My dearest family, frenemies and fellow felines,
As you know, I’ve managed the day-to-day operations at MBB and Tabs the Cat Industries LLC for nearly a decade, and in that time I’ve discovered many effective ways to motivate and manage my employees, all of which I’ll be sharing with the world in my upcoming book, 7 Habits of Highly Effective Feline Managers.
Here’s an excerpt from the book, which will be published by Random House in May 2017. As my most beloved fans, I wanted you to get the first glimpse of the greatness.
1. Inspire by example
I firmly believe in leading by example. If you want your employees to be fabulous, you must be fabulous yourself. Don’t come to work looking sloppy and unkempt, like some ragamuffin kitty who just walked in from a street brawl, and expect your employees to take you seriously. Get your fur done. Visit the claw salon on a weekly basis. If your business has a formal dress code, wear a tie.
2. Track productivity
Not to say that you need to track every move your employees make, but I do find it valuable to hold my staff accountable for every minute of every day, just so that I know they’re keeping up with their assigned duties. Some cats install camera systems, which are effective, but I’m old school. I prefer to follow my employees from room to room, thereby sending the message that the boss is always watching.
3. Set expectations
It’s important to establish boundaries in the workplace and clearly define what is and isn’t acceptable behavior. For example, I had an employee — let’s call her “Sharon” — refuse to give me a full-body massage once because she was allegedly “too busy,” so I immediately swatted her with my paw, climbed up on her chest and demanded a deep-tissue massage right then and there. Sharon hasn’t refused a rub-down request since.
4. Rewards for a job well done
Discipline is one thing, but you don’t have to create a corporate culture of fear in order to have effective employees. Establish a rewards system to bring out their best. I offer Christmas bonuses — typically a bird I’ve caught or a framed picture of myself — to incentivize my staff to aim high.
5. Know when to say when
For successful cats like myself, there’s the temptation to keep working until your tail falls off, but this is not the way to go if you want long-term success as a feline manager. You have to know when to draw the line. Self-care is important, and my general guideline is to take at least six naps a day, at a minimum.
6. Network, network, network
Mix and mingle with fellow feline managers, and get to know who’s who in your business community. That way, if an issue arises that you can’t immediately solve in-house, you have a network of similarly-minded managers you can turn to for advice.
I set up a casual round-table for the feline managers in my network, and we meet once a month by the catnip shrub in my front yard to trade stories and talk shop.
7. Keep your eyes on the horizon
Yes, you’re a successful cat manager now, but where would you like to be in two years? Would you like to be managing a larger company? With every move you make in your purr-fessional life, it’s important to keep your overall strategic goals in mind.
Hold your tail high, my friend, because you’re on your way to even greater success!
Your friendly neighborhood beauty addicts,
Tabs and Karen