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No Matter What Business You’re In, People Will Always Be People 


by Glenn Shepard
February 16, 2016
Category:  Management & HR



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Dear Glenn,

What's the best way to open a discussion with my boss when I as a middle manager feel I’m being left out of the loop on hiring decisions, and day to day operational decisions that I’ve been told I have responsibility for?

Megan in Salt Lake City, UT

Dear Megan,

Read “Who Will Do What by When?: How to Improve Performance, Accountability, and Trust” by Tom Hanson and Birgit Zacher Hanson. Whether your boss is a conscious control freak or an accidental micromanager, it comes down to clarifying whether you’re a supervisor, a manager, or both – and what your role in the company is.

- Glenn in Nashville, TN

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For the last 7 months, we’ve been fervently working on a 10 Year Anniversary Special DVD Edition of my 2006 book “How to Be the Employee Your Company Can’t Live Without”.

When my publisher in New York City first approached me about writing the book in 2005, I didn’t think I was the right person because I write from the employer’s perspective, not the employee’s.

But he convinced me that because a new generation that people knew little about, Generation Y (aka Millennials) was entering the workforce, companies everywhere would need all the help they could get to adapt.

Fortunately I listened to him, and wrote what became my first #1 best seller in the U.S., and then went on to be translated in Bulgarian, Mandarin Chinese, Korean, and Spanish, with countless reprints from India to Australia.

After shooting 35 chapters and creating study guides and discussion points for group training, the last chapter to be shot was the introduction. As I sketched the outline for the new opening, I was amazed at how much had changed since I wrote the book.

Ten years ago, few people had heard of Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Wikipedia or LinkedIn. The hottest new thing back then was MySpace.

People actually watched live TV that couldn’t be paused, and went to the video store to rent movies on DVD instead of streaming.

Instead of having everything delivered to their doorstep courtesy of Amazon Prime, people actually went out to shop.

No one had heard of Taylor Swift, or of an unknown singer from Oklahoma who won American Idol (her name was Carrie Underwood).

The Baby Boomers dominated the ranks of management, Gen X made up the biggest percentage of the non-managerial workers, and Gen Y was just starting to graduate from college.

iPhones and iPads had not yet been invented. People still used fax machines, landline telephones, and paper maps, and Apple released the first video iPod.

Snooki was too young to drink, and Paris Hilton dominated reality TV. Lance Armstrong, Jared Fogle, and Bill Cosby were icons of virtue, while Martha Stewart got out of prison and everyone assumed her career was over.

The highest paid actresses in Hollywood were Julia Roberts, Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon, and Drew Barrymore. (Can you remember the last movie they were in?)

So much has changed, but one thing hasn’t – and never will.

Finding good, high quality people that’ll show up for work every day, on time, do their job, play well with others and not stir the pot, is just as much of a challenge as it was 10 years ago.

No matter how much technology or society change, managing people will always be the biggest challenge in business.

To Your Success,

P.S. Keep your eyes peeled for the big announcement, and a special opportunity for the first 1,000 Work Is Not for Sissies subscribers who respond to be on the VIP list to preview the new program for Fr**.

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