doing your work. S e t the s t a g e by being inaccessible for meetings and unknowle d g e a b l e about what your e m p l o y e e s do for a living. Make bad decisions or no decisions at all. In time, the e m p l o y e e s will c o m e to s e e you as a h u g e obstacle to progress. They will b e c o m e more frustrated than a w o o d p e c k e r in a petrified forest. They might even a s k for p e r m i s s i o n to do your work!

You can h a v e s o m e fun criticizing the e m p l o y e e s during the "one-onone" review s e s s i o n . Plan a h e a d . Make sure the p e r f o r m a n c e review form includes a section w h e r e e m p l o y e e s can specify the training and d e v e l o p m e n t they think they n e e d , i.e., their "flaws." During t h e o n e - o n - o n e s e s s i o n , quickly s c a n the d e v e l o p m e n t plan a n d z e r o in on t h e e m p l o y e e ' s s e l f - a s s e s s e d w e a k n e s s e s like a dog digging for a s o u p b o n e . T h e c o n v e r s a t i o n might go like this: You: I s e e that your technical skills a r e inadequate. E m p l o y e e : Uh, actually I'm a recognized expert in my field. But I like to k e e p up with emerging trends by taking c l a s s e s . You: Then you admit there a r e things you n e e d to know that you don't know. E m p l o y e e : Well . . . yes. I m e a n NO! I wouldn't put it that way. You: It s o u n d s like you h a v e a communication problem too.

E m p l o y e e : What the hell is going on h e r e ? You: H a v e you c o n s i d e r e d c o u n s e l i n g ? T h e c o m p a n y h a s a program . . . Corporate strategy is defined as whatever you're already doing plus all of the good stuff your competitors a r e doing. So if, for example, you're the low-cost leader (i.e., you m a k e crap) a n d your competitor m a k e s a high-quality, premium brand, your strategy would be s o m e thing like this:

Strategy: Make crap and charge a premium price for it.


S o m e critics would s a y it's not a strategy at all u n l e s s it allows you to f o c u s your r e s o u r c e s in o n e logical direction. But what the critics fail to take into account is that strategies a r e things you talk about, not things you do. T h e r e ' s no r e a s o n to be restrictive. As a manager, you should talk about strategy every c h a n c e you get. It's e a s i e r than working a n d it p a y s exactly the s a m e . P e o p l e look up to m a n a g e r s who talk about strategy. And why not? A m a n a g e r who s p e n d s the day talking about strategy is a person who h a s found a way to get paid for doing almost nothing. You h a v e to respect that kind of initiative.

Despite the fact that your soul a b a n d o n e d your body w h e n you b e c a m e a m a n a g e r , there will still be s o m e corporate t a s k s that a r e so horrible, so evil, that you will not be able to do them yourself. Other times you might n e e d to do something cruel, but you won't want to leave your fingerprints at the s c e n e . For t h e s e situations you n e e d a h u m a n r e s o u r c e s staff. S o m e people are naturally equipped for c a r e e r s in human resources. In other cultures t h e s e folks would b e c o m e serial killers or ruthless d e s p o t s . But we live in a civilized society, so t h e s e irrepressible s c a m p s can channel their talents into the field of h u m a n r e s o u r c e s instead.

But s u p p o s e all the good human r e s o u r c e s c a n d i d a t e s are d e a d , imprisoned, or living in Bolivia under an a s s u m e d n a m e w h a t t h e n ? My recommendation is to hire a cat. C a t s s e e m friendly on the outside, but they don't care if e m p l o y e e s live or die, and they enjoy playing with them before downsizing them. You can always count on a cat to h a v e good morale. And that's important in a c o m p a n y w h e r e e v e r y o n e e l s e is getting gloomy for no a p p a r e n t r e a s o n . If your c o m p a n y doesn't have enough irrational or sadistic policies in place already, your human r e s o u r c e s group can create s o m e . Human r e s o u r c e s people sit there all day in their squalid cubicles thinking about how they are not part of the "value stream" of the c o m p a n y and thinking of ways to a b u s e the e m p l o y e e s who are. This situation can lead to entertaining policies that are distributed in huge binders. In other words, h u m a n r e s o u r c e s professionals are a lot like your legal staff but without the c o m p a s s i o n and verbal skills. Human r e s o u r c e s professionals are trained to enjoy the discomfort of others. This c o m e s in handy when you h a v e bad n e w s to give to s o m e o n e , s u c h a s downsizing. O n e way to d o w n s i z e s o m e o n e is to let him know in a professional a n d unthreatening environment. For example, you could leave a yel-

low sticky note on his chair that s a y s ,


ately, Y O U W O R T H L E S S D E A D W O O D .

YOU'RE

FIRED,

LEAVE

IMMEDI-

But another, less stressful method is to h a v e the h u m a n r e s o u r c e s d e p a r t m e n t handle the whole thing for you. That way it's off your c o n s c i e n c e and the h u m a n r e s o u r c e s staff h a s s o m e fun too. It's a good idea to k e e p your h u m a n r e s o u r c e s people busy at t a s k s such as downsizing a n d randomly changing the salary plan. If they h a v e too much time on their paws, they begin inventing policies that could even affect you as a m a n a g e r . The h u m a n r e s o u r c e s job description looks something like this:

HUMAN RESOURCES JOB DESCRIPTION


Prevent the hiring of qualified e m p l o y e e s .

Close the g a p b e t w e e n employment a n d slavery. C r e a t e ever-changing c o m p e n s a t i o n s c h e m e s that prevent e m p l o y e e s from figuring out how to maximize their income.

Every m a n a g e r n e e d s s o m e pathetic s u c k - u p s around. S u c k - u p s don't have much practical value, but neither d o e s a beautiful flower, and nobody thinks flowers a r e a bad idea. A good way to identify the s u c k - u p s in your ranks is to s e e who is willing to mimic your most bizarre clothing, mannerisms, or s p e e c h patterns in a pathetic attempt to gain favor with you. The challenge is to c r e a t e a personal style that's eccentric, even totally dorky. For the men, try wearing bow ties, s u s p e n d e r s , or s w e a t e r s . For the women, try applying your m a k e u p with a paint roller, or wearing earrings the size of s u m m e r interns. During meetings, clasp your h a n d s in front of your f a c e in a s t r a n g e and inhuman fashion and s e e how many people imitate it. W h e n you m a k e a point, no matter how d u m b it is, check for h e a d bobbing a m o n g the potential suck-ups. Your most talented suck-ups will be bobbing like C h i h u a h u a s waiting for a biscuit, all bright-eyed a n d enthusiastic. S o m e a t t e n d e e s will s a y things like "Exactly" a n d "You're so right." Make a mental note of the more e x u b e r a n t suck-ups in c a s e you ever n e e d a favor, such as having the brake dust licked off your c h r o m e wheels. At first they might sicken you with their behavior. But over time you'll grow to appreciate them, possibly even rewarding them with jobs as t e a m leaders.

8. Conclusion
If you studied this entire h a n d b o o k , you probably h a v e too m u c h of an a t t e n t i o n s p a n to be a m a n a g e r . But if y o u s k i p p e d to t h e e n d to s e e h o w i t t u r n e d o u t , y o u p r o b a b l y h a v e t h e "right s t u f f . "

This handbook couldn't possibly cover every m a n a g e m e n t situation, so you'll n e e d to u s e s o m e c o m m o n s e n s e . Assuming you don't h a v e any of that, h e r e are s o m e handy rules to get you through most a m b i g u o u s situations.
TEN R U L E S OF MANAGEMENT

1. You're always right, even when you're stupid. 2. The physical laws of time and s p a c e w e r e m e a n t to be broken. 3. The problem is not a lack of r e s o u r c e s , it's a lack of meetings. 4. When in doubt, ask for s t a t u s reports.

5. If you're talking, you're communicating. 6. Low morale is c a u s e d by c h a r a c t e r flaws in your e m p l o y e e s . 7. If ten people c a n complete a project in ten days, then o n e person can complete the project in o n e day. 8. Teamwork is when other people do your work for you. 9. Employee illness is a manifestation of laziness. 10. A b u s e is a form of recognition. And recognition is what every e m p l o y e e wants.

Appendix A: Management Resource List


For additional m a n a g e m e n t guidance, refer to t h e s e s o u r c e s : Satan

S c a r e c r o w from The Wizard of Oz Magic Eight Ball The voices in your h e a d

Appendix B: History of Management


Scholars d i s a g r e e on the origins of m a n a g e m e n t . But scholars a r e people who a r e not talented e n o u g h to b e c o m e m a n a g e r s themselves, so it's generally a good idea to ignore what s c h o l a r s say. Instead, you should learn history the way it h a s b e e n learned for a g e s : by reading stuff that s o m e o n e m a d e up. This is my version of the history of m a n a g e m e n t . I embellished in p l a c e s w h e r e there a r e tiny g a p s in my knowledge, but I don't think you'll notice. M a n a g e m e n t b e g a n soon after h u m a n s learned to control fire. Prior to that, every c a v e dweller acted as an independent contractor, chasing small furry critters, killing them, and eating them raw. This activity required no meetings, and the s t a t u s reports w e r e fairly straightforward: "Killed small furry critter. Ate it." Everyone w a s happy with this system, except for the small furry critters, who often complained that it "wasn't fair."

APPENDIX

Then o n e day an industrious c a v e m a n figured out how to control fire. Let's call this person an engineer. While the other c a v e m e n were chowing down on the local animals, clubbing c a v e w o m e n , a n d partying like wild men, the engineer w a s busily writing specifications for a thing he called "Fire v1.0." (I am concentrating this discussion on the male c a v e dwellers b e c a u s e this w a s a time of great inequality. The a v e r a g e cavew o m a n ' s activities were mostly limited to saying, "Not tonight, I don't h a v e a h e a d a c h e yet. OUCH!!") When the engineer s h o w e d the other c a v e dwellers a d e m o of his new invention, he w a s mocked b e c a u s e i n the words of the attendeesit didn't h a v e a "killer application." A c a v e m a n with good hair taunted the e n g i n e e r by saying the fire product w a s "technology driven," and continually asking why, if it w a s such a good idea, the a p e s weren't already doing it. But the engineer w a s a c c u s t o m e d to criticism. The others had always t e a s e d him for holding his loincloth together with duck t a p e . (Note: Duck t a p e w a s a primitive a d h e s i v e material m a d e from ducks. It w a s u s e d for many purposeseverything from trapping saber-toothed tigers to fashioning furniture for the c a v e s . Nobody knows why h u m a n s stopped using it.)

HISTORY OF MANAGEMENT

C h a l l e n g e d by t h e j e e r s of t h e c a v e dolts a r o u n d him, t h e e n g i n e e r did t h e only thing he could do to s a v e f a c e : He c o n c o c t e d a silly application for his product. "Why not," he offered, "put our d e a d critt e r s in t h e fire a n d t o a s t t h e m b e f o r e eating t h e m ? " This w a s obviously a d u m b idea, but by p u r e c h a n c e it coincided with t h e invention of advertising. A c a v e m a n w e a r i n g an especially funky animal hide s t e p p e d forward a n d d e s c r i b e d t h e m a n y b e n e f i t s of t o a s t e d critters:
BENEFITS OF TOASTED CRITTERS

S a v e s m o n e y c o m p a r e d to other long-distance p h o n e companies! Not available in s t o r e s !

T h e s e b e n e f i t s might s e e m stupid to us now, but to t h e unsophistic a t e d c a v e p e o p l e t h e s e w e r e VERY convincing a r g u m e n t s . B e f o r e long, e v e r y o n e w a s either using fire or talking a b o u t how t h e y p l a n n e d to "get s o m e for t h e c a v e , mostly for t h e kids." T h e fire t e c h n o l o g y w a s so popular that it c r e a t e d its own s e t of p r o b l e m s . All of t h e c a v e p e o p l e would crowd a r o u n d a fire a n d try to t o a s t their critters at t h e s a m e time. It w a s c h a o s , lots of p u s h i n g a n d shoving. Many n e w s w e a r w o r d s w e r e invented during that

APPENDIX

period, s o m e of which eventually found their way onto cable television to c r e a t e "premium channels." Most of the c a v e people realized it w a s a good idea to poke a long stick into your d e a d critter before holding it in the fire. But occasionally there would be a c a v e person who couldn't s e e the a d v a n t a g e of that technique and would try to hold the critter over the fire with his bare h a n d s . T h e latter group w a s sneeringly referred to as "managers," which w a s the s a m e word they u s e d to describe h u g e piles of m a s t o d o n dung. Over time, the m a s t o d o n s b e c a m e extinct, but the word manager lived on. Realizing that the m a n a g e r s w e r e not likely to do anything productive, the c a v e people a s k e d them to do things like write "mission s t a t e m e n t s " a n d hold meetings. T h e s e activities kept the mana g e r s out of the way and didn't s e e m to c a u s e any harm. For the next million years, people w e r e busy doing things like trying to avoid getting bit by rats, conquering other people, and convincing m a n a g e r s to e a t unidentified items found in nature. For example, when the tribe found a new kind of half-chewed m u s h r o o m surrounded by the c a r c a s s e s of d e a d animals, they would wonder if it w a s s a f e to eat. S o m e o n e would hold up the mushroom a n d say, "Let's get a m a n a g e r . He'll eat her." Then they would all laugh heartily until they w e r e bitten by rats.

HISTORY

OF

MANAGEMENT

Eventually the p h r a s e "He'll eat her" got s h o r t e n e d to "H'leader" and then simply "leader." Daniel Webster tried to add the new word to his dictionary until he realized he hadn't b e e n born yet. But nobody cared b e c a u s e they couldn't read anyway. Then c a m e the Industrial Revolution. Factories sprung up everywhere. This w a s a d a n g e r o u s time, b e c a u s e if you h a p p e n e d to be strolling directly over the spot w h e r e a factory sprung up, you could be thrown for miles. S o m e t i m e s a factory would spring up directly under a herd of grazing cattle, t o s s them onto a nearby town, a n d pin the residents b e n e a t h d e a d cows until rats could bite them. It wasn't pretty. But the worst part of the Industrial Revolutionand the part that h a s never b e e n d o c u m e n t e d i s what h a p p e n e d to the role of mana g e r s . The o w n e r s of factories realized they n e e d e d a layer of insulation b e t w e e n t h e m s e l v e s and the people they were exploiting. They n e e d e d the type of people who w e r e incapable of u n d e r s t a n d ing the workers' p l e a s for c o m m o n s e n s e , decency, and s a f e working conditions. T h e o w n e r s wisely c h o s e m a n a g e r s for t h e s e roles. The m a n a g e r s acted randomly for many years, having nothing to guide them. That's why I wrote this m a n a g e m e n t handbook. Now, t h a n k s to me, I think we'd all a g r e e that things are running quite smoothly.