Monday, April 07, 2014

The Kindness of Strangers . . .

As regular readers know, I posted that I recently had an interview at the Asan Institute for the position of chief editor but that I declined the honor due to my recognition of my own limitations as a man turning 57 next month . . . and aging fast! Some people, however, have more trust in me than I have in myself, e.g., Liberty Belle, who left this comment:
I think you'd be a fantastic editor, Jeffery. Every time you post writing advice, I print it out and refer to it often.
Yes, I'm good at advice on writing, but not so good at administrative duties, so Belle offered some advice:
Here's my half-cent's worth. Being an effective administrator is the same as being a good leader. Be fair and consistent. Set clear goals and expectations. Give concise directions, with clearly articulated timelines for completion and follow-up. Repeat, as necessary.
Good advice . . . but I'm not good at following this advice. Belle then added:
My main failing when I first supervised people was delegation -- I did too much of the work myself and didn't hold my folks accountable for not completing tasks. It's a learning curve and you're so talented at writing and editing that they'll be hard-pressed to find a better candidate.
I appreciated the exhortation, but replied:
Thanks, Belle, for the kind words. If I were 40 instead of [almost] 57 (and aging fast!), I'd perhaps take the job[, but] . . . . I've thought of someone more qualified and have recommended him.
I hope the man I've recommended gets the position . . . . Meanwhile, if I'm really "so talented at writing and editing," then more people ought to be reading this!

Belle isn't quite a stranger, by the way, for I've been reading her blog since she started it last year . . .

Labels: ,


At 1:55 AM, Anonymous libertybelle said...

I bought your book a while back Jeffery and read a few pages thus far. I will finish it, but I have this terrible habit of trying to read a dozen books at a time. This method used to work and I plowed through many books, but with working full-time and the other demands on my time it's taking me a long time to finish even one book. Thanks for reading my blog:-) You should write a collection of family stories from the Ozarks, because I love reading your Uncle Cran posts and stuff. from your childhood.

At 3:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

LB - While Jeff and I could tell you plenty of hay hauling, basketball playing, and general teenaged rowdiness stories from the Ozarks, neither of us have the current down home experiences or stories like Uncle Cran. I can tell you when I lived in Horseshoe Bend, which is about 20 miles from Salem, in the early 60's, I helped round up one of the last group/herd of wild horses living in the area.


At 4:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And, in a follow up to Jeff's interview, I agree with LB's assessment of key elements to being a good leader. My biggest issue was not being able to delegate, although that is one of the hard things to do, but it was learning how to "coach up" effectively. Sometimes it just does not work and someone has to be let go. Those conversations have not gotten any easier in my 15+ years of management.

Jeff - I personally think you would do just fine in an administrative role even at 57. A milestone I passed over a month ago!


At 4:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

should have "not not being able to delegate."

At 5:39 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Belle, reading my book is like reading several "dozen books at a time," so just drop all those others!

As for stories from my childhood, those sometimes evoked uncomfortable reactions from the other 'characters,' so I decided to spend my time in the safer pursuit of provoking Islamists instead.

Jeffery Hodges

* * *

At 5:42 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Early sixties, Jay? Were you already a cowboy at age six?

Jeffery Hodges

* * *

At 5:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes I was, but I was closer to 8 when the round up occurred. If you remember Claude Moser ran the riding stables at HB. We lived close to the stables and I spent practically all my time helping him and his step-sons, Randy(?) and Michael(?), for several summers. I think it was late 64 or Spring of 65 when we caught and tamed the wild horses. I think there were about 10 horses in all, and each of us got to pick one to keep, then the rest were sold.


At 9:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd "enjoy" Jeff a re-run of you telling how much you "enjoyed" changing that light-bulb down on the basement when, all the "others" were so similarly concerned with what was "apparently so obvious a lumen concern (obviously not but otherwise - entertaining to er, ... whatever available audience.

Not that that audience wouldn't enjoyed "Stir-Fried Professor Jeff with Noodles & Whatnot" otherwise - wouldn't have enjoyed such had they a clue - ... you'd be such a famous author from someplace nobody in the Ozarks has ever heard of.


At 10:15 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

I'd settle for being a widely read author from anyplace people might imagine I'm from . . .

Jeffery Hodges

* * *

At 10:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Yes I was, but I was closer to 8 when the round up occurred. If you remember Claude Moser ran the riding stables at HB."

That'd be Jeanie's Dad Jay you're so to referring? HB as you likely recall Jay was very complicated this or that way, ... my first "paying job" had me riding a bicycle to a slot-car place to ... nobody alive today would allow their kid to do such

"Ride a bicycle" wherevermost.

You'll Jay, nevertheless what I say, say - or extend - my "Best" to ... as I best recall the spelling, Necie I trust?


At 9:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That'd be Jeanie's Dad Jay you're so to referring?

Yes it would be, and I finally remembered the last name of the step-sons was Self.

The actual spelling is NESE and I will pass on your greeting to her. Of course that is hoping she will figure out who JK is from the dusty annals of her memory. She is a professor at Northwest Arkansas Community College in Bentonville. We actually work less than a half mile apart.



Post a Comment

<< Home