Skip to main content


Showing posts from November, 2011

When 95% Success Can Still Lead to Failure

Last week, while finishing up a two-day maintenance outage at work, I was exhausted.  I was about to get myself ready to head home when I saw something in a co worker's office that caught my attention.  He had an 18" adjustable (often called Crescent) wrench on his bookcase that was missing the movable jaw and adjusting worm gear.  I picked it up and grinned.  My coworker said he was disappointed that he couldn't find economical replacement parts allowing the wrench to be repaired for less than buying new. I stood there, looking at him, exhausted from 15 hours at work, with the wrench in my hand, and said "I feel just like this wrench, 95% here, but completely worthless."  It then dawned on me the significance of the joke so I asked him if I could keep the wrench.  He was glad to have one less piece of junk in his office so he said "Sure." All weekend long I thought about the broken wrench and why only 5% of it missing made it useless, and how that

Me thinks thou art a suck-up

from I was speaking with a couple of friends of mine recently about some of our common trials and tribulations at work.  During these two conversations, the subject of ingratiating sycophants, more commonly known as suck-ups came up in the discussions.  It is interesting why this type of personality is so prevalent in just about every organization.  The brown-nosing yes-men (persons) can sprout up like dandelions, for some very significant reasons.  The behaviors of acting like a butt-smoocher, or enjoying the company of them like a court of fools, both reside with a lack of confidence and security.  Organizations in most environments are dynamic, with the levels of management experiencing frequent movements.  This flux is caused by positions opening, outdated positions closing, and people being transferred, promoted, or demoted.  If the organization you are in doesn't experience these changes, it is either very small or dying.  How supervisors and manage