Since the sixteenth century thousands of books have been published telling you how to manage. Most of them written by people who inherited a company and pay someone else to look after it for them. But you weren't born with a silver spoon in your mouth. Yours was plastic, had Woody from Toy Story on it but never carried anything but gruel. No one owes you anything. You need to develop a style that forces the best out of your unwilling team.
Many management gurus suggest adopting an “inspirational approach”. But making a Henry V at Agincourt speech every morning takes preparation-time that you could be spending on the golf course and, as for high-fiving your brightest and best minions... forget that. You don’t want to touch the plebs, it's bad enough working in the same building as them.
You could try constant supervision of their work, promoting the most successful and firing the ass of anyone who so much as gets the date wrong on an internal memo. But promoting the successful is like inviting the CEO to replace you. You need the competent to be so scared of you they’ll do the incompetents’ work for them and burn-out before they become a threat. And for that to happen, you need to be truly terrifying.
You need to practice Anger management.
All organisations should set their employees goals; the art is to set achievable goals within a time-frame that makes them depressingly unachievable. Set some short-term specific goals ("starting next month, we will increase production by twelve units per employee per hour, then we’ll double it daily for a month."); others should be longer-term and deliberately nebulous ("within the next five years, we will become the leading widget-making organization in the country even if I have to go round to every other widget manufacturer myself and torch their sorry fucking factories personally. And if I have to do that, God help me I’ll torch everyone of your sorry hovels, your wives, children and pets – and I’ll record their dying screams to play back to you at the next week’s production meeting").
Sounds a little harsh? Does it? Does it really? As harsh as when Daddy went out for a twenty year search for cigarettes and left you to fend for yourself from the wallets of all those teamsters Mommy brought home? That was harsh but that taught you how to be a winner. You were running your own business “pitching and catching” in alleyways while these dorks were playing fucking softball with their homo pals and refusing to sit next to you on the school bus. Well, fuck them! Who’s in charge now?
But how do you know what kind of goals to set? The whole point of setting goals, after all, is to get others to achieve the goals your boss set you. It does you no good to go to the trouble of calling meetings, hacking through the needs of your organization, and burning up precious time, only to end up with goals that require your attention. So set SMART goals for employees and keep them on their knees ‘til they achieve them. And if that fails there are catering-knives in the canteen and that swamp that swallowed “Uncle” Monty isn't going to be full any time soon.
Remember, SMART is a handy acronym for the five characteristics of the well-designed goals your retards need
- Specific: Goals must be clear and unambiguous or the fuck-wits who work you won’t understand them. Eg “Sell more widgets or the puppy gets it.”
- Measurable: What good is a goal that you can't measure, show the idiots have failed to measure up to and use as an excuse to dock their wages? Try “Sell 250% more widgets or the puppy gets it.”
- Attainable: Goals must seem attainable; the important thing is that only you know they’re not. Try “Sell 250% more this year or the puppy’s neck and head get to live in different time-zones.”
- Relevant: The team need to buy into the idea that achieving goals is important to the mission. “I’m not gonna convince the board I deserve a $50k bonus until you slobs make us more money. So sell 250% more widgets this year or the puppy’s neck and head get to live in different time-zones.” You’re 40 now, you can’t go back to the old job blowing paedos. So don’t forget to fire some shit-for-brains when they inevitably fall short of your target. Screw him/her, did (s)he have to give hand-jobs to strangers to pay his/her way through college? Did (s)he fuck, (s)he did that for fun and that’s the difference between a pro like you and an amateur ass-hat like him/her/them.
- Time-bound: Goals must have starting points, ending points, and a fixed duration. Commitment to deadlines helps employees to focus their efforts on completion of the goal on or before the due date. “I’m not gonna convince the board I deserve a $50k bonus until you slobs make us more money. So sell 250% more widgets by December 22nd or the puppy’s neck and head get to live in different time-zones.” Then fire him/her anyway even if they succeed. Nothing breeds fear like unpredictability. No one expected you to burn down the house of that couple that wanted to adopt you, did they?
Eight ways to make meetings better
“Meetings are like sex; four or five people in a room is fun but too much input by strangers and you’ll go home with a numb ass.” How much should a Grecian earn? J. Keats, Wentworth House, 1818.
Everyone’s suffered through far too many meetings that took up too much time and accomplished too little. You really want to spend more time listening to those pathetic maggots whining about how 18 hour shifts don’t give ‘em time to sleep, eat or see their sniveling whelps? You want them touching the meeting-table with their filthy fingers? The table you use to fuck that slut from Personnel? Of course you don’t!
So how can you make your meetings better? Remember, if they’re shitting their panties at the thought of you so much as looking at them then they’re unlikely to consider raising their worthless opinions. But if you can’t quite summon the bile to stop your dogs-bodies piping up with a hard stare then you need some techniques to make sure you never have to spend more time listening to their bullshit than absolutely necessary. Remember, a knife in the kidney may have shut that cop up but you won’t get away with that sort of thing forever.
- Be prepared. Meetings are work, so, just as in any other work activity, the better prepared you are, the better. Have your private investigator produce a small dossier on each of the attending workers. That way, if they get uppity, you can smack their bitch-asses back down by “accidentally” dropping a photo-shopped picture of them enjoying the intimate services of one of the “bed-warmers” at Madame Trixie’s Ladyboy Hotel and Spa in Pataya.
As a happy bonus, if one of the worms gets a better paid job elsewhere you can post it on to his/her new employers. It does you no good, but where were they when you wept your way through High School in tattered clothes? They were right there calling you “Stinky-Stinky Stink-Ass” with all the others and firing spit-wads at your neck. They can all go to Hell via the Unemployment Office.
- Have an agenda, a personal agenda, and make sure your co-workers know what it is. You didn't risk the electric chair arranging a concrete overcoat for your predecessor last Thanksgiving just to stay a junior manager for ever. You want to be chief executive and these people are going to take you there. Either that or their mamma can buy a smaller turkey next September too.
- Start on time and end on time. Every moron wants their say. It takes only three things to stop your meetings dragging on: a stop watch, a bell and a hand-gun. If you have to let one of the maggots speak start the stop-watch. If they’re still speaking 20 seconds later ring the bell and flick the safety catch.
“Make it so!” O Capital, my capital Walt Whitman, Gettysburg House, 1863.
Delegating is the act of assigning and entrusting responsibilities to others. Remember, the only management task you shouldn't delegate is fucking the slut from personnel, and you’re only doing that to piss off her boyfriend in Accounts.
Any fool can tell you that the art of management is proper delegation to underlings. How else can you avoid responsibility for your fuck-ups or take credit for the triumphs of others? A more pertinent question is: how can you motivate your staff to work hard enough for long enough so that you are appointed to the board of directors?
Remember delegating isn't just about giving people tasks to do. It’s about covering your ass. Delegate the tasks you already know are impossible to the people most likely to be a threat to you. If they refuse – they lack what it takes to make it in this business. Fire their asses. Delegate easier tasks to the more subservient – they won’t object when you take all the credit. And don't forget to:
- Give employees the freedom to get a job done (no breathing down their necks). You can’t claim the latest fuck-up isn't your fault if it got your finger-prints all over it? Give the dick-heads enough rope to hang themselves; you’ll enjoy your new Bentley all the more when you drive past them queuing for the Food Bank. When they didn't let you in to the Prom because you only had sneakers to go with the tuxedo you robbed from the morgue, did they offer you a lift home in their hired limo? Did they Hell! You had to hitch-hike 20 miles home, and strangling that old lady who stopped for you was no walk in the park. You still hear her screams and whose fault is that? Theirs. They've got 25 years of therapy to pay for.
- Provide employees with the right level of support to get the job done well occasionally. That way even their success is your success. Remember, a 10% pay-rise across the board benefits you more than them – you’re already on double their wage and can always threaten to can them if they don’t keep paying half their salary into your bank account. You value a dollar more than them anyhow. They didn't have to wear a pink ballet skirt and pose in front of a camera for guy called Guido just to earn enough to eat.
- Hold employees accountable to produce the outcomes needed. Hold their old ladies in that abandoned cement plant outside town until they do what you say. If that doesn't work the Triads pay good money for fresh kidneys and the feel of the old cut-throat razor slicing through flesh always brings a smile.
“A shrewd operator has more blood on the operating table than on his hands.” How wonderful is debt? P.B. Shelley, Goode Sisters Publishing 1822
All work places are full of rivalry and disagreement. That’s fine, the more the hoi-polloi bitch among themselves the less likely they are to plot against you. The key here is to manage their conflict. To this end you should:
Ensure that those workers least able to get along share a cubicle. You can always claim that you’re forcing them to confront their issues in the hope of building a closer-knit crew. Then you can sit back and watch their pain on the CCTV, that’s when you’re not watching the continuous feed of your ex-wife weeping in the basement she’s chained up naked in. Oh boy, those hungry looking rats are sniffing her toes again.
Ideally you should also delegate areas of overlapping responsibility to them. No one person should be allowed to have complete ownership of any turf in your department – that’s where conspiracies start. You’d never have finished the MBA if you and that 14 year old hooker hadn't shaken down the Dean of Business Studies.
Finally, make sure that you pass on any unkind comments. Or, where your subordinates have wised-up to this tactic, invent some. They whispered behind your back in kindergarten. You never got to play Duck, Duck Goose. No one ever wanted to lie down on the mat next to yours. You cried yourself to sleep every day for fifteen years. Well not anymore. Sleep is for losers. Amphetamines mean you never need waste eight hours a day on that shit again, which gives you the time to alphabetise your collection of Nazi memorabilia.
Now put your feet on the desk, send some shit-for-brains to Starbucks for you and don't forget to put your cigar out in her eye when she gets back with it. It'll keep them on their toes and passes a quiet afternoon.