Wednesday 24 November 2010

Your office is your theatre

"OK so, we’re getting ready for a launch… we have all the data flowing. All colour coded: 

Every issue.

Every launch.

Up comes the launch, everything about it, red, Red, RED.

The room goes silent. I started to clap...



All the eyes turn to me. 

That’s the sign,

Mark’s gone,
he’s gone,
he’s red.

I said, Mark…. That’s fantastic visibility."

These words are taken from a radio interview with Alan Mulally, Chief Executive of Ford on the BBC World Service. I've put a link at the end of this post.

When I listen to this interview, I'm captivated. It's pure theatre. Alan tells his story with so much drama that you can't tear yourself away. And yet, his story is just one of management efficiency and communication.

When things are exciting, it's much easier to stay motivated. When we're motivated, we're at our best. We try hard as leaders to create motivation, and yet how hard do most leaders try to create excitement from the drama that exists all around them every day in the office? In fact, quite the opposite, how many meetings have you sat through with someone saying 'it doesn't look like we'll make the deadline', but delivering the line slumped back in their chair, fiddling with a pen, and avoiding eye contact. I'm not sure Bruce Willis would have got very far taking that approach.

I'm not suggesting that we all turn into Shakespearean actors overnight. No, that would be weird. But I am suggesting we all buck up a bit, relish in the highs and lows, the dramas of our work, and the shared experiences with our teams. We do great things every day.

Here's the link for as long as the BBC keep it active. Listen all the way through.


  1. Firstly Mr Hla, thank you for the oh so subtle nudge towards your blog :-) I enjoyed the read, and I agree, we do great things every day and it doesnt have to be a big thing, little things work for me, just by simply recognising someones interaction in a team or the way they help out a team mate and make them smile, recognising the little things can have a big impact, and it really works. Do you know what else really works, is keeping it real.. for example, I have been grumpy today, my team laugh at me when I moan about my computer, or how I got out the lift on the wrong floor, and how my coat wouldnt do up in teh cold, I'm their manager, but Im human and keeping real with my guys has made such a difference in morale.. I have heard that my predeccesor was not so hot in this area and it had a really negative impact on the team.. and by allowing some "realness" things have really changed for the better. Its not complicated.. just being me and just being you.. can really work.. I have been dying to share this with someone, and feel so much better now... I have been grumpy today.. but now I have managed a smile!! ;-)

  2. Hi Lou,

    Welcome and thanks for your comment, and great to hear that you have made a difference to your team by caring about your management style.

    Keep up the good work (and the smiling).

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