Challenge: 5 Things You'd Say To Managers

The Happy Employee Companion Page


The Challenge

 Lets assume you're dying. You can say 5 things to the (people) managers in your company. What would you say?

I sent a challenge to my favorite HR Bloggers and will add their answers here. 

Background information

Phil Gergyshak posted an article on Slacker Manager called 5 Things to say at your last team meeting. Phil mentions 5 things he would say if he knew it was his last team meeting. It's inspired by the story of Randy Pausch, a 47 year old professor holding his last lecture while dying of pancreatic cancer.

David Zinger followed up with The last 5 management Zingers. The last things he would say to other managers.

I first read about this on the HR Wench's blog where she posted her own "5 Things". This gave me the idea to turn it into a challenge.

Below is the glorious collection of "5 Things":

The Definite: Phil Gergyshak

  1. Play inside your strengths zone, and keep making those strengths stronger.
  2. If you’re not enjoying what you’re doing most of the time, quit and find a new job!
  3. Be loyal to people, not to companies.
  4. Never stop learning.
  5. Leave work at work whenever you can.

The Definite: David Zinger

  1. People are people not human resources.
  2. Be strong.
  3. Plan and improvise.
  4. Let me level with you, you can’t do this alone.
  5. Live now.

The Definite: HR Wench

  1. Quit your bellyaching and have those difficult conversations.
  2. If your employees fail that means YOU fail.
  3. Leadership is service.
  4. Focus on the solution.
  5. Remember, I'll be watching. 

The Definite: Wally Bock

If you would manage well,

  1. ...remember you have two jobs. Accomplish your mission through your group. And care for your people.
  2. up a lot. 
  3. ...make communication your watchword.
  4. ...remember that there are no magic spells or incantations.
  5. feed your people on the manna of praise and recognition.

The Definitive: Liz Williams

  1. Get more sleep
  2. Get more help, especially when you’re overwhelmed
  3. Have more fun
  4. Make appreciation a habit
  5. Leave room for other’s to add their thoughts

The Definitive: Ask A Manager

  1. Look for trouble
  2. Do what you say you're going to do, by when you say you're going to do it, or update people accordingly
  3. Ask for help when you need it
  4. Be honest with your staff about the hard things
  5. You can't give too much positive feedback, as long as it's sincere.

The Definitive: The Employment File


  1. Management = Leader = Doing more/better than others
  2. Acknowledge your faults and seek to improve upon them
  3. Connect with your employees and peers
  4. Don’t let the title go to your head

The Definitive #2: The Employment File


  1. Be a role model
  2. Inspire your people everyday
  3. Challenge your people, your process, yourself everyday
  4. Teach your people
  5. Always say thank you to those who do their best to help you win

The Definitive: J.T. O'Donnell

  1. Ask, don’t tell.
  2. Employees hear what they see.
  3. Generational differences are important to understand.
  4. Employees act entitled when they are encouraged to do so.
  5. If you don’t love being a parent on-the-job, then get out of management - now! 


The Definitive: Flip Chart Fairy Tales

  1. Know yourself.
  2. Watch and Listen.
  3. Trust your intuition.
  4. Look at what people do, as well as what they say.
  5. Don’t neglect your own development.
  6. Be visible.