Fundamentals, Try Them

Can we get an “amen” for fundamentals?

Big Red Car here while The Boss is hanging loose in Steamboat. So, I got together with a cute Mercedes Benz from the next block over. She’s a diesel and I like exotic cars, so we had a chat. Her boss owns a business which he started and grew from a gleam in his eye.

“What’s the secret to your owner’s success, attractive MB?”

“He understands, sticks to, and executes on the fundamentals.”

“Can you give me an idea of a specific one?”

“Sure, Big Red Car, how about performance appraisal?”

“OK, tell me.”

“He does his performance appraisals for his senior folks — the only people he personally appraises — between Christmas and New Years. They’re in writing. He obtains input before he begins the process. He has a fact-to-face initial meeting to present it and then a follow up after the “victim” has had a chance to absorb it and he always takes compensation action at the same time.”

“Wow,” I said, “that sounds like a fundamentally sound approach.”

“Yes, most importantly, he’s been doing it every year for more than twenty years.”

“Anything else?”

“Yes, my boss ensures the big questions get asked and answered:

 1. Should I expect to be fired in the next 90 days?
2. Should I expect to be fired in the next 12 months?
3. Should I expect to be promoted in the next 90 days?
4. Should I expect to be promoted in the next 12 months?
5. Is my compensation fair?”

“Wow,” I said, “I guess that smokes the issues out, no?”

“Yes, indeed, Big Red Car. Two more things. My guy also tells his people where they stand in regard to their peers and whether their performance has improved or slipped since the last performance appraisal. That’s always useful to know.”

“By the way, Big Red Car, has anyone ever told you that you’re a muscle car? I adore muscle cars, so fundamental.”

“This is a G rated blog, MB. Call me later.”

With that the cute MB and I were content to move on to other things with the knowledge the fundamentals can be found everywhere. Don’t be trying to inject the latest, pop-psych, business babble if you haven’t mastered the fundamentals.

But, hey, what the Hell do I really know anyway? I’m just a Big Red Car.cropped-LTFD-illust_300.png

2 thoughts on “Fundamentals, Try Them

  1. So if a MB mates with a BRC do you get a MGBT or just a polished Little Red Car with a bad accent?

    I recently did annuals with an emerging firm client, Fact to Feelings as I called it, their history had been feeling to feeling, disaster as DJT would say!

    Video taped the Mangers and played it back! No one achieved the goals they set out to. I have two rules on reviews
    1) If you get pounded and you did not expect it: the manager failed to be transparent or the employee is a sociopath!
    2) If you think your performance rated a larger salary bump than you got, the employee can not do math, the manager was holding back to line his pockets or someone is a sociopath!

    Fundamentals are important, Coaching, open books, honest feedback… The little things mean a lot! Roles mean everything and just like Parents are not your kids best friend your manager or staff need to have boundaries when inside the office. Outside, I like to demonstrate the competitive spirt I expect from them. no leisurely runs or bikes, age prohibits me wining as much as I have in the past but I always come back exhausted and bleeding!

    • .
      Let me be absolutely clear on one thing — that cute little MB is a “legal” immigrant. Normally, I try to stick with the American girls but the MB has such nice headlights and that German accent of hers, is well, German. I may have to tell her to start shaving her wheel wells, but let’s see where this goes first.


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