Archive | Managing Employees

Modern Communications

Writing this post in mid 2022, I want to comment on modern communications technologies. Especially due to the pandemic, the “modern” technologies of cellular telephones and virtual meetings (Zoom, etc.) have become more common in the world of business. This is for better or worse, depending on point of view. These technologies are great because […]

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David spends significantly more time talking on the telephone than I do, but I share his frustrations.  The poor quality of some people’s internet connections make it difficult to have a meaningful telephone conversation.  This is compounded when the conversation is via a platform, such as Zoom, that includes both audio and video components.  Constant reminders […]

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Zenobia

Recently, a long time friend of my family’s, Woody Hanson, posted an old photo on a social media site that brought back fond memories. The photo was of Zenobia King Hill, the owner of a modeling school in my hometown of Fort Myers, Florida. Zenobia was from Alabama; she attended the famous John Robert Powers […]

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I’ve heard many stories about Zenobia over the years, but it was not until I saw the photo Melissa referenced, with the description, that I actually knew how her name was spelled.   Melissa, as well as some of her friends, have spoken fondly of Zenobia over the years.  I’ve heard about the life skills learned, […]

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If You Won’t Practice, Don’t Bother Learning

As I mentioned in my previous post, “practice makes perfect,” my childhood piano teacher, Corella Johnson, insisted that all her piano and organ students practice their instrument(s) at least 30 minutes a day. The first thing she did at every lesson was ask her students to play the piece of music they were learning, so […]

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Childhood music lessons didn’t work well for me.  I tried guitar and piano but found I’d much rather go fishing or tromp through the woods than hone those skills.  Perhaps it was also because my early music lessons focused too much on fundamentals, rather than playing a song, these music experiences were not attractive to […]

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Practice Makes Perfect

Practice makes perfect. How many times have we heard this phrase? I have heard it too many times to count! I started playing the piano when I was 6 years old. I started playing the organ when I was 11. My piano and organ teacher was a wonderful friend and neighbor, Corella Johnson, who had […]

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I can attest to Melissa’s commitment to practice.  She takes it seriously and is religious about it, as long as her “day job” doesn’t interfere.  But practice gets a bad rap, that is a bad name.  Melissa’s practice time is often better characterized as “playing” as in “playing the bass.”  Practice seems repetitive and punitive.  […]

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Magnus’ Women Power

In the almost 30 years that David and I have co-owned Magnus Research Consultants, we have employed many people of both sexes. We have had several long term employees, 2 of whom are men and 2 of whom are women. In addition, there have been 3 women who are former Magnus employees who have gone […]

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On the day I started writing this post, Melissa was wearing a pink t-shirt that said “Pretty Good for a Girl.”  I bought it for her at a Mindi Abair jazz concert.  Mindi has a song by that title because it is a phrase she’s heard many times over her career.  She decided to embrace […]

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Old School Tech

I recently read an article about the executive director of a professional association who uses an IBM typewriter to send notes to members. He said he liked using a typewriter to personalize the notes. I thought it was pretty cool to use old school technology so effectively. I could never afford an IBM typewriter, those […]

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David and I have written about our fondness for “old school” things in several previous posts.  Although I never owned a typewriter, nor am I a good typist, I appreciate David’s fondness for his trusty old typewriter.  It comes in handy when he makes labels for files in our personal filing cabinet.  I remember David’s […]

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Fix it as Soon as it Breaks

I am an ardent fan of the maxim, “fix it as soon as it breaks.” I have never known anything that fixed itself, whether it is a leaky faucet, a flat tire (or tyre, on all the British cars I have owned), or a faulty electrical outlet. Admittedly, I am not good at fixing things. […]

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Homeownership seems to involve an endless “to do” list.  There is always something to do.  Sometimes, the to dos are small items, easy to resolve.  Sometimes, expertise is required, or at least more expertise than I possess.  Or strength – some fixes take more expertise and muscle than I have, or any one person has.  […]

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Take Names

I’m not sure when or why I learned to “take names,” but doing so has served me well. By “taking names,” I mean making a note of the name of the person on the other end of the phone line, or maybe in person, for example, a store manager. Whether it is in the context […]

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Learning people’s names is an important skill that often takes time and effort to develop.  When selecting a jury, for example, attorneys are required to address each prospective juror by name so that the court reporter can ensure the permanent record of the trial is accurate.  The attorneys are required to address each potential juror […]

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By the Numbers

Periodically, I evaluate Magnus’ “numbers” on case types, history, venues, and clients. By this, I mean I classify the cases on which we’ve worked since the last time I “ran the numbers.” I, long ago, created spreadsheets for this purpose and I simply tally the new cases by client, category, venue, etc. It is relatively […]

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The number crunching that is part of David’s job is vastly different from the number crunching that is part of my job.  David’s analyses of our business sources and their associated revenue provide a good foundation for our marketing efforts as we forge ahead into another year.  It is interesting to see how our business […]

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No Headphones in Office

I’m catching up on some topics I came up with years ago. I came across this one regarding the use of headphones during work hours. We haven’t had much of a problem with this, but when we did, it was one of those things that caught me off guard. The fact that someone would be […]

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No headphones in the office!  No ear buds in the office!  No music in the office!  No, no, and no.  I love music, as almost everyone who knows me is aware.  I love music played loudly.  Turn it up!  But, when I am working, I require absolute, or near absolute, silence.  I need to concentrate.  […]

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