Business Needs More Vonnegut


Longtime readers of Punk Rock HR know that I’m a big fan of Kurt Vonnegut. His eight rules of writing are back in vogue on the internet. Call me crazy, but those guidelines could be applied to the way we manage employees.

With sincere apologies to KV, here is my take on his eight commandments.

  1. Use the time of your employees in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted.
  2. Give the employees at least one reason a week to root for the success of your company.
  3. Every character should want something, even if it is only a paycheck.
  4. Every action at work must do one of two things—make some money or advance the personal development of your employees & peers.
  5. Know the end result and start your strategic planning as close to the end as possible.
  6. It’s okay to be a tough manager in order that your employees may see what they are made of.
  7. Work hard to please just one person in your life. Yourself.
  8. Give your employees as much information as possible as soon as possible. To hell with suspense and confidentiality. Employees should have such complete understanding of what is going on, where and why, that they could accomplish the corporate goals themselves, should cockroaches eat the last few pages of the strategic business plan.

Is this a stretch?

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