December 1986. I attended the Awards banquet for the Eastern Michigan University’s Business School. I received the Outstanding Management Student Award that night. It was a nice moment. But what stuck in my memory were the words of Daniel T. Carroll, a noted management consultant and guest speaker for the evening. Strangely, little information is available on Google regarding Mr. Carroll. Yet there are three quotes I scribbled in my program that evening that have had lasting impact on my career and my work. I’d like to share them with you, in dedication to the man who inspired me to seek the path of a consultant.
“The people who know how work for the people who know why.”
Simple, and profoundly true. Isn’t it?
“How do you keep your ‘stars?’ Put away the rule book and get out the checkbook.”
We in HR love consistency, policies, rules. We want to avoid setting precedents, so we insist that no one exceed the pay range maximum. Guess what? We are all guilty of breaking our own rules. Know when to put away the rule book and get out the checkbook. (But get value for money! If you must “overpay” someone, then load them up with additional duties to justify the cost!
“When you are given more responsibility, you immediately say you need more authority. I say, when you are given more responsibility, you need more knowledge.”
These statements taught me important attitudes about my work:
- Seek always to understand the why.
- Think like a business manager, not an HR manager.
- Seek knowledge, grow, build your capability. Don’t seek power or authority.
Thank you, Mr. Carroll.