[1954–current, born America, migrated to Ireland in 1974]
two approaches for senior management
THEORY x: People are naturally lazy.
They come late, leave early, feign illness.
When they sit at their desks
it’s ten to one they’re yakking to colleagues
on the subject of who qualifies as a gorgeous hunk.
They’re coating their lips and nails with slop,
a magazine open to ‘What your nails say about you’
or ‘Ten exercises to keep your bottom in top form’
under this year’s annual report.
These people need punishment;
they require stern warnings
and threats – don’t be a coward,
don’t be intimidated by a batting eyelash.
Stand firm: a few tears, a Mars Bar,
several glasses of cider with her pals tonight
and you’ll be just the same old
rat-bag, mealy-mouthed, small-minded tyrant
you were before you docked her
fifteen minutes pay for insubordination.
Never let these con-artists get the better of you.
THEORY z: Staff need encouragement.
Give them a little responsibility
and watch their eager faces lighting up.
Let them know their input is important.
Be democratic – allow all of them
their two cents worth of gripes.
(Don’t forget this is the Dr Spock generation.)
If eight out of twelve of them
prefer green garbage cans to black ones
under their desks, be generous –
the dividends in productivity
will be reaped with compound interest.
Offer incentives, show them
it’s to their own advantage to meet targets.
Don’t talk down to your employees.
Make staff believe that they
have valid and innovative ideas
and that not only are you interested.
but that you will act upon them.
Remember, they’re human too.
Source: O’Callaghan, J 1991, What’s What, Bloodaxe Books.