This week’s guru

A boss who behaves badly is all they want

Partaking in management courses is clearly a waste of time. Forget being an
inspirational and sensitive leader, your staff want a boss who is "one of
the lads".

Gary, the lager-swilling star of Men Behaving Badly, has topped a poll of
fantasy bosses. Almost a quarter of those who took part said the BBC sitcom’s
lovable slob, played by Martin Clunes, is their ideal for a boss.

Employees are clearly masochistic as well with 15 per cent of the 3,000
people who voted in the workthing survey wanting a boss like Basil Fawlty –
John Cleese’s highly-strung hotel owner. The prospect of Basil being held up as
an example of good leadership sent shivers down Guru’s spine – just ask Manuel
but don’t mention the war.

Corus defines ‘interesting’

It appears that lingo bingo is catching on (Guru 19 June). At a recent
Create conference, Kees Blokland, director of personnel development at Corus,
kicked off a panel discussion by distributing a sheet of some of the worst
examples of corporate slang.

He suggested as delegates heard the clichés they should cross them off. To
win they should stand up and shout "Bingo" or "Bullshit" as
they crossed off the last one. Blokland came up with a few more cracking
examples – the only constant is change, managers must become coaches, cascading
the message and let’s turn this problem into an opportunity.

Also, have you heard the one about the Englishman, the American and the
Dutchman? Well according to Blokland, the Englishman is a repressed beast. When
a Dutchman describes a bit of business as "bloody good", an English
person says "not bad at all". When an American says some-thing is
"bad", a Dutchman says "we need an in-depth discussion",
and the English-man murmurs "interesting".

Guru feels the differing semantics during Corus’ recent redundancy
discussions might have made "interesting" listening.

Age, where is thy sting?

With advancing years and a receding hairline, Guru has come to realise that
age is no laughing matter.

Ian McCartney, the new minister for pensions, is also having to come to
terms with this. Speaking at the Employers’ Forum on Age Annual Conference in
London last week, he was about to shoot out a round of one-liners at the
expense of the old when he noticed the title of the event – Age: No Longer a
Laughing Matter.

McCartney quickly explained to the audience, "Well that cuts at least
15 jokes from my speech then."

Working late may have its perks

If Guru had a pound for every time the phrase "work-life balance"
has been mentioned in the HR press, he’d have £18,342. So Guru was glad to see
that someone has come up with an alternative approach to addressing the
problems of long hours work culture.

Antony Dixon from High Wycombe has designed a desk that turns into a bed – a
Besk. Far from going home at a reasonable hour to see the kids, he believes the
way forward is to sleep in the office in comfort.

Unsurprisingly, the bed has not been well received by workplace experts. One
leading psychologist commented, "Britons are known as working the longest
hours in Europe and being among the most stressed. I feel the Besk will add to

Comments are closed.