Quotes in managing people

One gets a good rating for fighting a fire. The result is visible; can be quantified. If you do it right the first time, you are invisible. You satisfied the requirements. That is your job. Mess it up, and correct it later, you become a hero.


the system that people work in and the interaction with people may account for 90 or 95 percent of performance.


The idea of a merit rating is alluring. The sound of the words captivates the imagination: pay for what you get; get what you pay for; motivate people to do their best, for their own good.

The effect is exactly the opposite of what the words promise.


The idea of a merit rating is alluring. The sound of the words captivates the imagination: pay for what you get; get what you pay for; motivate people to do their best, for their own good.

The effect is exactly the opposite of what the words promise. Everyone propels himself forward, or tries to, for his own good, on his own life preserver. The organization is the loser.

The merit rating rewards people that conform to the system. It does not reward attempts to improve the system. Don’t rock the boat.


A company could put a top man at every position and be swallowed by a competitor with people only half as good, but who are working together.


A tightrope over a chasm is fine for a trained acrobat with a balancing pole. It is foolish for someone without the right training or tools. They would be better served with something else - a rope bridge with railings.

More quotes by   John Hunter view quote details

Admonish thy friends in secret, praise them openly.


Does a security guard empower the CEO to enter the building?

More quotes by   John Hunter view quote details

In short, "Do this and you'll get that" makes people focus on the "that" not the "this." Do rewards motivate people? Absolutely. They motivate people to get rewards.

More quotes by   Alfie Kohn view quote details

the management system which makes only a pretense of valuing employee involvement and encouraging employee empowerment merely breeds cynicism.

More quotes by   George Box view quote details