Cover image for The gifted boss : how to find, create, and keep great employees
Title:
The gifted boss : how to find, create, and keep great employees
Author:
Dauten, Dale A.
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Morrow, [1999]

©1999
Physical Description:
113 pages ; 22 cm
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780688168773
Format :
Book

Available:*

Library
Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Status
Central Library HD38.2 .D38 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
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Summary

Summary

"Whether you're a manager trying to hire or hold on to your best talent, or an employee who always hoped to have work be more than just another job, this little book can bring you closer to your dream."
--Bob Nelson, author of 1001 Ways to Reward Employees and 1001 Ways to Energize Employees

Revised and updated, here is the groundbreaking "bible" on how to manage successful employees from Dale Dauten, one of America's most innovative business consultants. A classic business "how-to" book, The Gifted Boss is an important business tool to help you find, create, and keep great employees--an indispensible guide to increasing workplace synergy and, ultimately, productivity from the internationally renowned management guru and founder of The Innovators' Lab.


Excerpts

Excerpts

The Gifted Boss How To Find, Create, And Keep Great Employees Chapter One "Only Connect" My "wisest/oldest" project eventually led me to telephone Max Elmore. I'd saved him for last. He's an eccentric old sage I'd first met at O'Hare Airport, the two of us stranded together by a freak May snowstorm. At the time, I was a disheartened young bureaucrat, feeling stifled and stymied--feelings intensified that night by being one of thousands of frustrated travelers trying to nap while slumped against the walls, using our carry-on bags as pillows. Unable to relax, I watched glumly as an old guy in plaid pants appointed himself social director for all the restless children in the terminal. Once he exhausted them, he sat beside me, and I responded grouchily to his questions about my life, pouring out my frustrations. Instead of leaving me there to sulk, he cajoled me, then educated me, and ended up changing my life--literally overnight. During our hours of conversation Max taught me that you can't get to better without first getting to different. And he showed me how to delight in flukes and coincidences and other offerings of the angels of creativity. I learned a new motto that night: Experiments Never Fail. Within a few weeks I had established a reputation within my company as an innovator, and I'd gotten pulled into a stream of new projects and eventually into a series of promotions. In fact, the success that followed my night with Max had led directly to the conundrum I now faced: I had more career than I wanted. So it was fitting that I put off calling Max till the end, counting on him to help me pull together what I'd heard. And when I had him on the phone, I told Max that the more I searched, the more lost I had become. He responded by asking, "So now that you've talked to all these wise old people, what do you think you should do more of?."Truly live. Experience life." "Good. But what's the main ingredient of those experiences?" "Other people." "Yes. The goal isn't just to experience life, but to experience it together. Remember E. M. Forster? 'Only connect.' That's a two-word philosophy of life." Those two words did indeed strike me as an important truth. But I was knee-deep in important truths. I said to Max, "I've been going in circles, reflecting on life. And since my life is mostly spent working, I've spent a lot of time reflecting on my career. I paused here, knowing I was about to say something that chilled me to contemplate, and I had to make sure my voice would not betray the powerful emotions I was feeling: "I've found myself wondering if I should quit my job, maybe become a consultant. Spend more time with my family." There was a pause, and I couldn't decide if I would be pleased or disappointed if he agreed. Mine was an enviable job. Solid people, my coworkers. Good salary and benefits. Then again, I found myself not wanting to go to work some mornings, so much so that when the company started a little TGIM campaign, like we should all be thrilled to see Monday morning come around, I had to bite my tongue like it was a piece of Juicy Fruit. Max finally responded by saying, "I remember hearing John Madden, the football coach, talking about his decision to become a television announcer. It happened not too long after he left coaching. He said something like, 'I quit coaching to spend more time with my family. But after a while, I realized that my family didn't want to spend more time with me. So I went back to work.'" Max laughed, adding, "I'm picturing you quitting your job, and after a year or so, you discover that your wife and children are sneaking around, hiding from you." He feigned a child's high voice, "Shhh... get down. Here comes Dad again, trying to spend time with us." We laughed together. Max knew me well enough to know that I already had a close family. Looking back, I suspect he understood that I was simply worn down and looking for an exit. I remarked, "So now I'm more confused than ever." He said kindly, "I don't think the answer Is 'not working.' The answer is carryiny 'only connect' into your work. Business at its best is all about human involvement. The problem is that we've stripped work of its natural zest. I thought the old command structures were breaking down, but mostly it's been a sham. We talk about teams and coaches, but usually they turn out to be committees and managers working under aliases." He was right about the company where I worked. I had left corporate life and built a small business of my own, then sold out to a larger company. Now I was a "team leader," which meant I was head of a small division. I had a couple of dozen people who worked for my group. "So," Max said, "do you truly 'connect' with your bosses?" "Sort of," I replied, knowing I sounded wishy-washy. They were bright, committed people, but it seemed I spent half my time trying to figure out how to get around their bureaucracy. "Do you love them?" "I wouldn't have chosen that word." "Do you want to be more like them?" "And how about the people who report to you? Do you 'only connect'?" "I care about them." "Not good enough. You undoubtedly 'care' about saving the whales. That's not the same as connecting." I got a bit defensive here, because I am a good boss who has devoted himself to his division. So I threw out some objections while Max let me talk myself into a corner. Then, having been set up," Max then took me into a brief conversation that changed forever the way I view work relationships. "Have you ever had a great boss?" Max asked. "Someone you looked forward to seeing, who lifted you up to a higher plane?" I hesitated, debating one possibility in my mind. That's when he added, "Peter Schutz, the former CEO of Porsche, once described for me the type of relationship I'm talking about. He described it as 'I like me best when I'm around you.' With that I knew my answer--I'd never had a boss like that. And then he asked about my own management. I unburdened myself, explaining that my relationship with my employees was mostly as a problem solver. I spent my days with them lined up waiting to see me, and they invariably brought in their obstacles and screw-ups. I came through for them, and in doing so, I had stopped doing what I thought of as "actual work"--which I wasgood at, and enjoyed--and started being a corporate plumber, my life concerned with leaking projects and clogged pipelines. Max started laughing as I finished my griping. "What?" I demanded. He responded, still amusing himself, "I just thought of a remark by Emperor Hirohito, commenting on how his life had changed after the war. He said, 'You can't imagine the extra work I had when I was a god.'" He waited for me to laugh, but I merely forced a chuckle because I didn't find much humor or any applicability. He said, "Don't you see, you're trying to be the god of your department. It's a lousy job, being a god." And then he asked me about the people who worked for me, and he wondered if I had any "great employees," whom he defined as people who not only needed no management but who also made me do better work, and who raised the entire department to a higher standard. So I had to say no, although I felt myself a bit of a traitor to say it. And then we got to the real goods.... The Gifted Boss How To Find, Create, And Keep Great Employees . Copyright © by Dale Dauten. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold. Excerpted from The Gifted Boss: How to Find, Create, and Keep Great Employees by Dale A. Dauten All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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