How to Publicly Criticize Your Employees, Phil Jackson Style

phil-jacksonPhil Jackson had some things to say about how the New York Knicks have been playing.

Unfortunately, he told the world about it on Twitter, like someone complaining about bad dinner service at a hotel restaurant (via NY Daily News):

Phil Jackson’s moves and Carmelo Anthony’s injury have left the Knicks without much of a chance to win many games for the remainder of the season, but that didn’t stop the Zen Master from expressing his displeasure following Sunday’s 101-83 loss to the Cavaliers.

“Each NBA game is an opportunity for players to show their “best” nature and please the basketball gods…and those who know what “It takes,”” Jackson tweeted Sunday night on his @philjackson11 account. “Today’s game vs Cavs gave bb gods heartburn and those that know what “it” takes/means a smh.”

The Knicks are a bad basketball team, approximately a lifetime away from .500, and one of the worst teams in a league where the Philadelphia 76ers look like some of the NBA Summer League rosters we saw in Vegas.

Of course, Jackson knows this. He’s the president of the Knicks and has been instrumental in ensuring that this would be a miserable season for the Madison Square Garden faithful. It may be with a plan in mind — after all, the Knicks weren’t title-bound before Jackson showed up — but they were going to be a bad team that is going to occasionally show some flashes of listlessness. An 82 game grind of a season on a crappy team will do that to even some of the most professional players.

Maybe Jackson expects better energy from the players on his team. Maybe he is trying to get in somebody’s head. Either way, the choice of venue for his comments are distracting for a team and reminds me of some of the young managers I’ve dealt with who didn’t know how and when to criticize their employees. One of them made it a habit of doing it at a regular Monday meeting in front of everyone. There wasn’t enough coffee in the world to deal with a Monday like that.

For Phil Jackson truthers and believers, they’ll tell us, “He knows what he is doing. He knows how to motivate people. He knows when to take something public and when to keep it in house.”

To that, I say okay. Great. But just because it worked for Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant doesn’t mean it’ll work for this band of not so great players (and a currently shut down Carmelo Anthony).

Ranking Posts by @SteveBoese, Ranked

Occasionally, my friend and 8 man rotation compatriot Steve Boese writes a post ranking certain aspects of life with minimal explanation. Today, I rank those posts from best to worst.

1. Rob Lowes

2. Months

3. Basketball Shots

4. Store Bought Cookies

5. Grunge Songs

6. Ways to Contact Steve

7. Classic Toys

8. Getting Hit by a Bus

9. Getting Hit by Another Bus

10. Getting Hit by, Somehow, Yet Another Bus

11. Breakfast Cereals

“I’m Busy”

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A lot of conversations these days start off the same way.

Me: Hey, how’s it going?

Them: Good. Really busy. You?

Me: Same.

Over and over again it goes. I’m busy. I’m writing a lot — for work most of the time, not for myself. When I get to the end of my day, I don’t necessarily want to spend time in front of the computer again.

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Announcing The 8 Man Rotation – 2014 Edition

It’s a big day. The 2014 edition of The 8 Man Rotation is out! You can read it over at The 8 Man Rotation site or below.

Big thanks as always goes to the professor, Matthew Stollak, for compiling the ebook for the group for a fifth year and a shoutout to Paul Hebert for writing this year’s foreword.

This year’s version of the ebook has to be one of the most solid since I officially posted as little as I ever have in the last eight years of writing. That’s a problem that will be resolved soon, trust me. For now, you can get your fill of Steve Boese, Kris Dunn, Tim Sackett, Matthew Stollak, and myself in ebook form. Enjoy!

Thoughts on #Ubergate

The media is up in arms over Uber because they threatened to dig up dirt on the personal lives of people in the media who don’t write nice things about them. They aren’t taking it lying down, either. They are deleting the app everyone! I repeat: THEY ARE DELETING THE APP. That’s as severe as it gets for tech journos.

Now, the real reason they are deleting the app is because intimidating the press is a shitty thing to do. That’s reason enough. Even though some media outlets do dig into the personal lives of tech executives (ahem, Valleywag), most don’t — at least proactively.

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The Writings of Margaret Walden Haun

Margaret Haun was my great-grandmother. Born in 1909, she died in 2000 and she was a fairly prolific writer, especially in the latter part of her life. I’ve been trying to collect some of her works but they are scattered across many different publications. She submitted to magazines and journals and from what I can find, wrote mainly in the 1970s and 1980s. It’s lovely storytelling that conjures sweet memories of our visits.

She did most of her writing for publication from her place in Santa Cruz, California so I’ve been able to find a few references to pieces from the Santa Cruz Sentinel.

I’m putting this out there in hopes that someone else researching her writings can help fill in some missing pieces.If you have any other works I missed, please email me at lance@lancehaun.com.

Luckily, some of her writings have been digitized. The Christian Science Monitor and LDS.org have been extremely helpful. I am including some excerpts and links below.

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Legacy

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It’s 5:45 in the morning and I’m up, looking out the window. The dawn is starting to break on the familiar hill above the farm. The sunlight is filtering through clouds and trees, onto a dew-covered pasture littered with cows and their calves.

The upstairs is a little cold, but I can smell the coffee and conversation coming from downstairs. I walk into the kitchen bleary-eyed to see my grandpa in his chair, drinking coffee while talking to grandma. She’s cooking eggs, bacon, and toast. I get brought into the conversation immediately, sitting on grandpa’s lap, telling him an important story about something only a seven year old (and, apparently, a 65 year old) would care about.

Days like that were made for my grandpa, Lawrence D. Shinn, who left this world at 90 years young just a week and a half ago.

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Four Months

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Dear Elida,

We’re four months into our journey together in parenthood. Everything that everyone told us about it is true, too.

  • Babies don’t sleep well
  • Babies need things
  • Babies are disgusting

So…

  • I don’t sleep well
  • I don’t get things
  • I get to clean up disgusting things

All of the good things are true, too. I mean, look at that picture of you. That’s what I wake up to at 5:00 am. That gives me the energy necessary to brew my first pot of coffee. Everything takes care of itself after that.

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Fighting the Parent-Industrial Complex

I’m not joking when I tell you I didn’t read any parenting book or blog before our little girl arrived four months ago.  It’s not because I thought I knew better than the countless parents that have written about parenting. I have no idea what I’m doing, just like the rest of you guys.

Given my wife’s penchant for research and reading, she probably read a lot more than me. I just took the approach of, “Well, if we get stuck, we’ll Google it or call a doctor.”

In the first few weeks, I was trying to get my wife some sleep and trying to get our little girl sleeping for longer periods of time. It was 1:00 am and I thought, “Oh, let me Google that.”

What a mistake.

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