The One-Bullet Manager


   Fourth in the Rampant House series of self-help books.


   Book 1. I'm OK, You're DOA

   Book 2. Winning Through Annihilation

   Book 3. What Color Are Your Guts?

   Book 4. The One-Bullet Manager

   Book 5. Intimidation; The Key to a Successful Relationship

   Book 6. Winner is All; Attila, Napoleon, Hitler, Hussein

   Book 7. The Myth of the Peace-seekers

   Book 8. Being Loved Isn't Everything; Its Nothing!

   Book 9. Keeping Your Family in Line


   Diogenes, despairing of the quest for an honest person,

   determined to search for the ideal manager. His journey took him

   to military war rooms, to corporation board rooms, to the seats

   of governmental powers, yes -- even to the Vatican! He met with

   "hard nosed results-oriented" managers, with "participative

   managers, with leaders who espoused theories of "X," "Y" and

   alphabet soup. Some were kind and good. Others were mean and

   evil. One was kind and evil! All succeeded for a time, but then

   stumbled and fell as events overtook them.  Diogenes was



   One day there came to Diogenes a report of a manager in a faraway

   land who had accomplished things too great to be believed. At the

   end of his rope, Diogenes traveled off to see him. At last he

   gained entrance to the man's office. He found him there, dressed

   in plain military fatigues, totally absorbed in the task of

   cleaning and reassembling an automatic pistol. Close by, an

   interpreter sat at rigid attention.


   The manager waved him to a small camp stool. "How can I help

   you," he asked through the interpreter.


   "I have a few question about your management style," Diogenes

   responded. The manager smiled, nodded, and said something in his

   language. The interpreter jumped about a foot, then gave the

   translation: "Shoot."


   "Do you schedule regular meetings with your staff?" ask Diogenes.




   "Can you tell me how these proceed?


   "Well," said the manager, fondling his pistol, "I listen

   carefully while my people review their accomplishments and

   setbacks of the previous week. I then evaluate everyone's

   performance based on the goals I have personally set. Then I

   select the poorest performer and shoot him."


   "You kill him?"


   "Of course," said the manager, with visible impatience. "Why else

   would I shoot him? Here, look at the sign on my desk."


   Diogenes looked at the sign, carved into a bone. It read:





   As he examined the sign, and reflected on its probable origin,

   the manager spoke again, "Let me ask you a question." Do you see

   that beam near the ceiling?" He pointed to a thick pole near the

   roof, about ten feet from the floor. Diogenes nodded his assent.


   "Do you think you could reach it if you jumped?" asked the

   manager. Diogenes, no athlete, badly out of shape from many years

   of wandering without proper attention to either diet or exercise,

   returned "I hardly think so."


   The manager pointed the pistol at Diogenes feet and fired; the

   next thing Diogenes knew he was swinging by his hands from the

   pole and staring at his right shoe, missing about 1/2 inch of its

   tip. The manager said nothing, but simply gazed at him.


   "I think I get your point," Diogenes panted, as he dropped back

   to the floor and sat back on the camp stool. "Now, would you

   describe yourself as a hands on manager?


   "Not at all," rejoined the manager. "More a hands up manager, or,

   the term I prefer, and my preferences seem to pretty much carry

   the day, a One-Bullet manager." I use that term because a bullet

   is the only thing I need to motivate my people and get results."


   "That's all?" questioned Diogenes, remembering the countless

   hours he had spent listening to other managers babble on about

   Productivity Analysis, Goal Formation, Authority Flow Structures,

   and such.


   "You don't believe me, do you?" declared the manager, again

   caressing the PISTOL.


   "I believe you, I BELIEVE YOU," exclaimed Diogenes.


   Just then a very nervous woman came in with a notebook. The

   manager spoke with her briefly; the interpreter did not

   translate. When the conversation terminated, the manager got up,

   went over to the woman, shook her hand enthusiastically and shot

   her in the foot. She hopped rapidly out the door, obviously

   making a great effort to avoid shrieking in pain, for the

   manager's shot had clearly removed a great deal more that the

   first 1/2 inch of her shoe. Diogenes, concerned, could not help

   exclaiming "What was that all about?"


   "That was a One-Bullet Goal Setting Meeting," the manager

   replied. I meet regularly with all of my staff and explain to

   them the goals I have set. Then I give them a reminder of the

   problem they will encounter if they fail to meet those goals.

   This One Bullet Goal Setting Meeting is one of my three secrets

   of my One Bullet Management Style"


   Diogenes, by this time having more curiosity than common sense

   remaining, could not help his next question. "What are the other

   two secrets?" Even as he asked, he felt great disquiet. Perhaps

   he had best go back for his search for an honest person!


   "Let me demonstrate," said the manager, and Diogenes began to

   feel even worse. Another staff member was summoned. He looked

   very frightened. The manager looked him in the eye, said a few

   stern-sounding words to him, put his arm around his shoulders,

   and shot him in the head.


   As the body was being carried out, the manager spoke. "When one

   of my staff fails to meet a goal, I make it a point to tell him

   right away. I call this, the second of my secrets, the One-Bullet



   Diogenes had the distinct feeling he ought to conclude his

   meeting as quickly as possible, but his philosophic curiosity

   impelled him to ask the obvious question, "And if someone does

   meet their goals?"


   "I'm glad you asked me that," returned the manager. "I have on my

   staff a real go-getter. He has what it takes to get the job done

   and move ahead."


   The man entering the room was confident, even cocky, holding his

   head high and smiling. The manager was smiling too, as he arose,

   went directly to the man, shook his hand vigorously, talked to

   him for a long time in earnest friendly tones, then shot him in

   the head.


   "That was my One-Bullet Praise," said the manager, returning to

   his desk and reloading the pistol. "I wanted him to know that I

   was aware how well he was doing and how close he was coming to be

   able to replace me!"


   The manager could see that Diogenes, although he had now been

   exposed to the three secrets of his management style, was still

   having trouble comprehending it. He felt sad. "You've seen my

   truth motto." Let me show you my philosophy motto. He handed

   Diogenes a second carved bone. It read:





   As he read the plaque, Diogenes reflected on the manager's

   unusual approach. Deep in thought, he failed to hear the soft

   click as the manager racked a fresh bullet into the chamber. "I

   am pleased that you're so interested in One-Bullet Management,"

   said the manager with great sincerity. But I fear your interest

   is somewhat too great... ."

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