|[a] Workin' RF|
Marine Biologist The Doorman Opposite George Newman's Mail The Bootleg Marriage
Just Dessert Sleep Desk Late Coffee High Stakes Motor Oil Downtown
Code Cracking Nonfat Yogurt Bad Boy It's Not You I Can't Be... Exploding Wallet
Elaine Flies Coach The Close Talker The Alliance Broccoli Coated Culture Dinner Party
George's Friend Jerry's Haircut Face Paint Mustachioed Smoking East River
Pool Man Dunkin' Joe Life Lessons Reckoning Dog Medicine Shower Heads
Looking Busy George Tips Kramer's Job Empty Tank
Click here for the reference to the "Argonauts" title, below.
|[b] Manual RF|
The "relationship" angle is almost too well-played. The Seinfeld writers have been a little too cute with this sort of theme, I think. Still, the flurry of Kramer's work career (even if we expand our thoughts to assume a thirty-minute show—twenty two minutes after commercials) speaks to many of the hopes and worries harbored by all of us in the workplace. Most of us have several decades of planning and analyzing, though. Kramer is different. He hasn't had a workplace...and the one he gained in this episode didn't last very long.
Let's think about the nature of work and what it means in "our" society (you should know by now that Round and Square has readers in a hundred of "our" societies, and that comparison is our whole point).
|[c] Respite RF|
|[d] Workrest RF|
The first reading is from Jim Collins's management book Built to Last. The second is from Peter Drucker's Management Cases, a book related to his classic management text. Our final example comes from a compilation of Song dynasty (CE 960-1279) anecdotes that is one of the most interesting sources I have ever encountered, and has influenced a great deal of my own research over the years.
Jim Collins (1994)
|[e] Last ADV|
Of course, we're not saying that the visionary companies have been uninterested in profitability or long-term shareholder wealth (notice that we say that they are "more than" economic entities, not "other than"). Yes, they pursue profits. And, yes, they pursue broader, more meaningful ideals. Profit maximization does not rule, but the visionary companies pursue their aims profitably. They do both.
|[f] Managing ADV|
Peter Drucker (2009)
Rarely has a chief executive of an American corporation been as respected and as revered as Alfred P. Sloan, Jr., was at General Motors during his long tenure at the top—for 1920 until 1955. Many GM managers, especially those who grew up in the 1920s and 1930s, felt a deep personal gratitude to him for his quiet but decisive acts of kindness, of help, of advice, or just of warm sympathy when they were in trouble. At the same time, however, Sloan kept aloof from the entire managerial group in GM. That he never called anyone by his or first name and was "Mr. Sloan" even to top executives may have been a a reflection of his heritage and upbringing—he had been born, after all, in the 1870s and was a senior executive, running his own business, before 1900...
Above all, Sloan had no friends within the GM group. He was a warm and had been a gregarious man until deafness cut him off from easy human contact. Although he had had close friends, he outlived them all—he lived well into his nineties. All these friends had been outside General Motors. Indeed, the one friend who had been in GM, Walter P. Chrysler, did not become a personal friend until after he had left GM and had, upon Sloan's advice and with strong support from Sloan, started his own competing automobile company...
"It is the duty or the chief executive officer to be objective and impartial," Sloan said, explaining his management style. "He must be absolutely tolerant and pay no attention to how a man does his work, let alone whether he likes a man or not. The only criteria must be performance and character. And that is incompatible with friendship and social relations. A chief executive officer, who has 'friendships' within the company, has 'social relations' with colleagues or discusses anything with them except the job, cannot remain impartial—or at least, which is equally damaging, he will not appear as such. Loneliness, distance, and formality may be contrary to his temperament—they have always been contrary to mine—but they are his duty."
|[g] Anecdotes ADV|
Chu Djang (1989)
When Ouyang Xiu was in the government, he heard about the name of Shao Yong, but never had a chance to meet him. His son Ouyang Fei (1047-1113), who was about to leave for his official post, would pass through Luoyang. Ouyang told his son to visit Shao Yong on his way to convey his admiration and added that if Shao should invite the latter to stay for a few days, he should accept the invitation and report back the conversation.
When Ouyang Fei arrived in Luoyang, Shao Yong welcomed him with great enthusiasm. He talked to his guest for a whole day about the people he had met, the studies he had pursued, and the activities he had accomplished throughout his whole life in great detail. Upon finishing, he asked again and again: "Can you remember it all?"
Although Ouyang Fei listened with great attention, he did not know why he was told such things. He wrote back to report everything to his father. His father did not understand either.
During the Yuanfeng period (1078-1085), Shao Yong died. The local authorities reported the life history of Shao to the court, requesting the grant of a posthumous title. Ouyang Fei who was serving as the Erudite of the Chamberlain for Ceremonials at that time was given the responsibility for drafting the patent of the posthumous title. Only then did he realize why Shao had recounted his life history to him.
 James Collins and Jerry Porras, Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies (New York: Harper
Business, 1994), 55.
 Peter Drucker, Management Cases [Revised and Updated by Joseph Maciariello] (New York: Collins Business,
 Chu Djang, A Compilation of Sung Personalities (New York: St. John's University Press, 1989), 407-408.
Chu Djang. A Compilation of Sung Personalities. New York: St. John's University Press, 1989.
Collins, James and Jerry Porras. Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies.
New York: Harper Business, 1994.
Drucker, Peter. Management Cases [Revised and Updated by Joseph Maciariello]. New York:
Collins Business, 2009.
Wednesday, April 4th