500th Cast Winners

Overall Winner - Tom Baldwin

I typically write my performance reviews for my team during the holidays. Last week, in preparation for annual reviews I send out 360 feedback forms...

The next day, I get stopped in the hall by our lead software engineers, "got your 360 request last night." Preparing for my response of why I asked, etc. They say, "You know we don't do those around here." Again, thinking of what to say they continue, "We haven't had a manager be proactive and do those in 3 years." Finally, as I am trying to determine my rebuttal they say,

"Can we report to you?"

Just so you know I am in product development, on the marketing side.

For a fleeting second I felt good receiving the feedback; however it also made me realize how low the bar is.

That is what Manager Tools means to me. It's about improving the working lives of others. It also keeps me aware of the impact good management has on everyone in the organization and my responsibility to improve my own effectiveness.

Thanks for all you do.

Conference Attendance Winner - Pierre N

When I think "Manager Tools" I think of one word: tears.

Tears coming down the eyes of 2 of my staff after my first one on one.
My first one on one after starting my new job in a new position in Japan.
Tears coming down theses eyes because they have been working 20 years in this company.
20 years where they have accumulated 400 days of unused leave.
20 years where they worked an average of 100h overtime per month.
But worst of all, for 20 years nobody listened to them.

And here I come believing I can change everything for the best, setup the first 3O and tell them: ok now talk to me for 30 minutes, anything, I'm listening and I'll do so weekly.

And for 30 minutes all I got were tears and a very few words.

The following week I got a few more words, most being "Arigato".

Did I solve all these issues like the best manager in the world I should be? Not at all.
I've accumulated 20 days of unused leave this year, just like them.
I'm working an average of 100h overtime per month, like them.
But today tears are gone and we all weekly get our smiling session.

Without "Manager Tools" we would all be in tears today.

Conference Attendance Winner - Sven Kosack

Imagine for a second, if you please, a cup of strong Espresso coffee. Imagine all its condensed energy, its passion and how it helps you get started for a day at work.
Well, now you know how I feel about Manager Tools.

Manager Tools helps me get started for my day. During my commute, I listen to it and draw abundant energy from the episodes. Mark and Mike or Gernot and Birgit show me simple steps to improve my and the company’s performance.

I have found that since I apply the peer feedback modell to coaching situations, colleagues accept feedback more readily and perform measurably better. Our team also excells in continuous improvement since we have introduced the hotwash after delivering major projects.

But these tools are – to remain in the metaphore – just the caffeein of the coffee. The real difference for my day in the office comes from the good feeling you get from listening to an episode. It shows you a world to aspire to: Efficient, caring, dynamic and with a dash of humor. It drives me to become a better person myself, to deliver my very best and to make the world a little better.

I am looking forward to 500 episodes more as 500 opportunities to improve the world a little bit. Mark, Mike, Wendi, Maggy, Gernot, Birgit, Cédric and Lorry, my appreciation to your dedicated work goes out to you.

Keep it up, keep it strong and keep them coming.

Just like a good Espresso.

Conference Attendance Winner - Matt Brigance

On Christmas Day in 2009 my child saw me sitting in my chair distracted with something on my mind. “Dad, I love the IPOD you got me for Christmas”! Great, glad you like it! (I thought now that my credit card bill was a little higher). “Dad, did you know these can be used for business?” Look Manager Tools, listen you’ll love it.

Over the holidays I listened to over 25 cast. Realizing the business failure I was experiencing that was taking the joy of Christmas away was MY OWN FAULT!

Starting in 2010 I DISC tested on your site all of my direct reports. Folks thought I had lost my mind as moved entire job requirements to match their strengths. I installed O3’s weekly for 4 of my direct reports. Part of what we discuss each week is the pod cast that is now required listening as premium content subscribers each week on their company I Phones.

In 2011 things began to recover.MT/CT has changed other people’s lives we work with and do business with. Just learning the feedback model has kept many a direct out of the ditch. The skills we have learned at MT/CT are career changing and we found we retain employees not for money but for us!

In closing Christmas will be much different this year. I will be playing with the kids again now that business is running well and I paid cash for the gifts this year!

Our heartfelt thanks.

Conference Attendance Winner - Joel Bancroft-Connors

I was one of millions of the post-Lehman's recession lay-off victims lamenting the loss of a "safe job" with a "strong" company. And it was my own fault. I'd let myself become complacent and stuck in a rut that I was digging deeper every day. Left to my own devices I know I wouldn’t have gotten a new job before my pitifully small safety net ran out.

Enter Manger Tools. The podcasts spoke in terms I could relate to and use. In two months I’d already listened to three years’ worth of Manager and Career Tools. My understanding of work place completely changed as I integrated Mike and Mark’s teaching. This was great and uplifting but what about a job? I had a career changing interview scheduled with a solid company and the competition had the edge as I had never worked in that industry. I needed to be better. I couldn’t just settle for being the one-eyed man. I had to be the best and only choice.

I utilized the DISC tools I’d learned from Manager Tools, I did my homework, and I nailed the interview. Utilizing DISC, I was able to speak directly to the needs of the hiring team. I didn't just get the job, I got my career back.

Conference Attendance Winner - Nicholas Dominguez

After college, I chose to seek a career in international development by serving in the U.S. Peace Corps. While in Kenya, I was responsible for managing a local community group. Our group held the power to create prosperity or stagnation for the community we lived in. I dealt with local political pressure, a lack of basic education and resources, and a culture that questioned my motives for even arriving in the first place.

To say the least it was and always will be the most challenging and frustrating experience of my life. However, I did have one reassurance at the end of the day, that was your podcasts. I spent many of my evenings sitting in my candle lit home listening to your conversations. They comforted me, gave me a better understanding of how to accomplish my goals and taught me to embrace the reality I was in. Your casts kept me sane and reminded me that I wanted to become a good manager.

By the end of my service I had coached a local woman to start her own restaurant, led my team to triple in size and for the first time in our group’s decade long existence we created a continual source of income for their families. The experience was enlightening, terrifying, and everything in between but it eventually led me to the career path I am now on.

I owe you for helping me to make the most out of the greatest challenge of my life and for giving me the knowledge I needed to become the manager I want to be.

License Winner - Linda Morton

In 2005, when my husband, a bright high-tech engineer who was founder and Vice President of an award winning start-up, was diagnosed with cancer, our family's world collapsed. Within three months of diagnosis, he was dead. Our two high-school exchange students from Germany and Japan returned to their homes, one son left for college, and the other was sent to Kuwait. My vibrant life changed overnight, and I found myself shocked and alone.

After a long period of grieving, I decided, at age 50, to go back to a university in Oregon to finish my B.S. in Business Management and B.S. in Human Resources Management. Next, I went back to community college to take advanced credit courses in Excel, Publisher, Word, Access, Power Point and Outlook.

Then, I took an amazing class at Portland State University called "Best Practices in Japanese Management," taught by Norman Bodek. He discussed a method called "The Technique of 64" by Harada. The essence was to choose a profession, break the knowledge required into eight categories, and determine eight steps in each category to master to become an expert in your field.

One of my categories was management, and while I had read many books on theory, I needed scenarios using real life situations with responses detailed step-by-step. Many days I wished my husband could have shared his management techniques with me, but an internet search lead me to Manager Tools, and for two years I've been sharing Mike and Mark's wisdom with anyone who will listen. Manager Tools "Basics" gave me the confidence to talk with more authority in job interviews.

Management is not simply the art of managing down. Understanding how to manage up can allow you to create a relationship that produces effective results even when those above you are not competent to lead. Manager Tools volume of reference material goes beyond general discussions and explains "What to Do" and "How to Do It," and continues to enlighten me as I prepare to enter the work force.

I am eternally grateful to Mike and Mark for their thought-provoking "support" and for helping me realize the missing link. Because of your teachings, there are now better managers who champion, mentor, coach, understand their employees needs and personalities, and lead.

Thank you Mike and Mark.

License Winner - Matthew Lengerich

As a senior in high school I learned the value of a coach. Our swim coach would stand on the wall day after day, imploring me to work just that much harder, challenging me to remain focused, and assuring me that I would achieve my goals. I would swim faster than I thought possible that year, and within three years the school won its first swim title.

Like managing, swimming is not complicated. Its all about your willingness to keep your head down and stare at that black line longer than your competition. There is no complicated offense, no sophisticated defense. Just your determination and threshhold for pain.

Management is not unlike this, and MT had become my coach. Each week imploring me to stay focused, reminding me of the importance of the task, and assuring me the results I achieve will allow me to attain my goals. MT is a great coach, and the tools it provides are fantastic. I am absolutely confident that my performance has improved dramatically over the last four years with your coaching.

Like my high school swim coach, its easy to see how passionate you are about your work, and it shows in the results of the team. Thanks Mark and Mike.

Congratulations to all our winners. Your words, and those of all the entrants, touched us. It's a pleasure to serve you