Weekly Bookmarks –
16th Edition – May 26, 2019
Don’t hire anyone who doesn’t walk fast. My dad could not stand to see people idle or dawdling.One of the Sacred Cals as told by Cal Turner, Jr.
1. Departments Who Despise One Another
Do you work in a company where one department cannot stand the other?
The authors of The Hard Thing About Hard Things were dealing with two departments who were at each other’s throats–Customer Support and Sales Engineering.
One of the authors loved the motion picture classic Freaky Friday where mother and daughter switched places. Accordingly, a Freaky Friday management technique was employed. The heads of Sales Engineering and Customer Support were forced to switch jobs.
Within one weak, their conflicts were quickly diagnosed and fixed. Could that be a solution in your company should such a rift exist between two departments?
2. You Have to be Kidding
This company posted earnings increases of 15% or more for 37 consecutive quarters. At the time, only Cisco could make that boast.
When this company went public, they did not have a Chief Financial Officer, no budget, no planning, and hardly any consolidated financials. One month after going public, somebody mentioned that the CEO needed to do an annual report on the year just ended.
“What’s an annual report?” asked Cal Turner, Jr. Turner who was the CEO of Dollar General at the time, the son and grandson of the two co-founders.
If you love retail, even e-commerce, you’ll enjoy My Father’s Business by the person who didn’t know what an annual report was.
3. On Firing Family Members
I served a large family business spanning 3 generations of shareholders in the 1990s and beyond. I’ll be forever grateful for those years of learning and growth. My favorite memory? No nepotism. Good luck in finding any employees across hundreds of workers with the same last name as the owners in that company.
Yet, Cal Turner, Jr. was willing to prune the vine when he knew it would be painful–he fired his brother. He also had to fire his father as the Chairman of the Board. Could you do that?
4. Beach Reading This Summer
Remember Andy Fastow? The CFO was the convicted felon after Enron declared bankruptcy.
Let’s assume he dies but comes back to life in his younger self at the age of 19 when he’s already started college. He has the full memory of his past life. Does he still choose his same career path? Does he still become CFO of Enron, only this time by changing the outcomes through his new decisions?
That’s the premise of the book Replay by Ken Grimwood. Jeff Winston is a radio news director and dies at the age of 43. He comes back as a freshman in college with full memory of his past life. But he dies again. And then again. And again. The only difference is that he comes back at a later time during what he calls a replay.
5. Homework Assignment
Are there a couple of departments in your company that do not get along? Who are they? Would a management switch work? The Freaky Friday section of the book in The Hard Thing About Hard Things starts on page 252. Give it to your CEO. Give it to both of the managers of those departments who are at odds with one another.
Oh yes–good luck. Seriously, you have nothing to lose.
Thank You and Happy Memorial Day
Thank you for reading. If you like the content above and the posts at CFO Bookshelf, may I ask a favor? Feel free to share this with other readers along with commenting on your favorite blog posts on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook.
Take care and have a great week. Always be learning.