Are management books too preachy, too slick to be practical, too wordy to maintain interest in the message?
Stop Howling at the Moon is the opposite and Eamon O'Donnell's approach is unique. His experience in managing companies' changes in structures and attitudes is vast. He also helps individuals to deal with personal change. And he has a sense of humour. Eamon O'Donnell intends Stop Howling at the Moon to be a light read, but with lessons which last far longer than it takes to read it. He sets us thinking.
"Staff", he says, "are seen as a resource, a cost or a liability. They will be whatever you expect them to be." He is concerned that there is more waffle than good practice in evidence in business today. "Doctorates have been conferred on people who have written on organisational interventions, resistance to changes, the depths of the intervention required to influence and move things forward, but they often mean very little in practical terms". O'Donnell recalls a story about a bullock who was difficult to move out of a ditch he was stuck in. After much pulling and hauling and strategising by people, including himself, a herdsman came along and roared in the bull's ear which quickly struggled to its feet and clambered out of the ditch. The lesson: With every pair of hands you hire, you get a free head.
Talking about money is often difficult for employees and this is where a good story is particularly useful. "Some people don't like asking for money but everybody hates parting with it. In circumstances like these a good story is a great companion and may loosen people's grip on their wallets."
He has a good lesson too for those who expect too much of those working with them and tells the story of Joe Montana, a famous quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers. He lectured his team on how the opposing team was getting too many tackles and how he couldn't get the ball to his runners without protection. When the next play took place, his defence stayed static. The opposing team came down on Joe like a ton of bricks and he was buried under a mass of bodies. Bruised and battered, he struggled to his feet and his team-mates came to him. 'Now Joe,' they said. 'That's what it's like when we are not protecting you.' The lesson: We sometimes expect too much from our champions and need to get things into perspective. A champion should only be called upon to help sort out the big issues. The rest we should tidy up ourselves.
Eamon O'Donnell has been a management consultant for over thirty years. Through his work in staff and customer relations and in the management of organisational change he has found that a good story is more powerful than complex theories and dull statistical analysis.
at the Moon - 101 Bedtime Stories for Managers Author:
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He holds a BA degree and HDip in Education from UCD, and an MA degree in Organisation Behaviour from Trinity College Dublin. The latter led to his becoming a founding partner in the Centre for Corporate Community. In 1985, he established RMS Consulting to advise clients in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. Clients include ESB, Aer Lingus, Irish Life, Nestlé (Ireland) Ltd, Industrial Computing Machines (ICM), and the Special Olympics. He has lectured in the Irish Management Institute for over twenty years during which time he has developed a series of customised management development programmes for senior personnel in the European Commission. In 1993, he was contracted by the European Commission to facilitate the development of the Commission's strategic approach to the allocation of £2 billion structural funds to Ireland. He was also contracted by the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions as rapporteur to an expert group on the changing roles and functions of middle management.
A keen sportsman, he gained his colours for UCD in athletics and in the early 1980s organised some of the first racehorse syndi- cates in Ireland under his company Racing Management Services. He has had winners at most of the leading Irish racecourses.
beauty of Stop Howling At The Moon is that, each time you
pick it up to browse at leisure, the stories throw up a new angle, a
fresh approach to life, its vagaries and the choices you face dealing
may be living in complex times but Stop Howling at the Moon gets to
the basics of good management practice in an entertaining way and
restores one’s faith in doing the simple things well. Eamon
is a masterful storyteller. His stories stay with you long after you
have read them and the wisdom is profound.
page turner for demented managers! Like all great teachers, Eamon O
Donnell uses stories to lead us to the truth about behaviour in
organisations and our need to face that truth if we want to change
found Stop Howling at the Moon to be very practical and interesting
and I believe that it is a must-read for any manager.
delightful destressor to dip in and out of, packed with golden,
incisive, nuggets to manage your life.
book is not only essential reading for professional Managers but it
also teaches us so much about life skills in a most subtle way. A
book is entertaining, informative and eminently readable.
O'Donnell has distilled more wisdom, insight and practical advice
into this small and highly readable book than is likely to be found
in a shelf full of academic texts.
practical and always relevant, Eamon O'Donnell's 'Stop Howling at the
Moon' is a 'must have' addition to any young manager's book
Eamon O’Donnell’s new book Stop Howling at the Moon-101
Bedtime Stories for Managers, is a must-read.
absolutely loved it!
Eamon O'Donnell has done every businessperson a favour with this book: he
has cut through the quite dull statistical analysis and complex theories of
business and replaced them with light-hearted stories and (as he puts it)
illuminating 'fables' that perfectly illustrate the core principles of good
An enjoyable read.