Mummy’s boys make best bosses


Researchers at Heriot-Watt University claim that ‘mummy’s boys’ grow up to be the best leaders.


Their studies show that people who had a happy childhood with their mothers are more likely to take on the traits of a successful leader, compared with those who had bad relationships, who end up having inconsistent and ineffective management styles.


The report also found that those who were ignored or neglected became fiercely independent, and expected their staff to take the same approach.


Boffins cited examples of Lenin, who’s mother allegedly inspired his revolutionary enthusiasm, and well-known softie Adolf Hitler, who carried a picture of his mother wherever he went. Other leaders whose mothers took the time to tuck them in at night include George W Bush, Richard Branson and BP chief John Browne.


Now that we know how to groom the leaders of tomorrow, the Government must act immediately. It must give tax breaks to one-child families, so that no maternal attention is wasted. Single mothers must be encouraged to remove paternal interference. And the younger the better, so that no time is lost.


But government action may not be needed to ensure a ready supply of leaders. Just pay a visit to your local high street, where you will note that teenagers are taking the responsibility very seriously, and under-age, single mother-hood abounds. Commentators who berate the youth of today clearly haven’t seen the bigger picture.


‘Leap year pay’? Take a running jump


An HR manager at a television company has met with her first major people headache of the new year when a member of staff informed her that 2004 is a leap year, and asked whether or not the company would be paying staff for this extra day.


At her wit’s end after only a week back at work, she did what many a damsel in distress has done before; she turned to Guru for good, sound advice.


So, here it is. It’s a new year and, to paraphrase Auld Lang Syne, ‘ auld acquaintances should be forgot’.


If they want a leap year, then give it to them. Any tall suspension bridge should do the trick; staff might like to consider the Severn Bridge or the Forth Road Bridge in Edinburgh for their leap.


(Note: These views are not the opinions of Personnel Today or its affiliates or subsidiaries. The magazine does not recommend or endorse HR staff advising suicide as a solution to troublesome employees.)


Xmas complaint sticks in the throat


The Christmas season may be a distant, hazy memory, but the fallout from Christmas parties remains. An HR manager, who surprisingly wants to remain anonymous, sent this letter, which is a metaphor for festive shindigs everywhere:


“Having recently organised our company Christmas bash at a four-star hotel in Liverpool City Centre, I mulled over the festivities, took heed of colleagues’ comments and decided to go ahead and write a letter of complaint about various aspects of the evening.  


“I received a long response from the hotel manager, addressing all the issues that I raised, and in the last paragraph, he pointed out to me that while discussing the issue of service, it should be noted that one of our guests vomited all over the table just as the meal was about to be served – which, as he pointed out, was the reason there was a small delay with our meal. I decided to take the matter no further.”


Veteran, 91, called up for service


Personnel Today is a big supporter of getting more older people into work, but things can go too far, as demonstrated when a 91-year-old Austrian man was called up for National Service last week.


Quite rightfully, the old fellow thought this was unreasonable – not least because he had served in Hitler’s Wehrmacht during the Second World War.


After refusing to turn to up to the Wals army barracks to start his eight-month military service, the pensioner from Bad Ischl was told the letter was in fact meant for an 18-year-old of the same name.


The whole debacle reminds Guru of Paul Hardcastle’s musical tribute to army life: ‘N-n-n-n-n-ninety one’.

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