Books: Whale Done! : The Power of Positive Relationships Books: Whale Done! : The Power of Positive Relationships

My Boss (MikeO) asked me to give this book a read.

I’ve spent most of my career dividing my time between Technology, which I lobe, and management, with I haven’t like so much – but needed to do to make desirable things happen in my companies, clients, or employers.

At Microsoft, I’ve stayed very clear of pursuing any management opportunities. One of the cool things about Microsoft is that there are lots of opportunities to change jobs without leaving Microsoft, it’s part of the culture and management encourages you to grow inside the company.

Since a formal management role is not in my (at least) near term future, Mike has been working with me to evolve as a leader – without being a manager. It’s interesting because the formula is much more direct when you can influence people from the authority of their employment. (It's also kind of cool to be morphing my professional personality in conjunction with coaching from a manager who is a younger guy than me.

So in any event – I read this book last knight. I’ve read a few of Blancard’s books. The message in the book is great, though it reads like a wrote it while hung over.

Two things really stood out.

  • In the relationship between MikeO and I – I’m the 10,000 pound Whale and he it the trainer.
  • MikeO has figured out that punishment fails to yield optimal results with the caliber of his employees. (Example: Withholding food to motivate a whale is bad for the whale, AND the trainer that has to get in the water with him.)
  • A performance evaluation system that requires managers to divide their team into thee categories at review time (Great / Average / Not So Good) Is a dumb idea. (Unless the company is will to let you go hire some “lousy guys” to even up the divisions.

Anyway – it’s a good, quick, and easy read. My wife’s gonna read it next for it’s parenting value.

Now I wonder what MikeO will be expecting me to DO with the information.