Peanut Butter and Jelly Management: Tales from Parenthood, Lessons for Managers

Peanut Butter and Jelly Management: Tales from Parenthood, Lessons for Managers

by Chris Komisarjevsky, Reina Komisarjevsky


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"The hardcover edition of Peanut Butter and Jelly Management , which charmingly showed how being a good manager requires many of the same skills and qualities associated with being a good parent, resonated with thousands of readers. Now, Amacom presents the same wholesome package in paperback.

In the words of the authors, who are the proud parents of nine children, "If we carefully listen and watch children at home — think about what they do and how we bring them up — we can greatly improve our chances of being successful in leading adults in the workplace." Much like kids, employees benefit from more personal involvement, caring, understanding, and attention.

Using stories from their own lives as parents, the authors demonstrate the important management lessons to be gleaned from parenting — and give readers tips for applying the lessons to the workplace. Whimsical, touching, and heart-warming, but also practical, insightful, and direct, Peanut Butter and Jelly Management offers a fresh, unusual approach to leadership. Maybe father (or mother) really does know best."

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780814472248
Publisher: AMACOM
Publication date: 03/08/2003
Pages: 208
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 7.64(h) x 0.63(d)
Age Range: 17 Years

About the Author

Chris Komisarjevsky (Atlantic Beach, New York) is a full-time father and the president and CEO of Burson-Marsteller Worldwide, the leading public relations firm. Reina Komisarjevsky (Atlantic Beach, New York) is a full-time mother.

Read an Excerpt

Peanut Butter and Jelly Management

Tales from Parenthood Lessons for Managers
By Chris Komisarjevsky Reina Komisarjevsky


ISBN: 0-8144-7224-9

Chapter One

Why the Arts Have a Place in the Workplace

Insights from the Parenting Annals of Chris and Reina Komisarjevsky

At Home ...

The tickets had been bought months earlier. It wasn't easy getting eight seats together for a popular Broadway show. Now the day was here ...

A hush overtook the theater as the lights slowly dimmed. All six children were settled in their seats. Not a sound was heard from any of them as the orchestra began to play and the music spread gracefully throughout theater. It was The Sound of Music. Literally and figuratively. And as a distant glimpse of the Austrian Alps started to take shape in the background of the stage, the hills, indeed, were alive with the sound of music for these six little people. From the big kids to the youngest, customary activity was stilled by awe. We ourselves were quieted by how engulfed they were by what was happening on stage. Their eyes darted back and forth as they watched, listened and let their imagination take in all that was happening in front of their eyes.

Maria, her wild spirit struggling at times with the rigors-and pull-of the convent. The emotional struggle within Captain Von Trapp. The power of music to revive joy in the seven Von Trapp children. Love found when it was least expected. And the serenity that comes with standing up to oppression.

We didn't expect all those messages to register with our children as they watched the story unfold. And they probably wouldn't be thinking about faith and personal conviction at high cost or unanticipated joy during a painful time either on the journey home or when they lay in their beds that evening. But important messages have a lasting shelf life in the mind-and heart-and would, we felt, be there for our children to consider at a later day, enriching their lives in ways we would not presume to foretell.

At the Office ...

In theory, a business leader doesn't need to attend the theater, the opera or museums. At first glance, the arts may not seem to have a lot to do with strong financial performance or leading the charts in market share. But, in reality, to be successful you have to be a person of breadth. With breadth comes balance. And context. And the arts help bring those into your life.

The arts can also make you a wiser leader. The insights they give you can add a new dimension to your dealings with people, broaden your perspective as you relate to customers, clients and business associates. The arts can enrich your capacity to make the right kinds of business decisions. And they can encourage employees to believe in you as a human being, as a person who's more than just the boss.

In addition, the arts create opportunities for you to reach out in different ways to your employees. In business, especially when very long hours, weekend work, vacations delayed and other personal sacrifices must be made in order to compete successfully, it's easy for people to miss the chance to go to the theater, visit a museum or spend a day at the zoo. Those opportunities are important in their lives as well.

Keep in Mind ...

The arts do enrich our lives-in so many ways. And they can also enrich the workplace.

Chris and Reina Komisarjevsky offer managers these suggestions:

Think of the arts when you want to reward your staff. When people have done an especially good job, thank them by inviting them to take their husband, wife or partner to the theater. This reward is also an investment-in developing greater fullness in the lives of your employees and multiplying their chances of becoming even more productive members of your team.

Bring the arts to the office. Bring in a quartet to perform or an author to give a reading for your staff. You could do it in the cafeteria, a conference room or the lobby, during lunch, near the end of the day or on a weekend.

Create an outreach program with a local school or nonprofit arts group. You don't always have to give money to support a worthwhile effort: You can provide "in-kind" services. Donate your accounting or consulting expertise. Or give employees time off to provide hands-on help with maintenance, construction or fundraising.

Use the arts to bring creativity to the workplace. Enrich your office environment by reaching out to those in different worlds and from different occupations. Invite people from the theater and the art world to participate in wide-open brainstorming sessions. Ask for their views on product design or customer service. Their input will be sure to stimulate innovative thinking and encourage creativity.

Exhibit the talents of your own people. Many employees-at every level, in every industry-paint, draw, or have other artistic talents. Support and encourage them. Create an informal in-house gallery of worker artwork.

Look for ways to use money from corporate giving programs to bring the arts into the lives of the people who work for you. If at all possible, channel some funds from your corporate philanthropic resources to enrich the beyond-work lives of your employees.

Encourage your staff to bring their children to the office from time to time-and bring in your own kids, too. Like the arts, the energy and fresh perspective of young people trigger a renewed openness to new and creative ideas and different viewpoints.


Excerpted from Peanut Butter and Jelly Management by Chris Komisarjevsky Reina Komisarjevsky Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

"1. First String Catcher

Practice, practice, and more practice

2. At the Arrival Gate

Communication opens doors—and people

3. The Captain and the Goalie

Leaders step forward

4. Brothers and Sisters Stick Together

Teamwork works

5. Balloons for Christopher Michael

An emotional bond

6. A Shoe Box Under the Bed

Think personal

7. To Grandma’s House We Go

Values are palpable

8. No More Training Wheels

The courage to let go

9. The Emergency Room

Keep your cool

10. Not Everyone Likes Vanilla

Let loose the entrepreneurial spirit

11. When in Doubt, Sit It Out

If you’re losing control, stop right there

12. Grandpa’s Way of Doing Things

Pride and passion: Not just good — very good

13. Doing Homework

Strengthen your human capital

14. I’m Sorry, Mrs. Goioeni

Acknowledge mistakes, accept responsibility, and move forward

15. The Excitement of Broadway

Why the arts belong in the workplace

16. It’s a Deal . . . Agreed?

Goal setting

17. The Tongue of a Different Color

No hiding from the truth

18. Surf’s Up . . . Castles in the Sand

Work hard, play hard: A winning combination

19. When to Dive in the Deep End

Going where you’ve never been before

20. When Things Get Tough . . .

Coming to grips with the unexpected"

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