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WHEN the young man arrived at the manager's office, he found him standing and looking out of the window. When the young man coughed, the manager turned and smiled. He invited the young man to sit down and asked, "What can I do for you?"
The young man said, "I'd like to ask you some questions about how you manage people."
The manager willingly said, "Fire away."
"Well, to begin with, do you hold regularly scheduled meetings with your subordinates?"
"Yes, I do -- once a week on Wednesdays from 9:00 to 11:00. That's why I couldn't see you then," responded the manager.
"What do you do at those meetings?" probed the young man.
"I listen while my people review and analyze what they accomplished last week, the problems they had, and what still needs to be accomplished. Then we develop plans and strategies for the next week. "
"Are the decisions made at those meetings binding on both you and your people?" questioned the young man.
"Of course they are," insisted the manager. "What would be the point of having the meeting if they weren't?"
"Then you are a participative manager, aren't you?" asked the young man.
"On the contrary," insisted the manager, "I don't believe in participating in any of my people's decision-making."
"Then what is the purpose of your meetings?"
"I already told you that," he said. "Please, young man, do not ask me to repeat myself. It is a waste of my time and yours.
"We're here to get results," the manager continued. "The purpose of this organization is efficiency. By being organized we are a great deal more productive."
"Oh, so you're aware of theneed for productivity. Then you're more results-oriented than people-oriented," the young man suggested.
"No!" the manager resounded, startling his visitor. "I hear that all too often," He got to his feet and began to walk about. "How on earth can I get results if it's not through people? I care about people and results. They go hand in hand."Here, young man, look as this." The manager handed his visitor a plaque. "I keep it on my desk to remind me of a practical truth,"