Friday, November 30, 2007

December 3, 2007


The following is an excerpt from my new book, "MORPHING INTO THE REAL WORLD - A Handbook for Entering the Work Force" which is a survival guide for young people as they transition into adult life. The book offers considerable advice regarding how to manage our personal and professional lives. This particular chapter sums up the concepts contained in the book and makes some concluding comments. I hope you enjoy it.


If we lived in a perfect world, everyone would know what their job assignments would be and execute them in the most productive means possible. But because we are human and have to work with others who do not share our same interests or think the same way as we do, problems arise in terms of perceptions, communications, cooperation, and priorities. In other words, due to the sheer nature of the human spirit, we live in an imperfect world and, as such, we require management to overcome the many foibles we all suffer from.

The younger generation entering the workforce today has a lot of unbridled enthusiasm, as we all did when we first entered it. But the latest generation seems to believe they are uniquely different, that corporate cultures will need to adopt to them, not the other way around. First, we all had the same unbridled energy as you do now. And Second, I can assure you the corporate culture will not change to suit you, but you must adapt to it instead.

As a young adult you will need to assume more responsibilities and make more decisions, both personally and professionally. This will require you to become more organized and disciplined out of sheer necessity. This will be hard for those of you who simply were not prepared for it by your parents or schools, or perhaps you rebelled against authority at an early age. But understand this; as long as you accept wages from someone else, you must comply with their wishes. If this is unacceptable to you, then I exhort you to create your own company and establish your own rules. Then again, you will have to comply with several government related rules and regulations which may encumber how you want to operate. This is called reality. Something we all experience as we enter adulthood.

Some of you may think a lot of the principles described herein are archaic from a bygone era. True, there are many rules and observations inculcated herein which were cultivated over the last century, but you have to marvel at the business boom of the 20th century. Fueled by two world wars, the past century witnessed radical changes in communications, transportation, health, housing, the military and worldwide business, all of which have affected us socially. Yes, some of the principles may appear dated, but they are all based on real world observations and are every bit as applicable today as they were yesterday.

Perhaps the biggest difference between the 20th century and the 21st is how technology has changed the pace of our lives. We now expect to communicate with anyone on the planet in seconds, not days. We expect information at our fingertips. We expect to be up and walking shortly after a hip or knee replacement. Basically, we take a lot for granted. But this frenzied pace has also altered how we conduct business and live our lives. To illustrate, we want to solve problems immediately, and have no patience for long term solutions. Consequently, we tend to attack symptoms as opposed to addressing true problems, and apply Band-Aids to pacify the moment as opposed to tourniquets which are actually needed. We are easily satisfied with solving small problems as opposed to conquering major challenges. Personally, we tend to live for today, as opposed to planning for tomorrow. This mindset concerns me greatly.

More than anything, mastering human dynamics is critical for becoming successful in business and is a natural part of adult life. In addition to a fast paced world, the young adults entering the work force today must contend with a much more competitive job market. For example, out of financial necessity the Baby Boomers are remaining on the job much longer than expected; menial jobs are being outsourced offshore, and; more and more younger workers are entering the work force who are better educated and more competitive than their predecessors. All of this means that as a young adult, you have to find your niche and fight to keep it.

You may not enjoy the job you currently have, but you should be thankful you have it and put the best spin on it as possible. This doesn't mean you should accept mediocrity, but rather you should continually strive to improve yourself and lead a worthwhile life. Fortunately, as a young adult you have the energy and independence to make changes early in your career, but it is these early years that will greatly impact the rest of your life. The point of my book, therefore, is to help point you in the right direction. What I am basically telling you here is essentially no different than what your parents have told you, but as an outside consultant, perhaps you will listen to me.

I am reminded of the story Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) told of when he left home at an early age and joined the Confederacy in the Civil War, after which he went out west to seek his fortune in the gold rush in the western United States which disappointed him greatly. After a few years he finally worked his way back home where he was surprised to discover how smart his father had become. In other words, he had no appreciation for what his parents had been telling him as he was growing up, but as an adult who had experienced the perils and pitfalls of the real world, he found the advice his parents had offered him wasn't bad after all.

I wish you all the best of luck in all your future endeavors.

If you would like to discuss this with me in more depth, please do not hesitate to send me an e-mail.

OUR BRYCE'S LAW OF THE WEEK therefore is... "If we lived in a perfect world, there would not be a need for managers."


Friends, as mentioned, we have just published a new book entitled, "MORPHING INTO THE REAL WORLD - A Handbook for Entering the Work Force" which is a survival guide for young people as they transition into adult life.

Bonnie Wooding, the President-elect of the Toronto Chapter of the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP) said, "Many of our members are just starting their careers and I will be recommending that they read this book, especially Chapter 3, Professional Development - a primer for business skills and filled with basic common sense advice that is simple, easy to follow and extraordinarily practical; and Chapter 5, Do’s and Don’ts of the Workplace, an excellent resource for those questions you are too embarrassed to ask for fear of looking foolish."

The Miami Hurricane recently reviewed it (10/22/2007) and said,

"the abundance of information the book provides is a good start for anyone about to take the first step into the real world. Though the concept of adulthood may seem intimidating, it's comforting to know that someone has at least written a guidebook for it."

Reviewer Bill Petrey praised it by saying, "Every young person entering the workplace for the first time should be given a copy of this book."

The book includes chapters to describe how a young person should organize themselves, how to adapt to the corporate culture, develop their career, and improve themselves professionally and socially. Basically, its 208 pages of good sound advice to jump start the young person into the work force. Corporate Human Resource departments will also find this book useful for setting new hires on the right track in their career. It not only reinforces the many formal rules as contained in corporate policy manuals, but also includes the subtle unwritten rules we must all observe while working with others. The book lists for $25 and can be ordered online through MBA or your local book store. Complementing the book is a one day seminar of the same name which can be purchased separately for $4,000.00 (U.S.) plus instructor travel expenses. For more information on both the book and the seminar, visit our corporate web site at:
ISBN: 978-0-9786182-5-4


We've all heard about "The Greatest Generation," "the Baby Boomers," and Generations X, Y, and Z. These are all labels used to describe and contrast the characteristics of the various age groups of people. I've used it myself in my writings to describe the behavior of different classes of workers, but recently I had someone in an Internet Discussion group tell me there was a easier way of differentiating people, namely Analog versus Digital. I found the description to be simple, yet profound, in terms of differentiating people. To illustrate:

Super 8mm moviesDVD's
Turntables, 45s & LPsCD's
Rotary telephonesCell phones, iPhones, and BlackBerrys
Rotating knobs for Radio-TV tunersRadio-TV Scanners
Clamation and cartoon animationPixar Animation
Black and white TVHigh-Definition TV
Magnetic TapeMemory sticks
CarburetorsElectronic fuel injection
CashElectronic banking
MonitorsFlat screens
Cards, Monopoly, Chess and CheckersVideo Games
Land LineWireless
Rand McNallyGPS, Mapquest

These comparative lists could go on and on, but basically, under this approach you are not differentiated by age, but by how well you have adapted to technology, and there appears to be a lot of truth in this. Those people shopping for jobs acutely understand this. On your resume it is becoming more important to list the technology you are familiar with as opposed to your command of the English language, or your understanding of business and management. In other words, the person who is proficient in the use of MS Office or Adobe Photoshop stands a better chance of being hired than someone who possesses good business and communications skills. This is like being rewarded for your skill in the use of a calculator as opposed to your basic comprehension of math.

The point is, we are defined more by our ability to assimilate with our technology than by age or any other factor. This emphasis on technology is another indicator that the human being is being subliminally programmed, not just the computers and equipment we use.

A lot of people are unsure as to which generation they belong to. I guess the best way to discern whether you are of one generation or the other is whether you can competently program a cell phone or change the clock in your automobile. If you rely on a son or daughter to program it, you're probably Analog.

Such is my Pet Peeve of the Week.


Folks, a couple of years ago I started to include my "Pet Peeve of the Week" in these "Management Visions" podcasts. They have become so popular that I now syndicate them through the Internet and they are available for republication in other media. To this end, I have created a separate web page for my writings which you can find at Look for the section, "The Bryce is Right!" Hope you enjoy them.


I received quite a few comments regarding my "Pet Peeve" on "SFB's":

An L.O. in Turkey wrote...

"LOL! We can't seem to escape from them. Like ants stuck to a blanket, they are just as hard to shake off."

An M.B. in Clearwater, FL wrote...

"I have noticed that SFB's who know you personally are often very jealous of you, though they will never admit to it. Setting out wires to trip you up is the only way they can "one up" someone who is smarter than they are. The ones who don't know you well, like your mail carrier, are often government employees: translation = exempt from firing. They are basically giving you a verbal raspberry, just because they can."

I also received a General Comment from a G.D. in Willoughby, OH who wrote...

I'm a relatively new sailor in the "Navy of Management," and I wanted to let you know that the insights and suggestions you put up on your blog and podcast have really been invaluable to me as I'm getting my feet wet. I've been managing a small, technical team for about a year now in a large multinational corporation. Unfortunately, one of my employees has been a bit upset, lately. He doesn't seem to want to talk to me directly about why he's upset, but I've learned by talking with other people that he isn't happy with some of the decisions that my own manager/mentor has made regarding product lines and task prioritization.

Now, my own challenge is that this guy is probably one of the most technically competent employees we have working here. He's proven that he can really get quality work out the door in short order when he's motivated, but his attitude lately has been really negative. I've talked with my mentor about this problem, but I'd also like to hear your opinion, as an objective "management guru." What should I focus on with this employee? Is it more important that we encourage him to be a team-player who more willingly accepts the decisions without constantly pushing back, or is it more important that we cultivate his technical skills and encourage a less hierarchical decision-making process? Or what sort of balance between those two extremes should I try to reach with him?

We really don't want to let him go or transfer him away from the group, but how much freedom can I give him without disrupting the rest of the organization?

Any thoughts that you have on the matter would be greatly appreciated, Tim. Thanks again for maintaining such an awesome site!"


Many thanks for your comments. Sometimes the grossing may stem from something that isn't work related; e.g., a divorce, a death in the family, etc. Sounds like it is time to talk with him privately and find out what is bothering him. You may also want to point out his attitude is beginning to have a negative effect on others. Avoiding the situation will only allow it to fester and grow worse.

He may have some legitimate gripes about the direction of the work place, and maybe have a suggestion or two for improving it. If it sounds legitimate, bring it to the attention of your mentor and discuss it.

It also sounds like you are being put into the uncomfortable position of arbitrating the differences between the two parties. Be careful here. I know the techie may be good, but you have to know where your allegiance lies. If your manager's decision is final, the techie has to either quit his complaining and comply or move along. Regardless of his technical skills, you should never allow him to hold you hostage. Otherwise he will be managing you and not the other way around.

I also wonder if this is an isolated incident. If other employees feel their voices are not being heard by management, an ugly situation may be brewing.

Hope this helps.

Thanks for your comments.

Keep those cards and letters coming.

MBA is an international management consulting firm specializing in Information Resource Management. We offer training, consulting, and writing services in the areas of Enterprise Engineering, Systems Engineering, Data Base Engineering, Project Management, Methodologies and Repositories. For information, call us at 727/786-4567.

Our corporate web page is at:

Management Visions is a presentation of M. Bryce & Associates, a division of M&JB Investment Company of Palm Harbor, Florida, USA. The program is produced on a weekly basis and updated on Sundays. It is available in versions for RealPlayer, Microsoft Media Player, and MP3 suitable for Podcasting. See our web site for details. You'll find our broadcast listed in several Podcast and Internet Search engines, as well as Apples' iTunes.

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Copyright © 2007 by M&JB Investment Company of Palm Harbor, Florida, USA. All rights reserved. "PRIDE" is the registered trademark of M&JB Investment Company.

This is Tim Bryce reporting.

Since 1971: "Software for the finest computer - the Mind."


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