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« Cream or Sugar | Main | Before pointing to someone's dirty laundry.. »

August 25, 2016



To drive effectiveness & efficiency in a team where all the members are volunteers is a big challenge - only real leader can do this.

LOL in Taipei

This is hilarious.


Very interesting story and funny, love it:)

Oregon Friend in the story

Very well written!!! Great job!!

Pulao Penang

I can’t believe it performance management, 3C in church

I wonder why only 300s, here we still apply 400s here at work

Lonnie Hurst

I was a leadership coach at Intel before I retired and have continued my coaching business. I have coached a number of people both considering retiring or that retired either willingly or unwillingly. Three things I have noticed:

1) Too many people have no plan for what they want to do with their time after they retire. Some think they will play golf 5 days per week and others think they can use their years of work knowledge to go "help" some organization or community group get more organized and efficient as in your story's example. Most organizations don't want that kind of performance management even if they may need some of it.

2) The more successful retirees have a plan for their retirement life such as: teaching school; following up on a hobby that had been practicing before retirement; learning a new trade and following with a new career: or they reinvent themselves health wise and learn to enjoy life.

3) Those without a plan have tried to apply their work principles to reorganizing their spouse, family and home and are told go become a Walmart greeter or just go away from the house for at least eight hours a day.

There is so much we learned at work that can help us in retirement but it is not about being who you were it should be focused on who you can be in a new life.

In my case I have my coaching business ( and my woodworking business ( and am enjoying life, staying busy and meeting new people regularly.

East Coast

I am in a woodworking group. We sometimes meet on Thursdays or whenever a general meeting is called and typically do civic projects (build stuff for libraries, town , etc.). Now I will tell you there are some very talented people in this world, just great engineers (from big named schools and big named companies) and it shows in the early phases of these projects. These guys come in with these beautiful multi-page drawings, done on the computer, cut lists, etc., which I find somewhat intimidating since I know nothing about how to do this type of work. The problem with some (not all) of these guys is that is where the project stalls and nothing gets built. Others have purchased a bunch of good tools, but they lay in their shop or garage, unassembled, for months or years and never get used. In corporate life, everybody does there only little piece and then passes it on to the next guy, but in retirement, there is no “big staff”, there is only “You” and if “You don’t do it, it doesn’t get done.” Come to think of it, it is not unlike being a farmer. Nobody wants to be a farmer, it’s too much work.

All that said, I know one guy, an engineer (division general manager) who worked for a big shipping company. He’s 82 and this guy is totally self-reliant. He can do it all (design, hand drawings, cut lists, build it and it looks great as all the furniture in his house attests). I have learned much from this guy, bought several of his big tools, swapped tools, worked on projects, etc. Of course, engineers on a ship are a different breed, they have to get things done as there is no alternative (no Fed Ex or corporate staff at sea). This guy is just incredibly clever and you know, “You can’t teach clever!"


Thanks for sharing… what is the expression, a hammer sees everything as a nail? Also shows there is always an opportunity to keep learning and growing.
Made me laugh too.. excellent Friday Reflection, my friend.

Take care


There are people in every company who become slaves to Process, and think their particular Process is the best and only way to improve everything. A Process is only useful if it produces a particular result, and the result that a church community wants and needs is not going to be the same as the result a corporation wants and needs. (For that we should be grateful.)
The Process exists to serve the needs of the customer, and not the other way around. Flexible thinking is as much of a virtue as experience in making things efficient.

Sizzling Shanghai

I was laughing while I was reading through the lines and imaging the way you 2 were talking about the story.
Yeap, can't agree more on your reflections below. Think the start of acceptance of neo-science in the Corp world esp. for leadership skills development clearly showed this.
And what and when some good methodologies and approaches could be applied in life as well as in new work environment is an art with our cautiousness on unlearn to learn and connect more effectively. :-) "So many things that we learn during our working years can be very helpful in the real world, not to forget so many things we did not learn from the real world could have been more helpful in the corporate world. Knowing what to apply and when is the key to the peace of mind and happiness. The process of learning new things and unlearning some old practices has just begun."


So the Pastor is on Pay for Performance system designed by a Person from tech. WOW! Accountabilty in the front of All Mighty.
Your friends' talent and efforts will be better served in Washington.


"A person who knows how to fix motorcycles—-with Quality—-is less likely to run short of friends than one who doesn't. And they aren't going to see him as some kind of object either. Quality destroys objectivity every time."
-Robert Pirsig

What follows is a scathing review, followed by a bit of comic relief.
All is in the spirit of fun.

A corporation may believe it is driving efficiency and effectiveness among its employees. But this, in itself, may be a kind of delusion among the management. Do we really wish to proliferate this "corporate wisdom" to the society as a whole?

In its drive for economic efficiency, a company or a society can logically and legitimately reduce expenses, overhead, equipment or building liabilities, and finally human resources ab absurdum, because it looks good on a balance sheet, until there is nothing left to produce good products. In a not too distant, dystopian future, the only remaining value of human workers (compared to robots/automation) may be in the fact that robots are pre-valued for 24hrs operation, while humans are only valued and paid for 8hrs, hence the latter can be worked overtime for increased output at negligible extra cost. But to believe so is a demonstrable absurdity.

What has business learned in the age of automation and globalization? Offshoring purely for cost benefit works for a short time, but eventually leads to commoditization (hence death). Performance evaluations work for some organizations with clearly defined goals, but the meritocracy and the goals are soon lost/politicized in large organizations. Extensive multi-sourcing of suppliers appears to ensure safety of supply as well as driving prices down, but also results in massive supply chain waste when supply outstrips demand, key suppliers driven out of business, and general prioritization of price over quality. Environmental indicators are formulated in the same way as financial indicators, to make organizations look good in annual reports, while there is very little actual progress to reduce global consumption of CO2, or dependency on fossil fuels, deforestation, air/water pollution, and over-consumption of global common resources including oceans, forests, and habitat destruction...the tragedy of the commons.

We who think in our hubris that our corporate methods are effective and hence this religion should be proselytized to civilize the natives outside, might do well to re-watch the classic film, "Brazil".

Indeed, the very idea in this essay, that we in business are isolated and separate from the "real world" strikes me as the greatest absurdity.

Exhibit 1: Performance reviews, developed by the great Peter Drucker, yet misused to the point of absurdity. Dilbert pointed this out to us many years ago. (See link: )

Exhibit 2: Outsourcing, even Santa Claus. (See link:

Exhibit 3: A joke I once heard (slightly modified here for effect):
A retired efficiency expert, sitting at home most of the time, had the epiphany that he could apply his learned techniques in his own home. He discussed with an ex-colleague about his plan...
RETIRED EXPERT: "I noticed my wife in the kitchen, constantly moving back and forth to the stove, to the table, to the sink, to the garbage pail, and moreover frequently opening the refrigerator and keeping the door open for what seemed like an excessively long time. So I proposed to here a new, LEAN, method that would allow her to prepare a meal in 25% less time, waste 15% less electricity and water, and even use 10% fewer dishes to save on the washing. I showed her just how she could reduce trips between "points of interaction", how she could cut multiple vegetables on the cutting board at the same knife stroke, and how to reduce trips to the table by using a large tray to carry multiple items at once, and even put a timer/alarm mechanism on the refrig, to buzz if kept open more than 30 seconds, and with potential to shorten the alarm time to 15 or 10 seconds as a future goal. I suggested using a gantt chart for critical path management, too."
EX-COLLEAGUE: "So did your new proposal work?"
RETIRED EXPERT: "Well yes, in a way. Previously my wife prepared a breakfast in twenty minutes. Now I do it in seven."


This is pure wisdom :)

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