Friday, February 18, 2011

Speak Softly, But Carry A Big Stick

One of the early tenants of Theodore Roosevelt's presidency was to "speak softly and carry a big stick." What it meant was that the United States was a good friend and ally, but if one were to cross the country, the country will unleash the full force and power of its war machine.

True Bosses bring this philosophy into their lives and you should too. Be kind, respectful and deferential when it is required. But when push comes to shove and things need to go down, unleash that war machine.

You should do this not out of pride or vengeance, but more to show people that you are not a person to be trifled with, and public examples will be made out of those who do.

I'm not specifically referring to physical violence, which should be avoided at all reasonable costs, but more like stations at work or with social groups.

If some person at the office has a major screw-up and tries to pin it on you (and it's not your fault), then unleash hell. Call the person out publicly, via e-mail specifically documenting the depths of their failures, providing evidence and specific examples, so that no one doubts who the victor is.

If someone is messing with you on a regular basis, record it on your phone, so when you go to an authority figure, you have documentation.

I'm old school. I don't like to publicly check or humiliate people. But someone in my circle at a place of employment screwed up, cost us all a lot of money, and I had to publicly reprimand them. I provided specific documentation that showed from where (and who) the error came from, made a public requirement that the person not do it again, and that was the end of it.

The offender wasn't happy being called out publicly, but they knew I was fair, they got the message and learned their lesson. In fact, I think they respected me for it. I would do it again if the situation demanded. You need to defend yourself and your family.

Speak softly and carry that stick. And when it comes time to swing, your better swing for the fences.
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17 comments:

  1. I always document at work. Its a necessity. With out proper documentation then its just hearsay.

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  2. If you work in an office, email requests are a necessity and a requirement. Try not to do anything unless it's in writing, especially if its controversial.

    If you don't, try to have at least two good witnesses who will overhear and have your back.

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  3. i kind of enjoy being a hardass at work, but i usually end up speaking a bit louder than a whisper. loses you respect, something i have to work on

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  4. I like this blog, keep 'em coming. People won't mess with you if they know you are prepared to fuck them up if they do. Just like bullies at school, you stand up to them once, and it could get ugly, but they will not turn to you again.

    Unrelated Randomness

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  5. I don't enjoy being a hard ass. I like people and I expect to be liked in return. But if someone screws up, and it's big, you need to keep people in line.

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  6. I really like historical quotes.

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  7. The trick with a boss like this is to meter out what they want in such a way that you gain control of them while sustaining their narcissistic self image.

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  8. Wow love this stuff man! The guide to being a man. This is solid stuff right here. Great read.

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  9. The real trick is to read Sun Tzu Art of war ;)!

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  10. yep, paperwork is very important, i need to rely on it quite a bit to cover my ass if a job takes too long at my workplace

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  11. I agree with you. I try to avoid physical violence at all costs too. I'm glad nothing bad has happened to me until now.

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  12. Good post, always use that quote

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  13. A wise man once told me "Documentation. documentation. documentation" Nothing will save your ass more than documentation, and I've been doing it ever since.

    Not that I'm an ass, it's just I like getting paid too.

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