bosses

#bosses

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Theater Mgr Lilian Baylis Discourages Romance
The famed theater manager Lilian Baylis vehemently discouraged romances between performers in her companies. When a young actor and actress visited her office hand in hand one day, Baylis ignored them for some time before looking up from her desk. "Well," she finally asked, "what is it?" "We're in love, Miss Baylis," the actor tentatively began, "and we—ah—want to get married." "Go away," Baylis barked. "I haven't got time to listen to gossip!"
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Ray Kroc's Surprise Visit To A Local Mcdonald's
One day while driving through Southern California, McDonald's chief Ray Kroc reportedly paid a "surprise visit" to one of the company's restaurants. When he arrived, Kroc was annoyed to find employees rolling out a red carpet to welcome him. What could have tipped his employees off? Perhaps... Kroc's arrival in an 80,000 limousine. When a friend teased him about the incident, Kroc called the story utter nonsense, but added, "It was a $40,000 limousine.* Only an idiot would pay $80,000 for a car." * In any case, a lot of money in the '60s or '70's when this took place.
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LBJ & the messy desk
At twenty-six, LBJ was appointed director of the National Youth Administration of Texas. One day, he passed a colleague's desk, piled high with papers. "I hope that your mind's not as messy as that desk," he remarked. Some time later, Johnson again passed the offending desk—which its owner had apparently made a concerted effort to clear off. Johnson's verdict? "I hope," he declared, "that your mind's not as empty as that desk." [A survey of Fortune 1000 companies (conducted by New York based Jericho Promotions), once found that the stock of companies whose executives had messy desks rose an average of 4.5 points more than their neat-desk competitors. (Adweek, 1995)]
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John Wanamaker - a Quiet Scolding
The late John Wanamaker was the king of retail. One day while walking through his store in Philadelphia, he noticed a customer waiting for assistance. No one was paying the least bit of attention to her. Looking around, he saw his salespeople huddled together laughing and talking among themselves. Without a word, he quietly slipped behind the counter and waited on the customer himself. Then he quietly handed the purchase to the salespeople to be wrapped as he went on his way. Later, Wanamaker was quoted as saying, "I learned thirty years ago that it is foolish to scold. I have enough trouble overcoming my own limitations without fretting over the fact that God has not seen fit to distribute ...
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A Plant Manager Gets A Tip About An Unannounced Visit
"Robert Wood Johnson, the former chairman of Johnson & Johnson, was known to be a terror when he inspected his plants," Edward Buxton recalls in Promise Them Anything. "On one such unannounced visit, the plant manager had a fortunate 30-minute tip prior to his arrival. Hastily he had things spruced up by ordering several large rolls of paper transported to the roof of the building. "When Johnson arrived, he was furious. 'What in the hell is all that junk on the roof?' were his first words. "How were they to know that he would arrive in his personal helicopter?"
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How Steve Jobs Handled A Late Secretary
Ron Givens, Apple's director of quality in the '80s, recalled a day when a secretary arrived late and Jobs wanted to know why. "She was a single mom, good secretary," Givens recalled. "She said, 'My car wouldn't start.' So, that afternoon, he walks into her office, throws a set of keys to a brand new Jaguar and says, 'Here, don't be late anymore.' He was always doing things like that, surprising people."
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A Syrian Teacher Requests A Transfer To Another School
After enduring 2-hour commutes every weekday for five years, a Syrian teacher requested a transfer to another school. When he handed his application to his boss, she tore it into pieces. "Waleed Othman wants to transfer to Damascus," she said, "and Damascus refused and wants you to stay in rural Damascus." "You tore it up," said Waleed. "Yes I did," his boss replied, smiling. "And don't write another one."
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Walt Disney Studios
A Funny Thing About The Fence At Walt Disney Studios
When writer-producer Terry Rossio first visited Disney's brand new, state-of-the-art animation studio, he couldn't help but notice something unusual. "There's a high chain link fence surrounding the Disney animation building in Burbank, with prison-style barbed wire along the top of the fence. The barbed wire slopes.. inward, to keep valued animators from escaping to other studios."  ["All windows open onto a hallway, so nobody gets natural light," Rossio added. "Yes, somehow, the Disney animation building managed to get designed in such a way that the ping-pong players in the hallway get the best light. What were they thinking?"] 
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Michael Bloomberg: No-Nonsense Mayor
Shortly after assuming office as mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg announced a sensible plan to consolidate all of the city's information and complaint lines in a single centralized 311 call center. At an event in the spring of 2002, Bloomberg introduced the commissioner of the city's Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications—the man responsible for the system's implementation: "Gino Menchini," he said, to hearty applause, "who will not be here next year if 311 is not up and running." [Geek alert: In 1960, Bloomberg he was active in the Medford High School debating society—and was president of the Slide Rule Club.]
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spacex, ca
Elon Musk: Demanding The Moon
Early on, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk earned a fearsome reputation for demanding the moon from his employees, many of whom worked 100-hour weeks for years. A former SpaceX executive once described the atmosphere in Musk's offices as a perpetual-motion machine fueled by an unusual mix of dissatisfaction and eternal hope. "It's like he has everyone working on this car that is meant to get from Los Angeles to New York on one tank of gas," this executive said. "They will work on the car for a year and test all of its parts. Then, when they set off for New York after that year, all of the vice presidents think privately that the car will be lucky to get to ...