Archive | Managing Employees

I’ll ask my parents

One source of material for these posts over the years has been the things Melissa and I have heard from employees that took us by surprise. This one is among my favorites, after the fact. We usually hire recent college graduates for our Research Associate position. Many years ago, we hired a typical, fresh from […]

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Many people have asked me if I have any kids.  I don’t know why they ask this personal question, but I always respond with, “Yes, I have had between 40 and 50 kids; they are of were my employees.”  As David said, recent college graduates have been Magnus’ Research Associates since we founded Magnus in […]

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Muster in an Emergency

After many, many years of doing trial consulting work all over the place, we have amassed our share of travel war stories. One detail that readers of our posts will have noted is that we try to learn from everything that happens in order to do better the next time and we try to train […]

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The concept of what it means to be a member of a team is lost on some people.  In today’s world of “it’s all about me, myself, and I” or, as George Harrison wrote, “I Me Mine,” some people are too busy thinking about maximizing their best interests to realize that other people are depending […]

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Panic codes – “Buddy”

This is the 3rd and final post about panic at the mock jury research. Things happen. Bad things. Some are technical, some may involve the client, and some may involve the mock jurors. But, there are things about which some people would panic, which are better discussed outside the presence of the clients or mock […]

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As David mentioned, we at Magnus had the privilege to work with the late Buddy Payne first, as a client, and then, upon his retirement from the practice of law, as our very own advisor.  Although Buddy passed away many years ago, his spirit is still among us, from the beautiful ring he gave me […]

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Don’t panic. Fix it!

This post builds on the last post about not letting them (the client) see you panic. Don’t panic – just fix it – is a worthwhile mantra in the workplace, and in life. Panic and fear get in the way of fixing things. I was a Boy Scout long enough to learn about the need […]

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David and I share the same philosophy: Don’t panic – just fix it!  I will never, ever, forget the time when one of our long ago employees broke the toilet seat, and instead of admitting what she had done, panicked and remained silent.  Guess who was the next person to use the restroom and attempt […]

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Don’t let them see you panic

We keep a list of topics for these posts; this one was added to the list several years ago and I’m just getting around to writing about it. I preface the post with that because the incident(s) which inspired it were even longer ago and happened with former, not current, team members. The incidents usually […]

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Over the years I have been working as a trial consultant, I have had many reasons to panic.  I have also had many opportunities to observe my staff members panic.  There are numerous things that can, and do, go wrong, including things over which we have no control and things that occur from mistakes, carelessness, […]

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Wally World

Soon after earning my Ph. D. in social psychology, I moved to Jacksonville, Florida to work as the Director of Marketing Research at a large hospital. My duties included conducting focus groups and surveys of the various “populations” served by the hospital: patients (soon after their discharge), employees, physicians, and the general public. Surveys of […]

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I remember hearing about Melissa’s trips to Wally World starting shortly after we met at the hospital.  She viewed the various excursions to such places as a job perk, the chance to get out from behind her desk and go for a ride in her sports car, either her red Camaro or black Corvette (there […]

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We Don’t Have to do Anything

I meet a lot of people in my work as a jury/trial consultant and in my “other life” as a musician. David says I don’t often respond to meeting new people very well, however, I believe many people I meet aren’t the kind of people with whom I would like to become further acquainted. A […]

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From time to time I’ve observed these “have to do” clients and Melissa is right, it is a negative mindset.  We’ve had clients call and say they have to do a mock trial because their client is making them do it.  (With that attitude, I think the clients are on to something about how the […]

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Morning Walks

In an effort to get a bit of exercise, Melissa and I take frequent walks through our neighborhood.  It is a great neighborhood for walking and we have several routine routes.  I’ll share a secret, because of these walks, our arrival at the office is later than our official start time of 9:00 a.m.  I’m […]

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As David and I have written on numerous occasions, owning a small business requires working more than 40 hours a week.  In fact, David and I are rarely completely off work.  On the other hand, we have almost complete control over our schedules and the flexibility to work from home, from a hotel room, or […]

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Be Prepared: Prepared, for what?

I was, for a short while, a Boy Scout. The Boy Scout motto is “Be Prepared.” Though I wasn’t a scout for long, that motto is one I’ve taken to heart my whole life – whether personal or professional. I have always tried to use foresight and prepare for contingencies. Years ago, when working as […]

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It’s difficult to be prepared for something one doesn’t anticipate.  For example, I would never have anticipated that the COVID-19 pandemic would have led to mass hysteria over toilet paper!  What in the world has toilet paper got to do with anything?  (Yes, I know all about it now.  People are resorting to primordial behavior, […]

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Working in Changing Times

The times, they are a-changin’” said Bob Dylan, in a song of the same name. Oh yes, the times are certainly changing! The times are changing in ways most people could never have imagined. And, the times are changing whether we like it or not. At this point in my long career, I have suddenly […]

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Dylan may have sung that times were changing, but I’d suggest now, that things have changed.  Forever.  In some ways, there is no going back.  Hopefully, lessons we are learning now will make a difference going forward.  A big lesson is that invisible threats like viruses are more lethal than most any weapon of war […]

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