Sunday, November 10, 2013

Paul Anderson's 10 Basic Common-Sense Ways to Think About Management

This excerpt is from a good article published by Forward Online - "Leading from the middle of the storm".

Forward interviewed Paul Anderson, who has handled many turnarounds in his 40-plus-year career. He has gone from automotive to energy to steel to raw materials and back to energy, carrying with him his tool kit of common sense business practices and hard-nosed decision-making. He has not courted the limelight. In fact, it is almost impossible to find anything written about the man. But the results speak volumes: the turnaround of BHP (see “Chronology of a Turnaround”, below) in the midst of both a recession and a corporate crisis, the merger of PanEnergy with Duke Energy in 1997, the spin-off of Spectra Energy from Duke in 2007.

Twelve former employees of Paul Anderson either are or have been CEOs. He thinks of them as protégés. “They worked for me long enough that they must have learned at least some of it from me,” he says. They also show, “I’m pretty good at picking people and at surrounding myself with people who are smarter than me.”

Anderson does have “10 basic common-sense ways to think about management” that he has used with MBA classes and that his protégés must have picked up along the way.
  1. Only you and your mother care about the reasons. If you didn’t get the sale, didn’t hit the target, no one cares why. Tell it to your mother.
  2. Take responsibility for yourself. Focus on what you can control and don’t blame things like your gender, your race, your religion, your height for your shortcomings. Go back to school. Learn to speak in complete sentences.
  3. Seek responsibility, not authority.
  4. Make the most of your job, no matter how bad. Figure out how you can learn something from it or use it to get to somewhere else.
  5. Make the most out of your marriage. Too many people compartmentalize their lives. Use your personal life to enrich your professional life and vice versa.
  6. Start thinking about what will happen if you succeed rather than if you fail.
  7. Main-event management—focus on what’s important. Don’t be distracted by things like organizational politics.
  8. Listen. That’s absolutely critical.
  9. Be sensitive to how loud your voice becomes as you get higher up in the organization.
  10. Don’t be seduced by success. You’re never quite as good as you think you are. Julius Caesar had a slave who walked beside him on his triumphal processions through Rome. The slave’s job was to whisper to Caesar, “You are just a man.”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

the tip that I recall most is "don't be seduced to your success" because it's true.
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