I recently read the book “Fire Someone Today” and I found it to be a great resource for tactical managment advice. The title will prohibit the book from being displayed in your work library ( unless that’s your style of management…), but it provides good insight nonetheless.
A couple of my favorites from the book:
Don’t Fly Blind – Build a Dashboard: A Profit & Loss statement is not a dashboard. A monthly report is not a dashboard. These financial statements tell you what happened in the past; a dashboard tells you what is happening now. A dashboard can even tell you what is going to happen next.
Cash is King: If there was a book of business poetry it would be full of odes to cash.
Cash is the only life and death issue for your business. There are lots of important things you can worry about–people, products, service–but they are important because they impact cash. Businesses with cash live. Businesses without cash die.
Profit is important, and it is the reason businesses exist, but it is not more important than cash. If you have the cash you can run an unprofitable company for years. Many companies in fields like bioscience have long research and development cycles and have yet to sell a product. There are a number of dot-com companies still in business today that have never earned a profit. They are all in business because they have cash in the bank.
(Note: My favorite saying is: “Cash is Cash, Only Cash is Cash & Only Cash Will Ever be Cash”…if you ever work with me, you’ll undoubtedly hear this phrase a few times)
Nobody Needs an Optimistic Accountant: You should be optimistic about your business. Your salespeople should be optimistic about your business. Your parents, your children, your vendors, and your employees should be optimistic about your business. You do not want any negative, pessimistic, whining, cry-baby Chicken Littles on your team. Except for your accountant.
Your accountant, controller, bookkeeper, CFO–whoever it is that counts your money–should be a pessimist. Your accountant should not be the kind of person who thinks things are always going to get better. Your accountant should be the kind of person who thinks things are always going to get worse. Your accountant should be the kind of person who, when you say, “Good morning,” responds, “We’ll see.”
Finally, it’s okay to be a pessimist! I like to call it “realistic”, but the fact is your accountant has to reign in your optimism. It’s their job. You need that balance to ensure your business is successful.
If you’re looking for a management theory book, this isn’t it. If you’re looking for a book with tangible advice you can begin practicing in your business operations immediately, this is the book for you.