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How to Manage Egomaniacs


Author:   Glenn Shepard
Date:   May 13, 2014
Category:   Management




Laurel, MS May 14
Rockford, IL May 20
Bloomington, IL May 21
Jacksonville, IL May 22
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Dear Glenn,


I used your advice for finding good employees to sell my house. Business cards with a QR code, a yard sign, and a website helped me find a buyer in 28 days!

    Now I want to do the same thing to find an employee with specific skills. Normally I'd observe people in action and hand a card to great customer service providers in my community.

     But how do I find a specific kind of skilled employee when the position isn’t normally seen out in public? I picture myself wearing sunglasses and a raincoat and hanging out in the parking lot of someone else’s welding shop, putting business cards on windshields Help me get unstuck!!


- Jackie in Franklin, IN


Dear Jackie,


One way to recruit people with specific skills is to pay juicy referral bonuses to existing employees with that skill, since people tend to know others with similar skills.

    Offer $1,000 to any employee who refers the person you hire. The first $500 is paid after the new employee has been with you for six months, and the second $500 after a year.

    Thanks for your question.


- Glenn in Nashville, TN

Click here to submit a question. If yours is selected, you'll win your choice of the "I'm the Boss, Not the Babysitter" or "Work Is Not for Sissies"  coffee mug.

A manager that attended my seminar at Sacred Heart University in Connecticut asked how to get a group of surgeons that “Have egos so big that there’s no room for anyone else” to work together.


Surgeons sometimes have what psychologists call the “God Complex”, but that doesn’t mean that people with big egos can’t work together as a team.


In 1985, Harry Belafonte wanted to create a recording project to raise money for famine victims in Ethiopia. Legendary producer Quincy Jones had the unenviable task of gathering 21 of the most popular stars of the time into one room and getting them to work together.


He sent each one a tape ahead of time, with a note that read “Check your ego at the door”.


He had Billy Joel, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Diana Ross, Dionne Warwick, Huey Lewis, Kenny Loggins, Kenny Rogers, Lionel Richie, Michael Jackson, Paul Simon, Ray Charles, Steve Perry, Stevie Wonder, Tina Turner, and Willie Nelson in one room at the A & M Records studio in Hollywood.


The session went off without a hitch, and “We are the World” sold 800,000 copies its first week. It was the highest debuting single since John Lennon’s “Imagine”, the fastest rising since Elton John's "Island Girl", and won Grammy Awards for Song of the Year and Record of the Year.


Several of those stars were known for having egos bigger than Texas and being impossible to work with.


What made the event go so well was that each knew the night was about something bigger than themselves. They knew when to step out of the spotlight, and become part of a team.


Whether you’re managing prima donna rock stars that make millions; or 16 year old prima donnas that make minimum wage and post what they had for dinner on Facebook because they think people actually care, the solution is the same.


You have to occasionally remind people of two basic facts:


1. They’re a team, and everyone on a team is expendable.


2. They’re being paid to serve the customer, not themselves.




To Your Success,



Glenn Shepard




P.S. Last week my beautiful bride and I attended the annual donor appreciation event at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, where we met some of the world’s leading cancer doctors and researchers. They’ve helped increase the survival rate for the most common form of childhood cancer from 4% to 94%, yet they’re the most humble and service-oriented team of professionals you’ll ever meet.





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