“Not all change is progress, but all progress requires change” – Stuart Jenkins
Stuart Jenkins introduced me to LinkedIn.
I received my first “invitation to connect” back in late 2007, and it came from him. In a way, he is responsible for me growing two businesses, speaking all over the world about LinkedIn, and writing two LinkedIn books.
He was my first mentor in life and business, and every time I talk with him I feel like I should be taking notes.
A story teller by nature, he seems to know how to share the right stories sprinkled with common sense to produce profound “Ah Ha” ideas that leave me gasping for more. It’s no wonder he has invented a number of the technologies, was Chairman of an educational institution from pre-school to college, and is now Vice President Of Business Development at Deckers Outdoor Corp. Stock Symbol DECK, makers of the footwear brands Ugg, Teva, Simple, Tsubo, Ahnu and MOZO (oh, and he also qualified for the Olympic trials as a marathon runner on the side).
He’s the real deal when it comes to understanding technology, managing people, and growing a business.
Creating A User Guide
When you enter a new situation with people you have never met or worked with, why not let them know up front what you are all about?
Why allow for confusion in communication to occur when you can give your self a better chance of running a smoother operation?
Often times we skip this part when we hire someone new, bring on a VA, or get a new job ourselves. We don’t share enough about ourselves to help others work with us at optimal efficiency.
Here is an example of the exact user guide Stuart created back in 2008.
DATE: June 2008
FROM: Stuart Jenkins
I thought it might be helpful to give those who I will be working
with a quick reference guide to how I manage. If you have
any questions or would like to discuss this further, feel free to
MY GOAL: “I’m consistent: I treat everybody differently.” I
hope to achieve this!
ENVIRONMENT: Work should be done with alacrity while
remembering that individuals and families are at the heart of
why we come to work. We won’t be successful unless each
individual is fulfilled in his or her work.
MY STYLE: “Management By Wandering Around.” I will be
out and about asking questions and following up on requests.
Expect to see me in your office.
I am most effective as an auditory learner. This is because when
I hear something, I am able to recall it with much more detail for
long periods of time. I will read reports, but I prefer to get key
data verbally and then read it as a follow-up.
Reports should be summarized at the top in bullet-point format,
so I can quickly assess the topics and issues.
Humor is an important part of my style, and I will be prepared to
laugh. I have a dry sense of humor and sometimes people can’t
tell if I am joking or serious. If you can’t tell please ask!
GO DIRECT: This is my natural personal and business
approach to issues. I also expect the team to “go direct”, to one
another and to me.
SPEAK UP: Don’t carry something around for days and days.
If it is important to you, it will be important to me. Don’t wait
to be asked; share it!
DECISIONS: Making decisions in a timely manner is a key
I delegate liberally – if a person is tasked with a job, they will be
tasked with the responsibility for doing the job. I will not micro
manage, but I check results. I do not delegate final decision-
making. I want to be involved in the final decision-making
When you disagree with a decision, I expect to know that you
disagree and why. But I also expect you to support the decision
wholeheartedly, once it has been made.
Presenting Problems or Challenges: This will be important,
and I want these issues brought forward. When a challenge is
presented, bring along several solutions, one of which does not
include spending more money.
My approach to solving challenges is question centered. These
questions are intended to identify and define the problem and
find all the options available to solve the problem.
CONFIDENTIALITY: Confidentiality means that if you tell
me not to tell anyone, then I will not tell anyone, not even my
spouse. I expect the same from you.
I do not expect to hear my comments to this team being quoted
by others outside of the team. Please do not quote me or share
my opinion on a topic with others; that is my responsibility.
ANONYMOUS COMMUNICATION: I will not read or
respond in any manner to unsigned or anonymous letters,
comments, and suggestions. I view anonymous communications
as dishonest and lacking moral courage.
MEETINGS: I prefer meetings scheduled for the amount
of work that is needed in order to complete the work, not
by blocking out set amounts of time. Meetings will start on
schedule and will end when the subject has been covered
IMPROVEMENT: An outstanding Coach was right when he
said in order to improve a skill: “Observe others, do it, and get
criticism/coaching”. I want to improve my management and
team skills daily, so I’m counting on you to give me coaching,
criticism and feedback.
If you have any criticism of my approach, conduct, job
performance etc., I expect to hear about it from you personally
and directly. I do want to hear it!
Winning: My definition of “winning” is that everyone wins:
employees, investors, customers, and suppliers. This is
achievable but can be achieved only if we strive for it as a team.
WATCH OUT FOR THESE: I tend to multi-task and this can
be disconcerting to people who come into my office. Call me on
it if you think I am not listening.
I tend to give verbal instructions; at times you may need to push
me to give you more depth or background.
I move through items quickly, and this can seem or even be
abrupt. It is something I need to improve on; don’t let me get
away with it!
Be prepared for ranch, running and animal analogies.
A Favorite Quote: “Who cares if the horses are blind just load
I recommend creating your own personal user guide for your teammates at work or in your business as seeing if this is something that helps out.
Feel free to keep it simple and use Stuart’s user guide as a blueprint for you as I’m sure he won’t mind.
Just make sure to repay him the favor as he did with me and send him an invitation to connect on LinkedIn here.
What’s your thoughts on having a personal user guide for your business? Does it make sense to you or not something you find necessary? Please add your thoughts in the comments section below.
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