Managing Yo-Yo Style

Does being managed by others smack more of "Survivor" than Stephen Covey for you? Could there BE any more management styles out there-have you gotten to experience all of them yet? And what kind of manager are you-or should you try to be?

If you're reading this, you're probably familiar with too many types of management and leadership styles-more flavors than months, for the most part. On the leadership, not so much. I offer to you now an additional insight into a newly designated style that you will recognize, and may even find funny. Or not, depending on life at work.

And speaking of life at work, what could be more fun than children's toys at work? How about just the thought of them? No, wait-how about BEING them?

Before I go on, I must tell you I am at work on a book on management styles, because we definitely need more fun at work, but this type of "leadership" stands alone, and was recognized and developed by a colleague and myself, with one disclaimer only: No alcoholic beverages were consumed in the making of this theory!

Now back to our theory, which shall be forever called The Yo-Yo Style of Management?-which by the way, does not involve cellos or classical music. It is purely and simply based upon that amazing device that delights and mystifies one and all-the yo-yo.

Three Rules

There are only three rules in The Yo-Yo Style of Management:

1. You are the Yo-Yo

2. You are the Finger

3. You are the String

Let's look at these components:

1. You are the Yo-Yo-this means that you are the doer, the impacter, the thing that moves. It also means you are probably pretty low on the corporate food chain. In other words, you are done to.

2. You are the Finger-now here's where the power is! By mere pointing (either a true gesture or metaphorically), you control the yo-yo(s). All of them. Imagine the power of watching multiple yo-yos fly! You became an executive for precisely this purpose. Skill is a necessity-if you have it, great. If you don't, well, that's the String's failing. Of course, you can be the Finger at any level of the organization, as long as there are at least two levels "beneath" you. You know your place-and theirs.

3. You are the String-well, this means you are in middle (high or low middle, depending on how flat your organizational structure is) management, and you are conveying the Finger's commands. High, Low, Walk the Dog, Around the World! (That's for all you road warriors and commanders out there). You are a CONNECTOR, and hopefully a skilled one at that. You get things done, and MOVE those yo-yos, while making the Finger proud. On the other hand (or is it Finger?) lackluster Strings drop a lot of yo-yos. Be a STRONG String!

Yo-Yoing your way to the simple life

Now that this theory has been defined for you, could life BE any simpler? Because you can apply the Yo-Yo Style of Management? to personal life, too. In which case, it becomes more of a principle. (And if you want to have any type of relationship, you may want to go light on the Management.)

Do you realize how simple your life at work will be now that you know this theory? Now that you know what you want, are you ready to put your best efforts into your current position, and then, and only then, determine what you must Yo-Yo for? You can even be all three-Yo-Yo, Finger, and String-all at the same time, with only one caveat: Keep in mind that to become a national champion, you must practice, practice, practice! And then, maybe, just maybe, you can BE the Finger. Can you feel it?

You can? Good! It's as simple as Rocking the Baby.

© JoAnne Scalise

JoAnne Scalise has served in multiple levels of healthcare and business management at local and national corporate levels, and has gotten to play at all aspects of the yo-yo as a healthcare professional in both hospitals and national organizations. Her goal, as was that of a mentor, is "Work has to be at least 51% fun". Her collaborator on recognizing the Yo-Yo Style of Management? is a business leader and is also a healthcare professional committed to fun at work.

JoAnne is currently at work on an information empire-with a majority focus on fun-that will first include a book examining management styles and offering strategies for your success-no matter the environment in which you swim. Think Stephen Covey meets Leona Helmsley meets Jacques Cousteau, and you'll be there. If you would like to be placed on a mailing list to learn when The Moody Manager? website is complete, please send an email to and in the meantime, Grab Every Opportunity For Fun!?

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