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IT’S THE LITTLE THINGS…

Posted by Tim Bryce on February 12, 2016

BRYCE ON LIFE

– that makes life worth living.

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

Most of us are familiar with the expression, “He who dies with the most toys wins,” meaning people crave recognition for owning the biggest house, the fastest car, a huge yacht, the most expensive watch, or an impressive title. Although such people should be congratulated on their success, to me, this is rather shallow thinking as I believe it is the little things that make life worthwhile. For example:

I really enjoy seeing a job well done, producing a quality product on time and within budget. This is a testament to the people who produced it and the manager in charge. Better yet, performing a job admired by others. Unfortunately, we no longer seem to be able to conquer too many large projects any more, which is why when such projects are completed properly, we should celebrate. This also explains why we are content doing smaller projects these days.

Back in 1985, when we moved our office from Cincinnati to Tampa Bay, we performed a considerable amount of planning. On Friday, the movers came to load our office furniture. We backed up our mini computer for the last time before unplugging it and loading it on the truck. We then drove as a convoy to Florida. On Monday morning, the movers brought in our furniture to the new office, we installed the computer, and were back up and operational by 9:00am Monday morning. Some people thought the move couldn’t be done over a weekend. We didn’t think twice about it. It was a pleasure though to watch this project being performed like clock work.

This leads me to the next point, I enjoy seeing someone solve a problem generally regarded as impossible to conquer. There are a lot of naysayers in the world telling us what can or cannot be done. It’s always a pleasure to prove them wrong. In particular, we produced a technology to automatically design and document information systems based on the interpretation of requirements. People said it couldn’t be done. We proved them wrong. We also produced a technology to automatically calculate corporate priorities which others said couldn’t be done. Again, we proved them wrong. The key to success was nothing more than a little perseverance, and a lot of common sense.

Beyond this, it is a pleasure to watch anyone who knows what he/she is doing, be it a craftsman creating a quality product, a salesman who knows his product line, a customer service agent who knows how to patiently expedite the problems of a client, a waitress who performs her job friendly and professionally, or a janitor who takes pride in his work. The antithesis of this is the person who has earned degrees and/or certificates, yet hasn’t a clue on how to produce or deliver anything.

I also enjoy seeing a good deed performed whether it is for a neighbor, friend, a co-worker, or a complete stranger, thereby maintaining our sense of humanity and decency. It could be as simple as mowing the person’s lawn, shoveling snow from a driveway, offering a meal, or helping out anyway we can, all quietly and respectfully.

Then we come into the simple pleasures of the physical world, such as listening to some great music without commercial interruption. For me, it’s jazz, classical, big band and good old rock and roll.

Many consider food a pleasurable experience, but not just any food. Many of us enjoy the comfort foods prepared by mothers and grandmothers, be it nothing but warm bread, cakes or pies. Perhaps there is a special salad they know how to make, or a main dish such as lasagna, a casserole, or something from our cultural past, such as an ethnic dish. Likewise, they equally enjoy preparing it knowing it to be a favorite of ours.

Then there is the matter of sweets. As a kid, one of my favorite Halloween treats was a Chunky bar, which we considered the nirvana of chocolate. I happened to spot one in a local drug store recently and had to have it, and, Yes, it was every bit as good as I remembered it.

We also take pleasure in local cuisine, especially if we have been away for a period of time. In Buffalo, NY it is char-grilled foot long hot dogs with curly fries, a Beef on a Weck, Chicken Wings, clam bars, and a Friday night fish fry. In Cincinnati, OH it is ribs, goetta, metts and brats, ice cream, a Frisch’s Big Boy, and sliders from White Castle. In Tampa Bay, it’s grouper cooked a variety of ways, shrimp, Cuban sandwiches, and Greek salads. Yum!

There is also nothing quite like the love of a good woman, and to witness the triumphs of your offspring, be it a home run or touchdown, a good report card, graduation, jobs, etc. Sitting on the sidelines and just enjoying the moment can be very rewarding.

Other little pleasures include reading a book that doesn’t disappoint you. You feel like it was time well vested. I also happen to like wadding in a fresh water stream fishing for trout. There is something to be said about being divorced from the real world for a few hours and preoccupied hunting your quarry.

Bottom-line for me, I take pleasure in having a good drink, good cigar, and good conversation with friends. I find this more rewarding than any mansion, yacht or fancy automobile. Then again, I have nothing to prove to anybody.

Also published with News Talk Florida.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2016 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  WHAT DOES PRESIDENTS’ DAY MEAN? – Who are we celebrating, the people or the office?

LAST TIME:  WHY DO WE TOLERATE THUGS IN SPORTS?  – Is victory more important than morality?

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern); WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific); and WWBA-AM (News Talk Florida 820). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

Posted in Life | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

WHY DO WE TOLERATE THUGS IN SPORTS?

Posted by Tim Bryce on February 10, 2016

BRYCE ON SPORTS

– Is victory more important than morality?

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

Recently, a friend brought to my attention a web page produced by USA Today containing a data base of “NFL Player Arrests.” Between the years 2000-2015 there were 810 players arrested for various offenses. Some beat the rap, others were fined, and some served jail time. In 2015 alone, 28 players from 21 teams, representing two-thirds of the teams in the National Football League (NFL), were arrested for such crimes as illegal drugs, speeding, driving under the influence, other traffic offenses, battery, domestic violence, burglary, animal cruelty, disorderly conduct, rape, and gun offenses. In addition to paying fines and serving jail time, the offenses resulted in player suspensions and, in some cases, they were promptly released by the teams.

These are the cases formally documented in the courts, there are many others simmering on the sidelines, such as the rape case involving Tampa Bay quarterback Jameis Winston which hangs over his head like the Sword of Damocles. Until such time as he can clear his name, he will continue to be a liability to the Buccaneers organization.

I realize football is a rough sport, but the NFL is developing a reputation for condoning immoral behavior. A lot of this could be chalked up to high spirited young men who do not know better. If this is true, perhaps it is time for the NFL to promote a mentoring system where seasoned veterans offer wise counsel to the young, or perhaps some training. It is the responsibility of the coaching staff to prepare the players for game day, but perhaps it is time for them to assume the same responsibilities corporate managers have in supervising the activities of their younger workers to assure they properly adapt to the corporate culture.

The point is, the youngsters have to be told they are no longer teenagers, but adults who are responsible for their actions, not to mention role models for the teams and cities they represent.

The NFL is not alone in its problems controlling its players. Similar offenses can likely be found in the NBA, MLB, NHL, and just about every organized sport.

Whereas we have been experiencing a general breakdown in morality due to the deterioration of the family unit, it becomes the responsibility of managers to practice what I refer to as “Parenting Management,” whereby the manager has to make up for what the parent failed to instill in their offspring.

There is another major problem though, loyal and enthusiastic fans tend to overlook the indiscretions of the players. To such people, victory is more important than a player’s brush with the law, and this is perhaps more disturbing than the offense itself. The fans and the teams should be as indignant and concerned as the courts. Too often they are not.

Can we completely eradicate thuggery from organized sports? Probably not, but we can significantly reduce the volume of incidents with some basic management techniques, such as education and mentoring.

Also published with News Talk Florida.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2016 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  IT’S THE LITTLE THINGS… – that makes life worth living.

LAST TIME:  MOVING UP TOO FAST  – What happens when you do not pay your dues.

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern); WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific); and WWBA-AM (News Talk Florida 820). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

Posted in Morality, Sports | Tagged: , , , , , | 4 Comments »

MOVING UP TOO FAST

Posted by Tim Bryce on February 8, 2016

BRYCE ON MANAGEMENT

– What happens when you do not pay your dues.

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

As we enter the workforce, it is natural to be ambitious and make a name for ourselves thereby establishing credibility. This is certainly not new. However, as the Baby Boomers begin to retire, they are rapidly being replaced by Millennials, and frankly, many are not prepared.

Regardless of what they teach in the business schools, there are several nuances to assuming the role of manager. You have to have the proper social and communications skills to work with people, you should be cognizant of the corporate culture and how to manipulate it to your benefit, understanding the systems and technology of the business, and much more. This can only be learned through experience, and hopefully a mentor. Unfortunately, few companies appreciate the mentor concept and throw junior people into the breech prematurely to see who will survive. Without proper supervision, most of the junior people are doomed to failure.

A local distributor of manufacturing products recently changed their management hierarchy, demoting mature sales and administrative managers, and replacing them with people who were young enough to be their children (about 27 years old). There was a lot of unbridled enthusiasm about them, but little in terms of common sense for running a business. To illustrate, their massive warehouse had only one operable light bulb. The young administrative manager believed the landlord was responsible for replacing them, yet it was theirs to maintain. Office equipment was sorely in need of maintenance, particularly the photocopier which regularly printed fuzzy dark images on paper. Neither of the managers knew how to process a customer order electronically. Consequently, the company began to experience delays in processing. Having never performed a year-end inventory, they fudged the numbers as opposed to getting it right. And the year-end company Christmas party was a bust.

None of this was complicated, yet they lacked the experience and common sense to run the office smoothly. Not surprising, employee morale is at an all time low, and for some strange reason, their corporate managers accept their performance.

More troubling, although the juniors may possess infectious enthusiasm, their inexperience could lead the company into a lawsuit due to some unintended faux pas.

The point is, these two junior people were promoted much too fast. Instead of weaning them with a viable career path, corporate officers threw them into their new positions unexpectedly. Being impetuous, they were not interested in seeking the advice of their predecessors who were still employed by the company. The elders simply shook their head in disbelief as they watched the juniors commit one mistake after another.

This is just one instance, but I am seeing similar situations occur in other companies where junior people are asked to sink or swim in higher positions. The logic for this is bewildering to me as the productivity of such companies diminish using this approach. It is also unfair to the junior people who are put into this position and lack the maturity and experience to perform their jobs effectively.

One can only wonder, what in God’s name are they thinking at corporate?

Also published with News Talk Florida.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2016 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  WHY DO WE TOLERATE THUGS IN SPORTS? – Is victory more important than morality?

LAST TIME:  FATHERS EAT HEELS  – and perform all the thankless jobs around the house.

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern); WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific); and WWBA-AM (News Talk Florida 820). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

Posted in Business, Management | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

FATHERS EAT HEELS

Posted by Tim Bryce on February 5, 2016

BRYCE ON LIFE

– and perform all the thankless jobs around the house.

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

I was making a sandwich the other day, and as I opened a loaf of bread I observed the heel customarily unclaimed by other members of the family. I, of course, took it to build my sandwich. Only then did I stop to think how many times I had done this over the years as my family seems to have an aversion to eating the heel and, consequently, it was always earmarked for my consumption exclusively. It’s not that I relish eating the heel, I just don’t want to see it go to waste. I then started to think about the other attributes that distinguish fathers. For example:

It is the father’s job to kill spiders, bugs, and any other potential vermin frightening the household. In Florida, this includes man-eating grasshoppers, ants, armadillos, opossums, snakes, palmetto bugs (what we call cockroaches in the South), and the rare alligator that may wander by the house.

It is the father’s job to take out the trash, not just the regular kitchen garbage but virtually anything that can be shoved into, on top of, or next to a trash can. This includes items from the attic, bio-hazardous material stored in the garage, and anything that can be hacked off on the property. When the receptacles are full, it is the father’s job to somehow transport it to a dumping station, usually in the cleanest car available.

It is the father’s job to mow the lawn. More than mere mowing, this includes edging, hedging, pruning, sodding, raking, fertilizing, and blowing debris off the property. Hopefully the father is assisted by his offspring, but most find it an imposition for the child and therefore pays for Mexican laborers to perform the task instead.

It is the father’s job to change the oil and wash the car. I don’t mean running down to a car wash or quick-lube either. Every father should know how to use a hose and bucket of suds, not to mention wax. Further, they should be able to change the oil, miss the pan, and cleanup the slop spilled on the driveway. Hopefully the father is assisted by his offspring, but most find it an imposition for the child and therefore pays for Mexican laborers to perform the task instead.

It is the father’s job to eat leftovers and anything else the family refuses to consume. This distorts his palate which explains why fathers have a passion for such things as lima beans, Brussels sprouts, artichoke hearts, rutabaga, lamb shanks, liver and onions, black eyed peas and collard greens, grits, tapioca pudding, Rhubarb Pie, and Bosco.

It is the father’s job to help the children with their homework when they hit a problem. It is also his job to look as helplessly puzzled when he doesn’t know the answer (or understand the question).

It is the father’s job to make simple house repairs, such as changing the garbage disposal, fixing the toilet, repairing the door bell, or electrocuting himself when he should have called an electrician.

It is the father’s job to be the computer technician of the house, to hook up wires and strings, to buy and replace printer cartridges, and to curse Microsoft.

It is the father’s job to take the blame for whatever goes wrong, large or small, regardless if he is at fault or not, pick up the pieces and try to mend things.

It’s not easy being a father. We get all the dirty little jobs to do, and the leftovers to eat. We only ask for a little love and attention in return.

Just remember, fathers eat heels.

Originally published: December 16, 2010

Also published with News Talk Florida.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2016 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  MOVING UP TOO FAST – What happens when you do not pay your dues.

LAST TIME:  FINDING THE TIME AS MANAGER  – Embrace your workers, do not avoid them.

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern); WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific); and WWBA-AM (News Talk Florida 820). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

Posted in Family, Life | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

FINDING THE TIME AS MANAGER

Posted by Tim Bryce on February 3, 2016

BRYCE ON MANAGEMENT

– Embrace your workers, do not avoid them.

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

As you probably know, I am not an advocate of micromanagement, a Theory X form of management featuring autocratic rule. I tend to subscribe to Theory Y where you “manage from the bottom up,” meaning a manager should train and empower his/her people to perform project tasks, and get out of their way. However, the manager should run interference for his people to overcome problem areas, real or potential. From the sound of this scenario, the manager spends little time with their people. Not quite. It is true they will manage more and supervise less, but they should always be cognizant of the needs of their people.

I knew a Chief Information Officer (CIO) for a Fortune 500 conglomerate who spent the bulk of his time away from the office, attending a multitude of meetings, either with the executive board, visiting the company’s many offices, or attending industry conferences where he often gave speeches. Although he had a mobile phone, the best way to contact him was either by e-mail or through his secretary who tracked his whereabouts.

His subordinate managers rarely knew where he was, and desperately wanted more face time to address some of the problems arising in the organization. Without the guidance of the CIO, they were forced to second guess how to best solve problems, usually wrong. This forced the managers to form an alliance to mutually solve problems, an unintended benefit resulting from the CIO’s absence. Aside from this, the managers and his workers felt abandoned and became apathetic.

One of the objectives of any manager is to “do yourself out of a job,” meaning to train your people to be able to take over the organization in the event the head manager is disabled or unavailable. If the department can run smoothly without him, he has done his job. Actually, this approach is derived from the military where it has long been the practice to prepare subordinates for advancement in times of crisis. However, to make this work, the subordinates must be properly trained. Unfortunately, many managers overlook this little detail and, consequently, the subordinates flounder.

Aside from this, the manager’s main attention should be focused on their people. Knowing corporate direction and planning is one thing, but it is imperative managers understand the problems and needs of their people. This means attending meetings, one-on-ones, keeping tabs on the pulse of their departments, status reports, brainstorming sessions, etc. As the captain of his ship, the manager should understand the direction of his department and make sure the crew has all the tools and instruction necessary to competently sail the ship.

In the example of the CIO mentioned earlier, most of the workers had no clue as to what the manager was thinking or what was expected of them. Consequently, they worked independently, certainly not in a concerted manner. In other words, the crew was not rowing on the same oar.

Just a little time socializing with your workers, remembering their names and important dates, such as birthdays and anniversaries, can work wonders in terms of improving morale. Sorry, but tweets, e-mails, and text messages will not suffice. Find the time to meet with your people, even if its nothing more than walking the trenches and checking progress first hand. As the leader of your area, it sends a powerful message that you care. Bottom-line, make yourself more accessible to your people. Hiding behind a wall will not enhance productivity.

Also published with News Talk Florida.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2016 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  FATHERS EAT HEELS – and perform all the thankless jobs around the house.

LAST TIME:  BECOMING A “SENIOR”  – Quite often, we do not see it coming.

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern); WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific); and WWBA-AM (News Talk Florida 820). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

Posted in Business, Management | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

BECOMING A “SENIOR”

Posted by Tim Bryce on February 1, 2016

BRYCE ON LIFE

– Quite often, we do not see it coming.

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

A rite of passage we must all experience is becoming a “senior.” It can be used to denote the final year of high school or college, or graduation from some other institution, such as a tour of duty in the military. It denotes we are growing older which we commonly overlook.

When I was a senior in high school, age 18, I was in the downtown area of my hometown of Wyoming, Ohio wearing my WHS school letter jacket. I was waiting for a ride and just minding my own business. Nearby were two kids, about age 10, who were talking. I overheard one of them say, “Let’s ask that man over there what time it is. Hey Mister…” I was surprised by the comment, and at first didn’t realize they were talking to me. To be recognized as an adult for the first time was an epiphany for me, something I was unprepared for. Only then did it occur to me I was growing up.

More recently, I was recognized as the 2015-16 Outstanding School Volunteer for Palm Harbor University High School (PHUHS) for my work with CABAM (Center of Academics for Business Administration and Management), a special program within the school designed to provide for the education of business related skills. Personally, I believe it to be an important program and something I wish I had when I was in high school. I appreciated the honor, but noticed I was selected for the “Senior” category. Just as when I was 18, I was surprised by the designation as I still consider myself a regular adult who continues to work. While others my age are scrambling to retire, I cannot see myself doing so. There is too much to do yet, and I do not play golf or shuffle board.

To me, becoming a senior means you possess certain experiences and people rely on your expertise to advise them on various matters, such as in business, education, a particular craft or skill, politics, and life in general. To do so, you must be willing to give back to your community or industry and offer wise counsel.

Not everyone feels this way though. I have met too many people check out when they retire, becoming apathetic, and dropping out of sight.

What I find interesting about the “senior” designation, it is something we all yearn for as we grow up; to be recognized as some sort of experienced expert. I was disappointed when I became a senior both in high school and college. After all of the expectations, I found it wasn’t a big deal. “Is this all there is?” I would lament. I believe we are in too much of a hurry to grow up and do not spend enough time enjoying the moment. However, there are instances where we do not see it coming, such as when I was 18.

Yes, I was surprised by the “Senior” classification on my volunteer award. I certainly do not feel like one.

And stop asking me when I’m going to retire. I still have plenty of dances left on my card.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2016 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  FINDING THE TIME AS MANAGER – Embrace your workers, do not avoid them.

LAST TIME:  THE NEED FOR CONCEALED WEAPONS CLASSES  – Why it should be considered mandatory to attend such classes.

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern); WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific); and WWBA-AM (News Talk Florida 820). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

Posted in Life | Tagged: , , , , | 6 Comments »

THE NEED FOR CONCEALED WEAPONS CLASSES

Posted by Tim Bryce on January 29, 2016

BRYCE ON GUNS

– Why it should be considered mandatory to attend such classes.

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

Let me begin by saying I believe everyone in the country should attend a concealed weapons class. Whether you are a pro or anti gun advocate, every citizen should attend such a class, be it privately taught, in schools, or some other venue. If you are unfamiliar with the class, let me clear up an important misconception, it is NOT about gun advocacy, it is about gun safety. Although such classes vary from state to state, it is essentially used to teach the fundamentals of how a gun is used, how it should be stored and maintained, and all of the pertinent laws associated with it.

I took such a class a few years ago here in Florida and was very much impressed by the knowledge and professionalism of the instructor. Again, this was less about the actual firing of the weapon as opposed to a description of the various types of weapons (e.g., rifle, shotgun, semiautomatic, single and double action revolvers, etc.), what their capabilities are, gun safety “do’s and do nots,” and what to do in an emergency. For example, in my class, the instructor gave some pragmatic advice as to what to do if someone breaks into your home while you are there. It wasn’t so much about shooting the suspect as opposed to contacting the authorities and protecting yourself. Overall, I found the class to be equally useful for those who were already knowledgeable about guns as well as the uninitiated.

While some people see gun control as the answer to solving weapons accidents and assaults, I believe an educated populace would save more lives and result in fewer victims whether it is due to an accident or premeditated assault. An informed public is less likely to become a victim and more likely to survive a shooting situation. Anyone who has attended such a class would probably agree, education is the key. Everyone from Middle School onward should be taught the lessons of gun safety. Even children in Elementary grades should learn some of the basics.

Again, let me be clear, this is not about gun advocacy or how to hurt anyone, and it certainly is not intended to glamorize guns, which we will leave to Hollywood. Instead, it is about safety and knowing what to do in dangerous situations. It is about survival.

Originally published: June 13, 2014

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2016 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  THE NEED FOR CONCEALED WEAPONS CLASSES – Why it should be considered mandatory to attend such classes.

LAST TIME:  ANGERS AWEIGH; CUSTOMER SERVICE AT SEA  – Losing your cool at sea is not conducive for relaxation.

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern); WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific); and WWBA-AM (News Talk Florida 820). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , , | 6 Comments »

ANGERS AWEIGH; CUSTOMER SERVICE AT SEA

Posted by Tim Bryce on January 27, 2016

BRYCE ON CUSTOMER SERVICE

– Losing your cool at sea is not conducive for relaxation.

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We went on another ocean cruise over the holidays. It has become somewhat of a family tradition with us. This time we tried a Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL) ship, “The Spirit,” out of Port Canaveral, Florida for a week long tour of the Eastern Caribbean, a favorite of ours. Unfortunately, this turned into a bad experience and I will never recommend NCL to any of my friends. I have been on many different ships and cruise lines, but this, to me, was the worst I ever experienced. The stops along the way were fine, the room a tad smaller than normal, but we could live with it, and the food can be described as mediocre at best. The real problem was customer service or the lack thereof. This went way beyond just bad service, it was gross incompetence. The only person who seemed to know what he was doing was our cabin steward. However, the bartenders, waiters, and the maitre d’s turned this into a horrible experience, and frankly gave the appearance they couldn’t care less. Let me give you some examples:

First, prior to the cruise, I had ordered and paid for a couple of bottles of champagne and chocolate covered strawberries for our cabins as part of our “bon voyage.” Unfortunately, they were never delivered by the staff, even though I called room service twice to check on the order. Perturbed, the next day I went to the front desk and asked for a credit to my account. The clerk, a young woman from Croatia, looked at me as if I had three eyes. She said the items were still to be delivered. I told her she obviously didn’t understand what a “bon voyage” gift meant, and demanded my money be refunded. I was informed it would take two weeks to issue the credit which I thought was rather unusual; NCL was quick to take my money to make the purchase, but slow to issue a refund. Interestingly, on the third day of the cruise, room service knocked on our cabin door with the champagne and strawberries. They obviously missed the memo and we told them to get lost.

The next incident was staged at one of the ship’s many bars, a small one with about ten stools, of which my son and I sat along with an Englishman we met. Two bartenders were actively taking orders and serving customers, except us, and we sat directly across from them. I leaned over to my son and the Englishman and said, “Let’s see how long they neglect us; let’s wait fifteen minutes and see what happens.” Again, the bartenders were directly across the bar from us. Fifteen minutes came and went with no service whatsoever, and my Scottish blood began to boil. I then got up, slapped my hand on the bar and loudly said, “What in the world is the matter with you two; are you stupid? We’ve been waiting here for fifteen minutes and you don’t even look up at us to ask for our order? Are you stupid?”

They both jumped back surprised and said, “Oh sir, you should make a sign to request service.”

“You want a sign? Well here it is,” and I took off my hat and waved it in their faces, “Here, we want service!” And they finally got our drinks. I have to admit I was explosively angry causing a stir in the bar, but the Englishman commented I was justified in my outburst.

When I turned 60, I made a pledge to myself there would be “No more games,” meaning I would no longer tolerate incompetence. Whereas over the years I was taught to be patient, courteous and wait my turn, I learned people charged with customer service will abuse such people and take them for granted. In other words, patience and manners comes at the cost of being treated badly. If you wait your turn, you will likely lose it to another obnoxious lout. So, I decided to fight fire with fire, thereby employing the axiom, “The Squeaky wheel gets the oil.” However, on an ocean cruise, the intention is to have passengers relax, not erupt into anger and upsetting everyone concerned, particularly the disgruntled passenger.

Part of the problem is the NCL adopted a policy of automatically including an 18% gratuity into every cocktail or item you buy on board. The ship’s crew takes this for granted thereby becoming apathetic towards the passengers. In other words, the passengers are automatically tipping the servers for both good service and bad.

There were many other problems along the way, such as having our luggage delivered to our cabin very late, meaning we couldn’t clean up before dinner, elevators were constantly dirty, as were tables in the casino and bars. Half empty glasses, ashtrays and debris were everywhere and nobody seemed interested in cleaning them up.

When I happened to mention this to some of the other passengers, they too were in agreement the service was rotten. Some claimed to have cruised on other NCL ships and experienced satisfactory service, totally unlike what they found on “The Spirit.”

This cruise had an adverse affect on me causing me to redefine an Ocean Cruise as “a journey at sea with incompetent service, unsanitary conditions, mediocre food, and traveling with people you would normally not be seen with.” All because of incompetent customer service.

So, why does NCL allow this ship to get into such a condition? Blame should obviously be pinned on management where the officers accept inferior workmanship, and have allowed the crew members to take passengers for granted, probably because of their policy of including gratuity into every bill, large of small. Beyond this, I believe society has been trained to accept incompetence as a natural part of our existence. Instead of complaining, we tend to roll with the punches and accept whatever the vendor is willing to give us, good or bad. To me, this is indicative of a decay in our culture where we used to work harder to please customers knowing this would result in references and repetitive business. A little customer service would have gone a long way to alleviate the problem. Evidently, NCL no longer cares.

As for me, I did not like having to create an ugly scene, it was unsettling. Shortly after returning home, one of my friends observed I looked more agitated than relaxed. It was obvious the cruise did not agree with me. This is why I will not cruise with NCL again. It was such a toxic experience, I may give up cruising completely, regardless of the line.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2016 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  THE NEED FOR CONCEALED WEAPONS CLASSES – Why it should be considered mandatory to attend such classes.

LAST TIME:  UNDERSTANDING THE TRUMP PERSONALITY  – People simply do not understand the “Type A” personality.

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern); WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; and KIT-AM 1280 in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

Posted in Business, Transportation, Travel | Tagged: , , , , , | 4 Comments »

UNDERSTANDING THE TRUMP PERSONALITY

Posted by Tim Bryce on January 25, 2016

BRYCE ON POLITICS

– People simply do not understand the “Type A” personality.

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The media and a substantial number of people in this country do not seem to understand Donald Trump, claiming he is crude, racist, greedy, and several other unflattering adjectives. The reality is, they really do not understand such a person. In my 40 years of travel through the corporate world, I have met my fair share of Donald Trumps, be it here in North America or overseas. He is certainly not unique.

In psychological parlance, people such as Trump possess a “Type A” personality (of which there are four types: A, B, C, and D); see “Personalities” – (Aug 13, 2012). The “Type A” person possesses a strong entrepreneurial spirit, typically representing the captains of industry. These are the “movers and shakers” as found in just about any industry. As gamblers, they know how to quickly calculate risk and will not proceed until they are convinced it is the correct course of action. Occasionally they are wrong in their conclusion, at which time they are smart enough to know how to back out of a deal as opposed to continuing uninterrupted to disaster.

One key attribute is their stubborn independence. As mavericks, they hold the cards and want to play the game their way. They do not like to be told what to do and will resist accordingly. It is extremely difficult to paint such a person into a corner as they are always thinking two or three steps ahead. This explains why they want to dominate a situation and are competitively driven.

Such people are normally quite intelligent, be it through formal education, pedigree, or a healthy dose of common sense. I met one such person who did not have much of an education, other than a high school diploma, yet possessed uncanny street smarts, the likes of which I have never seen. He understood what the market wanted, created a company from nothing, and made it a first class operation. I found him to have more savvy about his industry than 90% of the corporate managers I have met.

To the “Type A” person, the company is an extension of their personality. If it is successful, they are successful. The same is true with failure. Not surprising, they are driven by accomplishment and possess a no-nonsense approach to business whereby they are doggedly determined to succeed, and are not easily distracted. They are usually well organized and understand the power of communications. Project delays and cost overruns are closely monitored. They can understand accidents and forces detrimental to project completion, but the one thing they cannot tolerate is incompetence. Consequently, the “Type A” person prefers honest frankness rather than excuses.

It is not unusual for the “Type A” to become a friendly bully to encourage others to improve their performance. Normally, they have an acerbic tongue and challenge their people through cynical teasing. By doing so, they are more concerned with challenging a person instead of becoming an overbearing ogre. To them, they are trying to use humor as a tool, but not everyone appreciates what the person says. However, they are more inclined to speak bluntly with their employees, not so much as to offend them but to rationalize their strengths and weaknesses. While others may take such criticism negatively, the “Type A” person is normally fair and correct in his/her observations. Aside from this, they have a playful side and an infectious enthusiasm that inspires workers, thereby creating employee loyalty. It also causes outsiders, such as customers and vendors, to gravitate towards them.

The “Type A” person understands the power of appearances, and dresses accordingly to garner respect and leave a good impression. Likewise, they are acutely aware of business etiquette and uses it for their benefit, such as making introductions, thanking someone appropriately, tipping, commending employees for a job well done, buying gifts, and more.

The “Type A” personality is not agreeable with everyone though, particularly the “Type D” personality which is best characterized as those people who resist any form of change and prefer the tedium of routine, such as in clerical assignments. They are not adventurous, resist responsibility and prefer to be told what to do. As such, they are the antithesis of the “Type A” and will naturally clash with them. Whereas “Type A” is extroverted, “Type D” is introverted; where “Type A” thrives on risk and success, “Type D” prefers safety and security, and; where “Type A” assumes responsibility for their actions, “Type D” resists being held accountable.

The question before American voters is whether a “Type A” personality, like Mr. Trump, could be an effective president. When it comes to recent presidential politics, we have tried a peanut farmer, a community organizer, professional politicians, and some oil men, all with minimal success. Now, how about a businessman, preferably with a “Type A” personality? Such people have worked wonders in the business world, let’s see what they can do for our country.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2016 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  ANGERS AWEIGH; CUSTOMER SERVICE AT SEA – Losing your cool at sea is not conducive for relaxation.

LAST TIME:  WORK HORSES  – They may not be glamorous, but they are the ones we count on to tow the line.

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern); WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; and KIT-AM 1280 in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , , | 7 Comments »

WORK HORSES

Posted by Tim Bryce on January 22, 2016

BRYCE ON MANAGEMENT

– They may not be glamorous, but they are the ones we count on to tow the line.

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To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

Within any company or organization, there is at least one person who managers count on time and again to get a particular job done. Such a person is commonly referred to as the “Work Horse” of the group, the “Go-to guy” or the “Iron Man.” Such a person is not necessarily the smartest or most physically endowed, but can be counted on to see a task through to completion based on sheer will and determination, something we used to call “dedication.” The Work Horse may not be a thoroughbred, but possesses certain talents and strengths we find vital for running a company. Without such people, companies tend to flounder, thereby they should be prized and coveted. Quite often they are not, unfortunately.

Day after day, week after week, month after month, and year after year we saddle up the Work Horse and have him pull the cart on his appointed rounds, feeding on nothing more than a modest diet. The Work Horse seldom complains even when the load gets heavy. He simply perseveres and keeps going until the job is done or he drops over from exhaustion. Driving such a person is a deeply seeded love of the job and sense of responsibility. He does not think in terms of making a quick buck. Instead, his personal and professional lives are one and the same, it is his livelihood.

Should the Work Horse leave, pandemonium tends to break loose, at least for awhile until someone else picks up the load or the company goes defunct. This brings up an interesting point, what makes the Work Horse unique is his intimacy with the system of the company, complete with all its foibles. Over time, the Work Horse has learned all of the weaknesses of the system and how to get around them, thereby making the person indispensable. Work Horses can perhaps be best described as “resourceful.”

Despite his abilities, the Work Horse is typically taken for granted. This can be dangerous as the Work Horse likes to know his work is noticed and appreciated. A little recognition now and then can work wonders, be it nothing more than being treated with courtesy and respect. Abuse tends to wear out the Work Horse and makes him less productive.

Until such time as managers can move their workers around like interchangeable parts in a machine, they would be wise to take note of their Work Horses and care for them accordingly. Work Horses may not be glamorous, but they’re the ones that get the job done.

Originally published: December 9, 2010

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2016 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  UNDERSTANDING THE TRUMP PERSONALITY – People simply do not understand the “Type A” personality.

LAST TIME:  JUST FOR TODAY  – Take time once a day to stop and think. Reflection is good for the soul.

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern); WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; and KIT-AM 1280 in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

Posted in Management | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

 
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