Time Management- Shaping Outcomes or Managing Emergencies?

June 25, 2013

How we manage our time is a great way to evaluate our success as managers.

How do you utilize your time?


Is the majority of your time spent putting out fires?

Dealing with unanticipated urgent issues?

Or do you spend most of your time planning, preparing, anticipating or otherwise shaping outcomes?

My rule has always been that Anticipation is the true mark of a great manager.

I am proud of my ability to deal with sudden “urgencies.”

But I believe that a manager’s highest value is having prepared in such a way that those sudden urgencies never arrive.


Preparation is Anticipation- Joe Montana on Achieving Perfection

June 10, 2013

In my experience, the ability to anticipate is the mark of a great manager.

At the Epicor Insights 2013 Conference, some guy named Joe Montana helped me expand my idea about what “anticipation” means…

Ok. I admit that I do really know that Joe Montana was a professional football player. (U.S. Football)

Ok. I admit that I do really know that Joe Montana was a professional football player. (American Football)

Forgive me but I’m going to mention some professional football stuff here.

It’s a subject I know virtually nothing about.  (I’m from Cleveland, Ohio.) But I had the chance to listen to Joe Montana speak about perfection  and everyone around me was cheering and oohing and ahhhing so I took some photos and I took some good notes.

Joe Montana made the point that “How we prepare”-(how we show up)  has more to do with our success than our talent.

He convinced me to add ‘Preparation’ to ‘Anticipation’ as the sign of a great professional. That preparation and work ethic build trust.

Ok. You can stop rolling your eyes now. Pretty simple stuff. Pretty obvious. How come these famous guys always say these kinds of things?

Joe Montana’s  points for perfection

  • What can I do every day to make me better to make my team better? (I guess there really is an I in Team…)
  • Master the fundamentals. You can’t acheive perfection with out them.
  • Get the little details right. They will come back to help you.
  • Live your work ethic. Having a work ethic builds trust. there can be no success without trust.

I think that he has these right.

If we model a work ethic, we will not only build trust but lead by example.

Mastering our craft- all of it, not just the big ideas- of course that will make us better craftsmen.

His question “What can I do every day to make me better to make my team better?” is astonishingly close to the one I learned from a turnaround expert many years ago  “What can I do today to make my company the most money?”

I thought that these points from this winning football guy were certainly worth reflecting upon.

And ultimately worth sharing with you.

If we aren’t working on getting better every day?

If we don’t master the fundamentals?

If we don’t get the details right?

If we don’t live our work ethic?


The Catch.

Three Reasons I Attend IMTS

September 15, 2010

The key to great management, I believe, is the ability to anticipate…

  1. To Connect. I am really looking forward to hearing what the folks I meet there have to say. To see what they have to show me. Connecting is a very personal way of LEARNING for me.
  2. To Sustain. Manufacturing remains a vital, if beseiged contributor to the vitality of the North American economies and our citizens. If it is to continue to help support our way of life, we need to know what the technologies and practices are that will sustain a vital manufacturing base here in North America. And with no disrespect to E-Bay, that probably means newest and latest technology.
  3. To Anticipate. I describe my job as being the “over the horizon radar guy” for the precision machining industry. What are the developing trends , and how will they impact our shops, our business plans, our business models. We have spotted electrification of automobiles, ephemeralization of mass in our parts, and the trend to less machinable but higher strength lower weight applications.

Over The Horizon Radar

Seeing the latest developments in our craft and available technology, and keeping a careful ear on what folks attending are saying will help me  help us all ANTICIPATE that which we will very soon be MANAGING.

Why do you go to IMTS?

I’ll bet it’s for a lot more reasons than to just buy equipment.

See you at West Hall Booth W-1943.



OTH Bangor