Everything I need to know about people management I learned from M

A while back I was editing my annual business goals, the benchmark against which I am evaluated at the end of the year. Coincidentally my wife and I and some friends were also watching the latest Bond flick, Quantum of Solace.

Turns out there is a ton of great management advice sprinkled in between the car chases, gun fights, and general tuxedo-style bad-assery. Nearly all of these are said by Judi Dench’s icy Q M*.

How to tell someone that they may be laid off

“I need to know that I can trust you.”

How to give someone the appearance of a last chance even though in your mind you’ve already laid them off

“I need to know you’re on the team. I need to know you value your career.”

How to answer a phone with confidence

“What is it?”

How to delegate

When asked for something have an assistant say on your behalf “Not in the mood.”

How to motivate

“Impress me.”

How to deal with competitors

Ask “Is he one of ours?” If he is not, say “Then he shouldn’t be looking at me.”

How to compliment a colleague

“There is something horribly efficient about you.”

How to deal with government “regulation”

“I don’t give a shit about the CIA.”

How to deal with an over-eager assistant

“[I need] nothing, go away.”

How to end a conversation

Calmly interject “Quiet,” then walk away.

* Update: Wasn’t minding my P’s and Q’s and got M’s code name wrong in the original of this post. Sorry, Bond nerds!

3 Responses to “Everything I need to know about people management I learned from M”

  1. Brian says :

    Dude, she’s “M”. The gadget guy is “Q”.
    You need to pay more attention to what she’s teaching you, I think.

  2. Jackie P says :

    Love the last one. I fantasize about that all the time. All. The. Time. How else are people going to learn they really aren’t that important to me?

  3. grondo says :

    Oliv’s Russian dance teacher Altin signals the end of class by saying, “Get out”.