More Music for Managers.

Posted by jlubans on September 24, 2013

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Caption: Merle Haggard (“The Hag”). Born April 6, 1937, Bakersfield, California

This is the blog’s fifth listing of country western song titles for managers to manage by. Written and sung from the heart, this music offers us – when we are ready – solace and wisdom.

“How Can Anything That Sounds So Good Make Me Feel So Bad?”
You’ve been there. Someone is telling you how great it’s going to be and yet you have some doubts. You inner hype-detector is flashing. “Trust and verify” worked for the Ronald and the Roos-kies; apply the same skepticism to those "never-again" promises of a wandering lover or the absolute certainty of the in-house work flow expert about the breakthroughs to be had with more equipment and more staff.
“From the Gutter to You Is Not Up.”
That’s the song that reared up in my head when the boss, after firing me, told me he’d give me a good reference. The last thing I wanted was an obligation to this boss, nor would my disdain permit me to accept the offer. I never did.
“I’ve Got a Funny Feeling I Won’t Be Feeling Funny Very Long.”
That dawning realization that you are no longer the “golden boy” in your organization. Indeed, there may be a piano about to drop on your unsuspecting head as you slip on a banana peel on the sidewalk of life.
“I’m Too Low To Get High.”
There are workplaces with a “Culture of Complaint.” Even when the pay is OK and the work is hardly arduous, nor is the boss all that bad, for some reason, morale is low. After a while, moving is the only cure if you want to be happy in your work. Or, if don’t want to move, then renounce your role in the culture of complaint: stop agreeing with the grousing and speak only in terms of how to make things better.
“I Can’t Afford to Half My Half Again.”
A song for that fiscally reeling feeling most libraries (and many other businesses) have had since October of 2008. How many cuts can a budget sustain before the cupboard is bare and it’s time to shut the door?
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Caption: Don Williams. Born May 27, 1939, Floydada, Texas.
“There’s No Use Running If You’re on the Wrong Road.”(By Don Williams).
I used to be one of the Pooh-Bahs in the user education movement, now termed “information literacy” (after molting out of “instruction in library use”, “bibliographic instruction” and “library literacy”. ) Some of our ideas were well intentioned, but not the best – we were running on the wrong road. I see some of the same ineffective ideas still supported – for example, mandatory information literacy classes. Everyone knows since the mid-60s that help at a “point-of-need” is when the student library user learns best.
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Caption: Merle, older & wiser.
“It’s Not Love, But It’s Not Bad.”
When your deal won’t float, you take what you can get. It’s the “I can live with that” type of consensus. You may have no choice or inclination to do otherwise. But the best result is when two good ideas merge to produce a third, the best idea. So, Merle is onto something, love may come.

Copyright John Lubans 2013

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