Managing yourself creatively

A Word on Temper

Among the primary sources of executive frustration are imperfect subordinates.

It’s a rare manager indeed who, at least once in a while, isn’t firmly convinced that his department’s performance would perk up dramatically if one employee or another were quietly throttled.

On a more realistic level, he settles for occasionally blowing his top or venting his emotions through thinly disguised sarcasm. The result is a sulking staff with drooping morale whose performance hits another low and a king-size headache for the executive.


This is the easiest advice in the world to give, but among the hardest to take. How do you do it?

One way is to compel yourself to back off from the immediate situation and try to see it objectively, preferably in a larger context. So Miss Sarkar misplaced some important correspondence. Will empires fall? Is the few minutes’ delay to find it really sufficient reason to ruin your day and digestion? Really?

Another technique is suggested by an incident in the life of John D. Rockefeller.

A top executive of the Standard Oil Company once made an error in judgment that cost his firm more than $2 million. Understandably, colleagues of Rockefeller decided to avoid their chief on the day he heard the news, lest they become the targets of his wrath.

The exception was Edward T.Bedford, a Rockefeller partner. He entered Mr. Rockefeller’s office prepared to listen to a long harangue against the offending executive, only to find the head of the Standard Oil Empire busily writing at his desk.