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In The News

Congratulations to Johnstown, PA’s “Morning Guy”


By Ed Shane


In today’s multi-station, multi-cluster, multi-tasking world of radio, there are so many time management challenges: reduced resources, reduced staff, reduced time to get everything done. 


The result is what I call “managing faster.”  There’s no time for a full explanation, so communication is relegated to a hallway conversation or an addendum to a meeting about another subject altogether.


Then when it comes to a reason to take on a project, the harried manager pulls rank: “The reason?  Because I Said So!”


No wonder employees often find themselves working at jobs they don’t fully understand.  Or taking on one part of the puzzle without knowing what the final picture might be.     


I’ve encountered managers who thought they gave an employee some important piece of information, but only thought they had, because there was so much else on their mind at the time of the meeting.


Sam Walton’s philosophy in the early days of Wal-Mart was “The more they know, the more they care.”  He instructed his managers to “Communicate everything you can to your associates.”  Wal-Mart grew way beyond Mr. Sam’s wildest imagination, and far beyond his ability to let every employee know everything. Yet the philosophy is sound.  


Empowering line employees to make decisions makes business work better.  It also saves time and effort because the decision doesn’t have to go up the chain of command. The customer can have a satisfying experience at the moment instead of having a bad situation finally made only marginally better.  Southwest Airlines is famous for empowering gate agents, flight attendants, and baggage handlers to make decisions in favor of the customer.


The best communication includes an explanation about why this task is important and how it fits into the overall scheme—the goals of the company, the race for number one, the good of the organization.


The Chinese philosopher Lao Tse said, “Tell me, and I will forget.  Show me, and I will remember.  Involve me, and I will understand.”


The four words to abolish are “Because I Said So.”