The Peace & Power of a Positive Perspective


Management and the NBA…

I was thinking about the start of the NBA season recently, when I received an email from my company’s CEO.  He was informing all of the employees that it was that time of year again where each employee will be receiving a survey that Top Management will use to get an indication of how things are going from the “front line”.

I appreciate the fact that our CEO is interested enough in our view points that he would take the time and invest the money to conduct an employee survey through a confidential and independent firm.  However, it did make me wonder if in today’s electronic, wired world Tom Peters’ approach of “management by walking around” is dead?

Of course, were I in our CEO’s role I might wonder about the candor and intentions behind the responses I will receive.  Hopefully, Scott Adams’ perspective won’t apply:

As far as I can tell, every layer of management exists for the sole purpose of warning us about the layer above.

Scott Adams

There tends to be a natural tension between employees and management, true?  In most cases that tension helps drive the overall company to new heights.  However, according to our favorite Unknown Sage sometimes that tension can be a distraction:

A man in a hot air balloon realized he was lost. He reduced altitude and spotted a woman below. He descended a bit more and shouted, “Excuse me, can you help me? I promised a friend I would meet him an hour ago, but I don’t know where I am.” 

The woman below replied, “You’re in a hot air balloon hovering approximately 30 feet above the ground. You’re between 40 and 41 degrees north latitude and between 59 and 60 degrees west longitude.” 

“You must be an engineer”, said the balloonist.  “I am”, replied the woman, “How did you know”? 

“Well”, answered the balloonist, “everything you told me is, technically correct, but I’ve no idea what to make of your information, and the fact is I’m still lost. Frankly, you’ve not been much help at all. If anything, you’ve delayed my trip.” 

The woman below responded, “You must be in Management.”  “I am”, replied the balloonist, “but how did you know”? 

“Well”, said the woman, you don’t know where you are or where you’re going.   You have risen to where you are due to a large quantity of hot air.  You made a promise, which you’ve no idea how to keep, and you expect people beneath you to solve your problems. The fact is you are in exactly the same position you were in before we met, but now, somehow, it’s my fault.”

Well, at least that manager and that employee were talking.  Good things come when management and employees communicate.

During the final seconds of an especially tense game, Boston Celtics coach K.C. Jones called a time-out.  As he gathered the players together at courtside, he diagrammed a play, only to have Larry Bird say, “Get the ball out to me and get everyone out of my way.”  Jones responded, “I’m the coach, and I’ll call the plays!”  Then he said, “Get the ball to Larry and get out of his way.”  It just shows that when the real leader speaks, people listen. 

John C. Maxwell

Whether my CEO or the NBA, when we listen in the pursuit of excellence above pride – the sky (or an NBA Championship) is the limit!


Did you like this little ditty?  You might enjoy my website too:  The Peace & Power of a Positive Perspective© Please check it out.


Leave a Reply