An Educational Newsletter
So for those of you who did not receive the original ones, this is The Morning Text, where I basically state my opinion and tell you what to do! I used to send one out every day to give or take 100 people. The Morning Text typically consists of things such as a word of the day, a quote, a daily challenge, a few recent events and/or interesting facts and a request for feedback. Very recently, a few of the original The Morning Text recipients contacted me and asked me to start them again. Remembering how fun they were, I decided to give it a trial run. Please note: you may receive fewer or opt out of The Morning Text anytime by sending a request to this number/email (I promise no feelings will be hurt). Remember: participation, questions, comments, concerns, referrals, complaints and requests are strongly encouraged. As this is a trial run, I may try doing it a few different ways. Participation points are tallied for each person; at the end of the week, the winner will be announced. This introduction will appear on every The Morning Text newsletter until the trial is complete and the official starts. If anyone did not receive The Morning Text from previous days, please notify me. I have run into many issues and I would like to resolve them. So, without further ado, I give you The Morning Text.
If you are still receiving this newsletter in many parts, rest at ease that you will begin receiving a link instead before the end of the week.
I apologize in advance, this one is extra long.
This fun fact is courtesy of my mother. There are vampire moths! They will go up to humans “drill” into their skin and drink the blood!
For those of you who don’t know, Catherine recently got a job here in Birmingham as a bridal stylist while she goes to school. Upon applying for the job, she was offered an interview. As she was rather nervous, she asked me to help her prepare for her interview (I’ve been through a few more than she has). So I began giving her tips and ideas to use in her interview. We had mock interviews where I asked classic hard-to-answer questions and she had to formulate an appropriate response. Finally, the day of the interview arrives. I excitedly wait for a response only to receive a text that read, “apparently it’s a group interview, all applicants are being interviewed together.” My first reaction is, “That’s a horrible idea! An interviewer is supposed to help provide a sense of belonging for the interviewee within the company; and yet the first memory they have with a figure of authority at this company is negative and forever associated with the intensity and and fear that accompany competitive, esteem-destroying group interviews like this.” Before I even get off a shot at the management style Cat replies, “The interviewer says it’s so that they can see how we effectively socialize.” After that statement I try to give the company the benefit of the doubt. An hour later, Cat informs me that she was offered a second interview scheduled two days from then. She prepares more for this one. Upon entering the second interview she is offered the job within thirty minutes. On her way out she passes one of the other original interviewees. As Cat reaches for the door handle she hears the manger behind her, “Oh we don’t need to see you anymore, we’ve chosen our candidate.” Can we talk about how wrong that is? This woman spent so much time preparing for this interview, and they wouldn’t even let her try. In my opinion, that’s poor management. Anyway, on with the story. On Catherine’s first day of training, she is introduced to “The Board.” The Board is an employee sales tracker publicly displayed in the break room. This wouldn’t bug me if it wasn’t for the fact that certain “at risk employees” are shamed for their failures on this board. You see, if the stylists don’t meet the rather ambitious quota for that month they’re at risk of being fired, and this is not only prominently displayed as a shaming tactic for her colleagues to see, but it’s also a constant reminder that her job is at risk. That’s the inspiration for today’s Morning Text.
Alright, who can tell me who Jack Welch is? Yes, the young woman in the back. That’s right, he is an author and a businessman. Jack Welch is the former CEO of General Electrics that helped turn it into the multi billion dollar business that it is today. Now, who can tell me about Steven Covey? No one? How disappointing. He is a highly renowned developmental psychologist, entrepreneur and author. He wrote one of the greatest motivational books of all time, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. What do the two individuals have to do with one another? Absolutely nothing. The two men are of completely different trades. However, I often use the two examples when discussing management styles.
First: Steven Covey
As a developmental psychologist, Covey argues that with the proper mentorship and hard work, any human can be capable of doing great things. He spent is life teaching, motivating, guiding and helping people reach their full potentials. He studied and met with many successful people of different trades to eventually compile 7 essential habits that they all possessed in a book that teaches readers to improve themselves daily. One of his beliefs was that people almost always do better work when they feel valued, challenged and capable of advancement.
Second: Jack Welch
The former CEO was known for ruling with an iron fist. He made many a grown man cry, fired a ludicrous amount of people quarterly and became a billionaire because of his genius business tactic. While the author of the best seller Jack, Straight From the Gut was a successful business man, his management style was terrifying. He had an employee rating system that evenly divided and labeled all employees as A’s, B’s and C’s. A’s were employees that always went above and beyond, B’s were employees that did their job faithfully, and C’s were employees that either occasionally fell or sat below the bar. Employers were required to meet a quota of fired employees before every hiring season. C’s were fired without a second thought and even many B’s were fired. Welch would then look at the next set of resumes upon the following hiring season and hire people based on their resumes alone. Then, after a short season, he would label all employees as A’s, B’s and C’s again and repeat the same number. The company would then repeat the same termination process, firing some of the original B’s and A’s that shouldn’t have been labeled as such but they were because employers had a quota to fill. In theory, this business formula would work well, but two things bothered me. One, this was made public that the employees were being labeled. This in turn destroyed teamwork amongst peers and instead inspired cut throats competition. Your new partner Samantha was no longer your teammate, instead she was your enemy. Second, those are people! Those C’s could have been growing young adults that had never held a job before and needed to learn, those B’s could have been aspiring A’s that thrived at their job but struggled with group presentations. These people had families and dreams. You don’t treat people like that.
Steven Covey would have instead had employers work and help their employees to grow by addressing shortfalls and suggesting improvements. Of course it would be done within reason, a poor work ethic is a poor work ethic. But I feel that most people can change. Welch, however, is basically Trump in The Apprentice. I’m not saying “be Steven Covey” or “avoid Jack Welch qualities.” Most management styles will fall somewhere in between these two examples. But I would like to challenge you to always help people grow and learn before you fire them.
Challenge of the Day: Identify the “Jack Welch” in someone. Look at people throughout your day and find someone that is more likely to fire someone than work with them. Come back to me with your discovery!
That’s it for today! As this is a trial run, I am entirely open to tweaking The Morning Text, please provide feedback so that I can better cater to your interests. If you believe you have received this message in error and no longer wish to receive them, please notify me.
Have a wonderful day.
Written by Caleb Gibbons
Edited by Catherine Peinhardt