Recently I’ve been getting a lot of compliments on my style of management. People seem to think I am able to move mountains with ease; that I make it look effortless. Jokingly they have started to refer to me as “Obi-Wan” to recognize my expertise. While I appreciate the accolades and mystique, I really don’t understand what the hubbub is all about. I think people are confusing brilliance with experience. I just see myself as an ordinary Joe who has been around the block a couple of times and has learned a thing or two along the way.

I’m often asked what my secret is. And here it is: nothing; Nothing but hard work and a little common sense. I stopped looking for panaceas and magic wands years ago when I realized they didn’t exist. Instead, I’ve learned to appreciate the need for a little organization, structure, discipline, and persistence in seeing something through to completion.

The same is true with our “PRIDE” Methodologies for IRM (Information Resource Management). There is nothing magical about them. We simply took some common sense concepts derived from the fields of engineering and manufacturing and applied them to the development and control of information resources. In fact, we went to great lengths to explain our concepts and define our terminology so that anyone can use them. When I give lectures on IRM and systems, one of my recurring messages is that such work is actually quite simple, that people tend to make things more complicated than they need to be. In my 30+ years in this business, I can’t begin to tell you how much technical gobbledygook I’ve seen, as well as “voodoo” techniques for design. I have always found the best solutions tend to be those that are simple. I am at a loss as to why we try to complicate our lives. Maybe it’s to sell books and seminars and make ourselves look smarter than we are. When I hear such nonsense being spouted, I tend to keep my hand on my wallet.

With me, I like to believe what you see is what you get. I don’t like to put on airs, plus I despise personal politics. It’s one thing to practice common courtesy in the workplace, quite another to be a suckup or tyrant. If I believe in you, if you’re honest and demonstrate to me you know what you are doing, I’ll follow you through Hell. If not, you’re on your own pal.

If I truly have a secret, I guess it would be that I have the ability…

  • To distinguish facade from substance.
  • To learn from my mistakes, as well as others.
  • To try and stay a step ahead of everyone else.
  • To be as resourceful as possible, yet know my limitations.
  • To master the methodologies, techniques and tools in my line of work (or at least try to).
  • To believe in the human spirit, but beware of ulterior motives.
  • And to just try and do the best job I can as I see my work as an extension of my personal life.

Plus throw in a little common sense which, I believe, goes a long way in this day and age. I can assure you, it’s not brilliance, it’s just hard work. So I guess my message is, let’s stop trying to con each other and get on with the job. Or as the folks at Nike like to say, “Just Do It!”

But I’ve got to admit I enjoyed that “Obi-Wan” crack.

Such is my Pet Peeve of the Week.

Keep the Faith!

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

Tim Bryce is the Managing Director of M. Bryce & Associates (MBA) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at [email protected]

For a listing of Tim’s Pet Peeves, click HERE.

Download Tim’s eBook (PDF), “The Bryce is Right! Empowering Managers in today’s Corporate Culture” (free DOWNLOAD).

Copyright © 2009 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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