Light Reading…

In the last few months, I have been devouring books on management, leadership, success, and balance. This blog entry is to post some of the passages I’ve highlighted.


“Right or wrong, we live in a society where we don’t like men who act like women and we don’t like women who act like men.”

“Stop volunteering for low-profile, low-impact assignments. If necessary, sit on your hand rather than raise it.”

“Promotions are rewards for getting the job done, not necessarily doing the job.” 

“People do not know and judge us by our intentions; they know and judge us by our actions.”

“Define your work hours and stick with them. Remember Parkinson’s Law: “Work expands to fill the time available.” This isn’t to say there won’t be times when you must work overtime, but if you’re consistently the last one left at the office, there’s something wrong with that picture.”

THE ONE THING by Gary W. Keller and Jay Papasan

“The toughest part is navigating a high-level request. How do you say no to anyone important—your boss, a key client, your mom—who asks you to do something with a high sense of urgency? One way is to say yes and then ask, “If I have that done by [a specific time in the future], would that work?” Most often, these requests are more about an immediate need to hand a task off than about a need for it to be done immediately, so the requester usually just wants to know it will get done. Sometimes the request is real, needs to be done now, and you must drop what you’re doing and do it.”


“Yet in spite of that studied consensus, the world is overflowing with managers who embrace the worst and ignore the best.”

“He had been as tough as anyone I’d ever seen…the expectations were incredible. As our time together got longer, he got softer. And the lesson I took from that is you can never be soft in the early stage, and then turn hard. But you can always be a high-demand leader, and then over time…soften your approach.”

“It is being visible when things are going awry, and invisible when they are working well.”

“I don’t want planning,” he’d lecture them. “I want plans.”

“I encourage them to raise their hands, to be seen, to make a statement. I tell them, “If GE can’t be the place where you can get rid of that victim feeling, go somewhere else.” And we try to weed out the managers who make employees feel like victims, the managers who lose staff all the time.”

“Critics say forced rankings of employees undermines teamwork. It encourages employees to engage in destructive and wasteful game playing designed to ensure they get credit, or others don’t.”


Author: Crystal Marks

Crystal Marks is an Enterprise Systems Manager in DFW. She holds VCP6-DCV and MCSA certifications and regularly attends tech conferences in the United States. In 15 years as a woman in IT she has worked to break down barriers and enabled women to enter technical fields through mentoring, volunteering IT skills to non-profits, speaking at conferences, networking with Fortune 500 companies, leading women’s groups, and continuing her passion for learning and teaching. Companies that she has worked for include Dell, Abn Amro, Stream International, Transplace, and Heartland Payment Systems. Her current position is at an entertainment powerhouse that is family-operated and sets the bar for giving back, volunteering, and engaging their fans and community. Look for Crystal on your agenda at VeeamOn, VMWorld, Microsoft Ignite, and HP Discover meetings throughout the year. Crystal is a graduate of The Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science (TAMS) at the University of North Texas. TAMS is a unique residential program for high school-aged Texas students who are high achievers in mathematics and science. She continued her education at the University of North Texas while working as an Astronomy teacher before jumping into her IT career.

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