Issue No. 124 of Your Weekly Staff Meeting suggests an invigorating mental exercise for a future staff meeting: six-word memoirs. Example: “Type A personality. Type B capability.” And this reminder, check out my Management Buckets website with dozens of resources and downloadable worksheets for your staff meetings.
Here is a stimulating idea to add energy to your next staff meeting or department meeting: six-word memoirs. Ask team members to summarize their autobiographies in exactly six words. Example: “Followed rules, not dreams. Never again.” Or: “Oldest of five. Four degrees. Broke.” And another one: “Boy, if I had a hammer.”
The examples are from the wonderful book with the six-word title, Not Quite What I Was Planning. The New York Times bestseller showcases over 1,000 six-word memoirs. The editors report that Ernest Hemingway was challenged to write a six-word story. His poignant response: “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” So what is your six-word story?
I wear many hats, including grandfather, management consultant, editor and more. Thinking of this eNewsletter, here are my six words:
Caution! The six-word memoirs are entertaining, sad, silly and even serious. Some (no surprise) are offensive—but those are their stories. (Don’t leave the book on your lobby coffee table.) Thanks to Bill Hoyt of NexStep Coaching & Consulting for recommending this book.
To order this week’s book from Amazon, click on this title: Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous and Obscure, edited by Rachel Fershleiser and Larry Smith
Your Weekly Staff Meeting Questions:
1) What is your six-word story?
2) Or, what is the six-word memoir of our organization or department?
Go Home! - Insights from Mastering the Management Buckets: 20 Critical Competencies for Leading Your Business or Nonprofit
One of the big ideas in the Team Bucket, Chapter 9, in Mastering the Management Buckets, is “your work will never be done, so go home!” In that chapter, I recommend you build balance into your life by thinking about your week in 21 time blocks: seven mornings, seven afternoons and seven evenings—and then getting agreement with your spouse (or accountability partner) how many time blocks are for work.
Sometimes CEOs and division leaders must leave the office at 5:00 p.m. to give others permission to leave at 5:00 p.m. “Speed of the leader, speed of the team,” is a common mantra at CEO gatherings. Maybe we need a new one: “When the leader goes home, he blesses his team members and their families.”
The main point: Work hard when you’re working, but don’t dabble at work when you’re not working. (“I just need to check my email, then I’ll take the kids to the park.”) Strive for a balanced life. And most important, get agreement from your board or your boss—and your spouse—on the proper balance of work time versus off time.
I know an executive assistant who monitors her boss’s schedule. When the time blocks hit the maximum number for a week, she schedules the remaining blocks on his calendar for golf or family. He works hard, but he’s not a workaholic.
To learn more, read Chapter 9, The Team Bucket. To download Worksheet #9.1: "The 21 Time Blocks—Toward a God-honoring Balanced Life,” visit the Team Bucket page of my website.
NEXT STEPS: I can help you integrate these leadership and management best practices into your unique setting and help you assess your competencies in the 20 management buckets. Email me at John@JohnPearsonAssociates.com or visit my website at www.JohnPearsonAssociates.com and my book website at www.ManagementBuckets.com.