Case Study: Quint the Manager
He’d Still Be Alive If It Wasn’t for Low Morale
I was just thinking, “Boy, that Quint could light up a room.” As a manager, I’ve never resorted to fingernails on chalkboard as an attention-getter, but if I was able to……to…no…no…never mind. No. No, no, no. OK, I’m having trouble thinking. God, that sound! Geez! It’s in my head now! Neeneeneenee! Lalalalalala!
What happened? Yes, if Quint were alive today, he’d certainly need to rethink some tactics. Most community rooms are equipped with dry-erase now.
Which brings me to Quint’s other managerial shortfalls -
Don’t Mock. Motivate! Quint’s knee-jerk reaction to Martin Brody’s sea attire and Hooper’s technical equipment could not have put a new, anxious crew at ease. What if Quint, having noticed Brody’s galoshes, commented, “Now that’s sensible.” Or simply acknowledged Hooper’s equipment with a well-meaning “Fancy!” Positive feedback, especially when specific, builds them up. Now you’re winning them over.
Drink in Moderation with New Staff And never on the job. Get to know your people first. Then, schedule a relaxing social at Ruby Tuesday.
Listen, Actively! Brody was absolutely correct in recommending a bigger boat. Did Quint ask him to provide a detailed reason as to why? Did he solicit Hooper for some spontaneous, robust brainstorming? No. Ignoring your staff’s valid ideas will kill idea generation altogether.
Delegate Fairly Would you rather shovel chum or steer the boat?
It’s OK to Ask for Help I’m not saying the Orca would still be afloat if Quint had given Hooper’s ideas a go sooner (the LEGO shark-cage had to disappoint), but to be a true team leader, you need to show strength through humility. “Hooper — can I call you Matt? I don’t know if you noticed, but we’re in a bit of a pickle. Any alternatives you can think of?”
For all his managerial faux pas, Quint was one heck of a fisherman. But being a skilled worker doesn’t instantly make one a leader. What if things had been different? Some online classes with DeVry, a couple Blanchard books, Jack Welch on tape? Hm. We’ll never know. Unfortunately, shortsightedness made Quint half the man he could’ve been.