Two guys walk into a room full of managers. They spread out between them a large, white bedsheet. In the far upper right corner of this huge, king-size sheet is a tiny little red dot, like a sharpie was touched to the sheet for a few seconds.

The two guys asked the room full of people, "What do you see?" The managers yelled back:


The two guys laughed and said, "What about the rest of the sheet?" The managers were quiet.

"So the red dot deserves comment and is all you can see. But the rest of the bed sheet, the part that is going right, you cannot see because you are trained to see exceptions."

The managers were surprised by how easily they were taken in by this example.

We are managers. We are trained to see exceptions. But to be great managers, we must rise above our basest instincts and find it within ourselves to catch people doing things right.

Mike and Mark encourage managers to give 9 positive feedbacks for every 1 adjusting. They recommend 60 days of relationship building before the first adjusting remark. They admonish us to focus on behavior, not let perfect be the enemy of the good, and to allow our people to succeed, because our people do succeed. We don't want to stamp out what is good with our desire to be correct, more smart, more witty, more clever, or simply mean and criticizing.

We want our people to flourish under the sunlight of someone who sees that 99% of everything is going just fine. We don't raise our voices. We don't publicly criticize our directs or peers...

See the bedsheet, not the red dot.

Mike - thank you for your hard work. You did a great job deploying the site, and I think it is brilliant.

Thank you for what you have done for me and so many others. Good job. Keep it up!

-Rob Redmond

Anandha's picture
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I second that. Thanks for making the site easier to use. Time and money well spent.


stephenbooth_uk's picture

Thanks for all the effort on the site, the podcasts and everything.

One thing that I'd particularly like to recognise, that doesn't seem to ever get mentioned (unless I missed the mention), is the sound quality of the casts. Seriously. I also listen to a number of other casts, many backed by organisations media organisations (who you might think may understand about delivering to an audience). With the exception of the BBC, the sound quality of those casts is very poor. Some sound like they have been recorded over a bad phone line, others like the speaker is lying in a bath tub. Strangely the advertisements included in these casts tend to be quite clear. The MT (and BBC) casts are crystal clear throughout (and advert free), and have been from the start. The sound quality of the MT casts was good to start off with and has just gotten better over the years.

Prima facie this might not seem all that important, surely it's the content we're after (and some of the content of those casts is good). Unfortunately the sound quality is so poor on many of these casts that they are very difficult to listen to and often require several re-listens or skipping back and forth to get the content. This makes it hard to absorb the information and therefore get the full benefit of the casts. It also causes a degree of doubt as to the professionalism of the podcasters. Poor sound quality in a podcast is, in my opinion, akin to delivering a presentation in a mumble wearing ripped jeans and a food stained t-shirt. Whatever you're saying I can't hear and anyhow I'm thinking about your t-shirt. A good message poorly delivered is a message not delivered (I think I may be quoting or paraphrasing Mark there).

So, congratulations and thanks to Mike and Mark for producing not only great content but also making it clear and easy to listen to.


jhack's picture


Thanks for posting this. Amen.

Stephen's right: it's very easy to be a critic, and to overlook all the good stuff.

The "Recent Forum Activity" has really improved my experience of the site, for example.

Thanks all,