Belinda Says Hay: “Leadership Training”

belinda says hay leadership training


Hello. It’s Belinda.

While my elbow was healing I had to stay in the sick pen. Which wasn’t so good for my emotional health, if you want to know the truth. Cooped up for 10 days when I’m supposed to be managing Abigail, my new employee.

And I’m already running into a snag with that because Abigail is on “California time.” I keep scheduling her for meetings and she doesn’t show up until hours later because I can’t do the math.

One day last week she woke up at 3 o’clock in the morning to dial in because that’s what I put on the calendar. I felt terrible.

My roommate said I should use the days in the sick pen to “bone up” on management and leadership topics. I just ignored her. Not in the mood for puns or self-help nonsense.

But then she gave me a book by one of the greats.  Maybe you’ve heard of him.

“Dale Carnegie.”

He’s a big deal here in Pittsburgh. There’s a library named after him, and a museum. A science center and half a university. Even a town.

All because he made a lot of money running steel mills. Plus he somehow found time to write a book called “How to Win Friends and Influence People.”

I figured if he could do all of that, I should read what he taught about how to be a good leader. So I skipped to the part where he lists the tips and tricks.

Here are just a few:

 “Call attention to people's mistakes indirectly.“ 

“Talk about your own mistakes before criticizing the other person.”

“Ask questions instead of giving direct orders.“

“Make the other person happy about doing what you suggest.“

At this point I stopped reading.

From what I could tell, Dale Carnegie might know how to run steel mills but he has no idea what I’m up against. Not a single one of his tips is going to make “11 a.m.” mean the same thing to everybody, like it did in the old days.

I know my roommate was only trying to help by lending that book to me. But next time I’ll say no thank you. And here’s why.

The next day, she was sweeping the sick pen when she found my notes about steel mills.

“Belinda, you work for a hay company. Why are you researching the steel industry?”

I pretended to be asleep.

Then I heard the broom smack into “How to Win Friends and Influence People.” She stopped sweeping and turned to look at me.

“Belinda. Did you think Dale Carnegie owned steel mills?”

If she could just stay out of my work papers.

Then she laughed and said that was Andrew. “Andrew Carnegie.” He’s the one with all the museums and plaques.

So there you go.

Obviously I need to track down books by Andrew Carnegie. Might take an Uber to his library.

In the meantime, I know someone who should brush up on “how to win friends.”

Sincerely,

Belinda

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