PM Quote of the Day — Florence Nightingale

Apprehension, uncertainty, waiting, expectation, fear of surprise, do a patient more harm than any exertion.

This quote resonates during these uncertain and surprising times.  Florence Nightingale was one of the first medical professionals to recognize that the mind and body work, or don’t work, together.  Her insight was not merely derived from anecdote.  She pioneered the use of statistics in medicine, especially the visual representation of those statistics for non-expert audiences (example here).

Most of us don’t need a statistical analysis to know our teams will flounder without direction, especially now.  I’ve found a couple of posts that address this challenge:

  • Rita McGrath points out (here) one approach to getting teams unstuck — clarifying assumptions, reaching out to the future, and making decision rationales clear. 
  • John Baldoni focuses (here) on just how and why these are especially tough times for managers, and gives some suggestions that parallel Rita’s.

So, you want to be a CEO?

It isn’t always wine, roses, and golden parachutes.  Here’s a cautionary tale from the Times Online: CEO murdered by mob of sacked Indian workers

Lalit Choudhary, 47, the head of the Delhi-based operations of Graziano Transmissioni, an Italian car parts maker, died of head wounds on Monday after being lynched by scores of employees he had dismissed…. Mr Choudhary was holding a meeting with more than 100 former staff to discuss a possible reinstatement deal when the attack occured.

Note that later news reports indicate that many attackers weren’t workers, which explains the senselessness of an attack during reinstatement negotiations. 

As you might imagine, Indian business leaders are worried and outraged (story here).  Of course, the effects on foreign investment are potentially dire.  The outrage comes from the fact that some in the Indian Government refuse to condemn the attack.  In fact, the Labor Minister sees it as a “warning for management”.  A warning to do what…get out of India?

Hat tip: Scott Berkun (here)

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