Listen Like Thieves (And Other Lessons For Upper Management From The Rock Band INXS)

One thing my Dad told me was that what makes you a man is not how you handle the easy stuff, but how you handle the hard stuff.

He was wrong.

I work at Instablogs. I manage a large group of Regional Editors who live in spots all over the world.

Like a lot of folks we are listening like thieves to the current economic noise to try to prepare for the future. Though we are not doing anything as drastic as firing people ,we are cutting salaries and spending.

And looking for new revenue streams and other prudent things.

But as I look at cuts taking place all over the tech world it kind of surprises me.

Aren’t we the smart guys?

The truth is that the way you handle the hard times shouldn’t be much different than the way you handle the good times.

Here are some rules for upper management.  And these are not rules just for hard times, these are rules are all times.

What You Need

(…this is not the end of it all. don’t you know there is a rhythm to take you where you really want to be…)

Do not hire people you don’t need.

If you can afford to get rid of a position then you didn’t need someone in that position anyway.

Outsource it.

1099 it.

But don’t make a person change their life to join your team only to find that when things get tough you don’t need them.

It’s not fair to them.

Or to you and your company.

I Need You Tonight

(…i’ve got let you know…you’re one of my kind…)

Always be open.

Have few secrets with your employees.

Make that an obsession.

Firings/layoffs should never come as a surprise.

Keep your employees in the loop.

Nothing good comes from pretending things are ok.

People will appreciate it and probably come up with ways to save themselves and you in the process.

Listen Like Thieves

http://www.flickr.com/photos/yyellowbird/359396814/

(when everybody’s down on their knees, listen like thieves…it’s all in your hands)

These are turbulent times. And despite what some people think, it ain’t going away soon.

Your company needs to be careful about the assumptions it makes.

You should be listening carefully not just during the bad times but doing the good times as well. And stick to your core beliefs.

If you do the hard times won’t come as such a surprise.

In a world of Black Swans preparing for the unexpected is…expected.

So despite his wisdom in introducing me to great music, my Dad was, for a change, wrong.

What makes you a man isn’t just the hard stuff.

It’s how you handle the day to day stuff.

And it’s all day to day stuff.

Unless it’s not.

[ P.S.– a side note. The only INXS that matters is the Michael Hutchence era.

He died Nov. 22, 1997. The band has never been the same.]

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8 Comments on “Listen Like Thieves (And Other Lessons For Upper Management From The Rock Band INXS)”

  1. Ferris Says:

    SOme good points.
    I like the way you view the world. And you have decent music taste.


  2. Glad I found this blog. I love the way the posts are filled with inside jokes. Elegantly Wasted! That pic alone had me laughing my ass off!

  3. Tina Says:

    I forgot I much I loved inxs.

  4. Dave Says:

    “Aren’t we the smart guys?” WTF?!??

    Designing a pretty web page, normalized schema, or hacking effiecient javascript does make you good at running an organization. Running an organization effectively in a great business climate doesn’t mean that you can run an organization well in the business climate that is unfolding. Money and success can cover a lot of shortcomings. Looking at the tech layoffs, that just shows the number companies that don’t have a grasp on their business and just threw bodies at their company. People mistaked the mass for success.

    Also, and I am sorry to be soooo pessimistic, but you also say that people should stick to their core beliefs. IMHO, I think that in the break-neck pursuit of the exit strategy in Bubble 2.0, very few people have spent sufficent time looking inward. I see zombies walking and talking, not having direction because the market doesn’t have direction. If turn this forces many people to sit down with a beer, bourbon or blunt and really think about what they who (not what) to be when they grow up, that will be some positive coming out of this storm. For those of us that did this after Bubble 1.0, we see this as a time of opportunity and not crisis.

    Live baby live
    Now that the day is over
    I got a new sensation
    In perfect moments
    Impossible to refuse

  5. chartreuse Says:

    You know what , Dave?
    I think I agree with you 100%.


  6. Combine Dave’s comments + Char’s post = $.
    You need to do both.


  7. […] his post from earlier this week, Chartreuse talks about Lessons for Upper Management from INXS: These are turbulent times. And despite what some people think, it ain’t going away […]

  8. Edina Says:

    Hi
    I love your blog. Great content !
    I spent about 5 minutes looking for a feed button to your page with no luck.
    Can you get back to me at gfe.toronto@gmail.com. I’d like to talk to you.
    My LinkedIn is Myideafactory as well. TTYS -Edina-


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