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My “Ten Commandments of Helping People”

Part 1 of 2


by Glenn Shepard

May 5, 2015

Category:  Careers





London, KY May 6
Nacogdoches, TX May 19
Bryan, TX May 20

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Dear Glenn,


    Part of my job involves culture change & I have to be able to recognize, help develop & assess leadership & managerial skills for people in those leadership/manager roles.

    How do you recommend approaching both upper management & the individual involved, when the time comes to remove someone from their managerial role?

     Particularly if they have been in that role for a long time and have great product & process knowledge but not good people skills & would be better suited as a product/process technical support person vs. a leader &/or manager of that respective area.


Steve  in Baltimore



Dear Steve,


    Easy answer, but not an easy process for anyone to go through.

     Do not say anything to the individual yet. First approach upper management with all the supporting facts. If they agree the individual needs to transition to a non management position, the highest ranking person should be the one to have this difficult conversation with him/her.

     If upper management does not support you, your hands are tied and there's nothing you can do, even if you're right. This may be a battle you'll have to lose.

    Thanks for your question and good luck with this delicate situation.


Glenn in Nashville, TN


Click the red Ask Glenn button to submit a question. You may remain anonymous if your prefer.

A few years ago, I got a call from Paul Redhead at the Montgomery Chamber of Commerce in Alabama. His daughter Sara had just graduated from the University of Alabama, and he asked if I’d help in her job search.

I agreed, but only on the condition that she agreed to honor my “Ten Commandments of Helping People”, which I require of anyone I help. They are:

1. They have to follow through and do what they tell me they’re going to do. The minute they don’t, I’m done.

2. Don’t waste my time.

3. They have to let me use their story in books, seminars, articles, etc. so that their success will inspire others.

4. Don’t waste my time.

5. They have to pay it forward by helping someone else I’ll send their way in the future.

6. Don’t waste my time.

7. I expect a clear, outward expression of gratitude after we’re done.

8. Don’t waste my time.

9. They’ll keep me posted on their progress after we’re done. If I’m going to invest my time and expertise in them, I want to know how my investment pays off in the future.

10. Don’t waste my time.

Everyone agrees to the terms up front when they need my help. But about half break Commandment #1, and I have to “fire” the person I was trying to help just when we’re getting started.

It’s a lot like firing an employee. Even though they dropped the ball, I’m made out to be the bad guy and it leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. But you can’t help people who won’t help themselves.

Those who do keep Commandments 1 through 8 usually break Commandment 9. Once they’ve found their dream job, I never hear from them again… until they need my help again.

And that’s where it gets ugly.

I explain that I won’t be able to help them again because by breaking Commandment 9, they broke Commandment 1. And that means they’ve wasted my time, which is the cardinal sin in my world.

But Sara’s story took a very unusual twist, and it may be the best story book ending there has ever been in any career search. Tune in next week for the rest of the story.




To Your Success,



Glenn Shepard



P.S.  If you have friends or family members looking for a new job, next week’s article could literally change their lives. Unless you’re in a coma or incarcerated, do not miss next week’s column.


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