Manager Training Manual – Part I, On Human Nature

Summary: Manual for Alive Juice Bar managers.    

I. Imitate the best. Treat employees and customers as they treat(ed) theirs.
a. Examples: Marco Pierre White; Charlie Trotter; Thomas Keller; David Chang

b. The best (from all fields) study and work with human nature.  They’re realists about themselves and other people.

II. Recognize human nature.
a. People don’t change, even if they want to change. Personality is set by ~ age 6; habits by ~ 18; character by ~30. Growing wiser isn’t the same as changing.

b. People can change temporarily.  They revert back to their true (baseline) selves when overwhelmed or when they think they can get away with it.

c. People will deceive themselves and others to protect their identity.

d. People will rage against those who challenge their identity

e. Despite the self-deception, deep down people know who they really are, their proper place in society, and what’s really going on within and around them.

III. Work with human nature
a. Don’t try to change a person’s sense of self. Never try to beat self-deception. Let it be, work with it.

b. When trying to change behavior, focus on one or two at a time, and make it stick with repetition.  Don’t overwhelm someone by pointing out all mistakes.  Change is painful work.

c. Telling and showing someone how to do something and watching them do it correctly once isn’t enough.  Mastery and change requires repetition.  Drill the person — repetition —  you’re training. Create a habit so they don’t have to think about what they’re doing. Don’t give someone the option to take short-cuts, to be lazy.

d. People revert back to their true state when overwhelmed by the difficulties of life. Prevent reversion by slowly increasing amount of stress one can handle.  Tolerance for stress is a muscle that can grow stronger with training.

e. Once someone reverts back to their baseline state, they have to be retrained, just as with addicts.

f. People are more likely to do what you want them to do if they think it benefits them.

IV Manage Human Nature
a. People are contagious.  We’ll keep one emotionally disturbed knucklehead around. Any more and everyone gets infected.

b. People are contagious.  Note the company an employee spends most time with.  Wrong crowd means it’s time to get rid of her.

c. People are contagious.  Push employees to make progress in their lives, to strive for new achievements.  It’ll energize the crew and customers.

d. Mindset and attitude are more important than technical skills.  People don’t change, you can’t change someone’s mindset and attitude, you can’t make someone coachable.  But it’s easy to teach someone who is coachable new technical skills.  That’s why Charlie Trotter hired those without restaurant experience.

e. Trust your guts, never your heart.  Your gut is the subconscious processing reality, often into uncomfortable truths about yourself and others. Your heart tells you what you want to hear, which is rarely the truth.

f. Use fear to manage employees and customers.  If there’s no fear, there’s no respect.  If there’s no respect, there’s no love.

1. What should Mother say to get her son to eat something he doesn’t want?
a. Drink that kale smoothie or I’ll kick your ass.
b. Drink that kale smoothie if  you want to grow a nine inch cock and find a girlfriend who’ll ride it.
c. Baby, drink that kale smoothie, it’s good for you, do it for mommy, ok?

2. Daughter wants a car.  How should she ask her parents?
a. I got straight As, I deserve a car.
b. Mom, buy me a car or I’m telling Dad you’ve been fucking Uncle Burt.
c. If you buy me a car, I’ll drive you home when you get wasted, like you do every weekend.  It’ll cost less than a DUI lawyer and increased insurance rate.

3. A woman most consider beautiful thinks of herself as ugly.  Which comment makes her feel best?
a. You’re not ugly, you’re gorgeous.
b. You need to lose some weight.
c. Anyone who thinks you’re ugly is a fool.

4. Which 6 year old is most likely to become a serial killer?  
a. The one who gets bitch slapped for getting a B
b. The one who tortures animals for fun.
c. The boy who is forced to dress like a girl by his sisters.

5. Which teenager is most likely to become CEO of a publicly traded company?
a. The drug dealer who also prints counterfeit money and routinely breaks into cars to take on joy ride.
b. The A student and winner of “Best Citizen Award” who goes on to major in Computer Science at MIT
c. The All-State athlete who goes on to star at D-1 level.

6. How do you motivate someone who is self-driven?
a. Be encouraging, tell her how awesome she is.
b. Be supportive, ask him if there’s anything you can do to help.
c. Go drill sergeant on him, tell him to stop acting like a stupid, lazy, cunt.

7. How do you get someone who is lazy and has high self-esteem to fix a mistake?
a. Feed her bullshit sandwich — compliment followed by criticism followed by a compliment.
b. Go drill sergeant on him, tell him to stop acting like a stupid, lazy, cunt.
c. Be encouraging, tell her how awesome she is.

8. An employee leaves sharp knives in soapy water.  What should you say to her?
a. Please don’t do that again, it’s dangerous, someone can get hurt.
b. If you’re being sadistic and want to see blood, fine.  If not, you’re a self-absorbed knucklehead.
c. Do that again and I’ll kill you with the knife I find in the water.

1. b (Always appeal to another’s self-interest)
2. c (Always appeal to another’s self-interest)
3. b (People enjoy hearing that which confirms their sense of self)
4. b (Habits don’t change)
5. a (CEOs are conscientious rule breakers and problem solvers; habits don’t change)
6. c (Many highly motivated people feel inadequate; confirms sense of self)
7. a (Those with inflated self-esteem are easily hurt and need much affirmation to prevent depression and anxiety)
8. b (We don’t punish someone for being intentional, even if intention is sadism; we punish self-absorbed and inconsiderate behavior).

Next section will be on How to Detect Bullshit.

Suggested Readings:
48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene
The 50th Law by Robert Greene and 50 Cent
The Prince by Nicolo Machiavelli
The Republic by Plato


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