Pace Yourself

Sometimes you GO-GO-GO-GO to get some big task set done – and then it’s off to the races on the next one, and the next one, and the next one. And you find the whole experience exciting and rewarding. And sometimes not.

Sometimes your reward is simply more work and damn little thanks or appreciation.

So you slow down and reflect. Are you getting what you need as you meet the needs of others? Are your efforts and results understood and appreciated? Have they become routinely expected and not given much thought – until you slow down and strive for that magical, elusive Work-Life balance? And then you are accused of being a slacker, a quiet quitter, as you no longer give it your all-time after time after time?

Let me channel my inner Deming.

The most valuable “currency” of any organization is the initiative and creativity of its members. Every leader has the solemn moral responsibility to develop these to the maximum in all his people. This is the leader’s highest priority.

The Role of Management in Quiet Quitting

Who shares the fault when people burn out? Or when they stop to take a needed break and recharge? Or take a break when they feel that their over-the-top-time-after-time efforts are underappreciated or not recognized and appreciated at all?


Good managers have the pulse of their organization and its work and its people.

Poor managers are asleep at THAT wheel and are focused on something else to the exclusion of “this too” – their people and where they are at in their well-being. Good managers are ever-watchful for burn-out and provide R&R, as it’s sometimes called.

Britannica Dictionary definition of R & R is: Rest and Recreation; Rest and Recuperation; Rest and Relaxation.

Same diff, as we used to say, back in the day.

And maybe R&R needs to be updated to the 3Rs – Recognition, Rest, and Recuperation.

Good leaders even force R&R on people who themselves don’t see the need for it.

So like Deming, I’d place this notion of Quiet Quitting as a result of THE SYSTEM that Deming so long ago taught us was the responsibility of Management.

Refocus from any Quiet Quitter back to THE SYSTEM and see what can be done about this back there.

The 5th Management Foci

My 2011 book, The 5th Management Foci – is available – here.

The Foreword, by Richard E. Clark, EdD follows:

By Richard E. Clark, Ed.D.  
October 9, 2011

If books on management were judged by a cost-benefit analysis, in my view Guy Wallace’s “The Fifth Management Foci” would take first place, hands down.  Readers in a hurry can finish it in less than two hours – or you can dwell on his advice and the piercing questions he asks for weeks or months.  I started with the fast read and then went back for a more leisurely and thoughtful stroll – and took away valuable insights from both.  Reading requires less time and work because Guy has spent the effort required to boil complex insights down to brief, pity, clear and insightful statements about managing large and small organizations at all levels.   My thinking about his ideas was aided by the challenging questions he urges readers to ask at every one of the five stages he describes and the fact that he lets us provide the answers from the prospective of our own organization.  He has also designed the book so that the chapters can be read in any order.  Most important is that he gives clear directions about what to do at every turn and level of management – but lets us decide how to apply them in our organizations.

Part of the cost-benefit proposition in this book is that it is a twofer – two books in one.  A significant chunk of the book provides a structured outline and guide to most of the issues one should consider when designing, assessing and repairing the management and performance of an organization. These are the first four of the “Foci” he describes – key concerns such as Alignment, Processes, Practices and Resources for stakeholders.  A shorter but no less fascinating part of the book emphasizes his “Fifth Foci.” In it he uses the management road map he creates to point out the most comprehensive list yet of the unwarranted assumptions, common misconceptions, half-truths and outright lies about management and human performance at work.  He calls it the “Foo Foo Focus” and he trains the crosshairs on the snake oil that is sold for each of the other four focus areas.  This section alone is worth the price of the book. Readers are cautioned to approach it with an open mind because it is likely that everyone will recognize one or more of the misconceptions he points out as a principle that we hold dear.  Yet there is solid evidence to support every one of the Foo Foo strategies he lists.

Most of the recent reviews of research on organizational management have concluded that in general, it is poorly done and in great need of workable solutions.  Guy Wallace’s Fifth Management Foci is a significant step in the right direction.


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