No B.S. Ruthless Management of People and Profits – Dan S. Kennedy [Book Summary]

by Nick

Only Dan Kennedy could dare to write such a guide to ruthless management – without any desolation and highly learned theories, only iron recipes, proven in practice.

Now that you have this book, it is incomprehensible to your mind how you could still do without it. It gives you the right to regain power over your business, set rules, put profit at the forefront and achieve real results from those who work for you. Everyone who is armed with the installations of the famous business guru and will consistently apply in business and in life! – the methods and techniques described in these pages will very soon see changes for the better.

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Dan Kennedy is a well-known multi-millionaire, successful entrepreneur and role model for hundreds of thousands of businessmen. He is also a trainer, business consultant and speaker. Talent allowed him to become the owner of an advertising agency, industrial factory, grocery factory, newspaper publisher, the creation of a cosmetic line and much more. Dan creates, sometimes buys, and then sells firms, which allows him to be one of America’s most successful entrepreneurs. He is personally acquainted with such personalities as Margaret Thatcher, Donald Trump and other famous political and cultural figures.

Dan Kennedy is also the creator of popular advertisements and slogans for The Wall Street Journal, Cosmopolitan and other magazines and newspapers. In addition, he leads his weekly political column at and holds consultations at the High Point University School of Communications. “Professor of harsh reality” – this is how Dan was christened for his eloquence, confidence in his own success and for income with seven zeros.

I hold in my hands a brochure sent to me from some pretentious university management school: they want to teach me there at the two-day seminar “Managing New Workforce. Leadership and Strategy ”and take $ 4950 for it.

This brochure, like the seminar that it advertises, contains 100% lies and at least 90% of that crap that is usually fed to businessmen and managers at HR seminars. In short, complete bullshit, but let me show you this.

Firstly, the text is full of empty and obscene gibberish. It seems to sound until you start to get to the point. Here are some invaluable examples. “Expand your perspective and deepen your understanding of how to learn and take into account in your actions those values ​​and needs that are driving an increasing part of your employees.”

What, huh?

What, in fact, can be drawn from this practical value? After all, you are not very interested in conducting a group therapy program for your employees, are you?

Almost all university-sponsored business seminars, like most management seminars, most management books, most management mailings, are presented to us by people whose management experience is limited to putting things in order in a sock box. They never mention a single day spent in the real world in a company with real employees and real tasks, not to mention the need to make a profit. This is a two-day immersion in the imaginary world of abstruse cliches, which costs $ 4950.

But, of course, YOU are a real business owner in the real world, and you are unlikely to buy this crap. I believe that a crowd of corporate top managers who don’t know how to spell the word “profit” who will have fun playing the game “eight at a table with a multi-faceted coach” and the rush for coffee with buns will come together for the money of their employers. You will not find an entrepreneur in this audience and argue.

But the trouble is that the charlatanic hoaxes from such university commerce, seeping out, find many ways to poison the mind of a businessman. The scholarly abracadabra and scholasticism penetrate into the articles that we read in business journals and in management books, which we sometimes turn to for help. And such professors are really hired to kick stumps in real firms that we own, in which we invest, and in dealers. They are hired to speak at meetings of business associations. And when you endlessly listen to their nonsense, you begin to think that it really is applicable in your business.

This is cancer that has hit corporate America. Innumerable millions of dollars and millions of hours are spent on this nonsense. Everyone sits at meetings and discussions, round tables on quality, and seminars to deepen the vision, instead of working. Leaders are diligently trying to introduce all kinds of nonsense such as creating a pleasant atmosphere, group discussions, etc., instead of leading.

It is Sad Enough That the Disease is Overwhelmed by Large and Dumb Corporations.

Whatever your company does, watch out for this infection. Fenced off. Get vaccinated. It will be good if you learn to discard any advice on managing your business or personnel coming from people who have never run an enterprise (profitably) – from professors, for example, or laughing at them like an anecdote.

The true nature of the employee-employer relationship

To have in life one friend is already a lot, two – a lot, three – it is hardly possible.

Henry Adams

Few of us are willing to admit that the employer and employee are inevitably at enmity. You are at odds because your interests conflict with the interests of the workers, and you constantly interfere with them pursuing their interests. In order to pursue your interests, you need to remove the interests of workers from the road, replacing them with your own or destroying it. In short, you are for them that nail in the ass.

You might be surprised, but I don’t think that something is wrong here and I don’t think that the employees are bad people because they have 13, 30 and 300 worries in their head, more important, interesting and entertaining for them than the one that excites you. I’m not going to blame people for having their own priorities. Expecting the opposite is just plain stupid

“Owner’s View” is Bullshit

Is your business owned by your employees? No, it belongs to you. It is pointless to expect a proprietary approach from employees, no matter how some management gurus rave about it. It is irrational. It’s the same as making zebras at Disney Park wonder how many tickets have been sold today! Zebra is interested in

there was plenty of food, and so that it wasn’t eaten by predators. No matter how many team-building training you have, your people on the priority list at number one will still have a search for food, at number two will be safe from other people’s teeth, at number three will be a search for a warm place to lie down, and only far below, at the end of the list there will be a sale of tickets.

Your business is your life, and your life is your business. They are interconnected and inseparable.

But this is not so for your workers. Let this lead you into a stupor, but each of them has his own life.

They have in their heads a bunch of things that you hardly think about: gas prices, lettuce, or movie tickets. They think, “Finally, Friday!” You think, “I need one more day to work this week.” They hope that clients will not come 15 minutes before closing time and will not disrupt their escape home, you pray that the client will come. You are passionate about profit. They probably don’t think about it at all, and if they do, it’s when they are outraged how much profit you have gained afterward and blood, you take it for yourself.

You are the owner of the zoo. They are zebras.

Their interests at every step contradict yours, as can be seen from the above example: they want to send customers 15 minutes before closing, anyway, they’re buying something from them or not, because they want to jump out early and join friends in a pub until the chicken wings have cooled.

And most importantly, your people will inevitably resent your inequality of income and power with them.

They are not friends with you. You can and, to a certain extent, should be friendly to them and encourage reciprocity in them. You want you to have a kind of war brotherhood. Just do not forget that if you get in the dugout when the provisions are over, they will eat you up for dinner without hesitation.

Of course, you must remember their birthdays and the birthdays of their children, know when they have anniversaries, and really care about their health and well-being. But also remember that the cake that they present to you on your birthday is only partly a sign of friendly feelings, and partly obligatory and deflection.

They are not related to you. You can, if you want, to a certain degree treat them as your relatives. But do not be fooled. They will not visit you in a nursing home if they stop receiving paycheck from you. They have their own families, and you don’t go there.

These are just your employees.

“Think for sure”

If you refuse to think about relationships with employees accurately, rationally and realistically, you are forever doomed to disappointment, despair, anger and financial loss. Understanding the true nature of your relationship and thinking about it for sure, you will manage your business and the people involved in it in a completely different way than those who persistently try to see friends, relatives, teammates, or even colleagues as employees.

Wish List

After that, I seriously thought about hara-kiri, but today I overslept. Former Minister of Labor of Japan Toshio Yamaguchi.

Many business owners are tormented by the slow fire of their own employees. Employee behavior is getting worse over time. Little by little, one black sheep infects others. Rarely late at first become more frequent, then become the rule. A sloppy appearance is at first an accident, then not uncommon, then ordinary. Do not do the job: rarely, sometimes, as a rule. And now your business has been quietly welded.

If you sometimes agree to put up with infrequent cases of unacceptable behavior, then sooner or later you will have to come to terms with unacceptable behavior as the only possible one.

Willy Lohman’s Syndrome Strikes Management

Why am I writing the word “hard” in the title of this book? Is it too much?

You can’t say the same about most business owners. They give people a chance to improve, then one more thing, they endure incompetence and disobedience, they dodge as they can, just not to fire – even the worst workers you can imagine.

Most owners try too hard to be a “good boss,” that is, a boss loved by their employees, rather than an effective boss who establishes working rules that bring maximum profit and tightly monitors their implementation.

I saw former abrupt marines, rather ruthless in other aspects of their business, soften into jelly when it came to managing the people they pay. Many people suddenly start to be afraid of something: “If I demand that she do this, she will leave work,” or lose their will: “My people simply won’t do it.”

Although I’m actually a consultant and trainer mainly in marketing, I have to help the owners of such travesty to grow a couple of eggs. And I think that most owners should move in the direction of ruthlessness.

In general, I deliberately used the word “hard” to attract the attention of the reader. The fact that for one is harshness and even ruthlessness for another is a healthy approach to business.


I believe in a benevolent dictatorship, provided that the dictator is me. Richard Branson Many entrepreneurs have the productivity they deserve because they have no real Program. Arriving at a new job, you ask: “Well, how does everyone work here? What is the program here? ”

Everyone does the same.

A program is an accepted way of solving problems.

But if you do not have a program, then there is no particular reason to expect that they will execute it, right?

I’m not talking about deadly boring, stupidly abstruse job descriptions. I’m talking about clearly formulated, accompanied by examples and unequivocally brought to the attention of both Bill and Betty, the rules of how and what to do, where to go, what and who to tell. If you do not have a program, your staff will come up with it for you. And they will tell the beginner what to do. When you let people act on their own, the result will be unpredictable for you.

The Two Most Important Management Decisions

Fundamental management question: what kind of employees do you need?

Whether I ask this question to a client in person or to a group of listeners, I usually get in response a listing of vague positive characteristics. “We need productive workers. Sick rooting for the cause. Faithful. Ambitious. Intelligent. To be able to get along with people. To look at things correctly … ”

It’s the same as answering the question about goals,“ I want to be happy. ” To be happy is not a goal, but only an idea.

There is only one rational answer to the fundamental question: “I need FAVORABLE workers.”

Contrary to many stupid theories, the only reasonable reason for hiring workers is to profit: by hiring people, you can earn more than alone. The sole purpose of hiring: the employee must bring you income many times greater than the amount that you yourself will cost. Alas, many entrepreneurs furnish themselves with hired employees for some completely irrational reasons!

In order for the goal to be achieved, four conditions must be met:

  • 1) Accept the main thesis.
  • 2) calculate the true and total value;
  • 3) have a tool for accurate measurement of ROI (return on investment);
  • 4) nourish intolerant ROI.

If you can earn more by hiring less, then this is what you need to do. Moreover: you must do this, because the primary responsibility of the director of the company is to maximize the income and value of the shares. If this company is yours, then you are both a director and a shareholder. You have a duty to yourself to maximize profits. Only you invest, only you risk, only you really care about the result.

Your task is to minimize hired labor costs. I believe that it is necessary by any legal means to pay as little as possible to ordinary workers performing routine work, and for unskilled labor, cheap by definition, so that as much money as possible falls into the pocket of you, a businessman.

No employer should pay more than forced or more than the cost of the work. This is an employee, if he is dissatisfied with his salary, he must grow up the career ladder and take on a more important, and therefore better-paid job.

We also clarify by removing the person from the equation

Essentially, the employee is a rented resource. For rent you need to pay monthly. Like a tractor or a machine. If you rent a baler for hay for $ 300 a month, and it breaks all the time, makes rolls of different sizes, runs slowly and packs hay for only $ 400 a month, what should I do? Bring him back. If a

If the machine costs you $ 300, then it should produce 3,000 products. After all, you are doing business for one single reason: to earn as much as possible. In addition, do not forget that hay trade is profitable in sunny years and does not go well in rainy or if there are too many sunny years in a row, and if

Al Gore is not mistaken about global warming, so she will disappear soon. Therefore, in good years, you need to work hard not only for the current year, but also for the coming bad weather, when there will be few profits, or even not at all, or even have to invest your money in the business to make it work. Therefore, your hay press should do well, oh how good it is to pay off. If not, look for another. Otherwise, you will have to completely leave the hay business, return all the press and go look for a new occupation. With any outcome of the press, it is more convenient to rent rather than buy.

Like this: every press, count – every employee, must pay off many times.

And how much does it cost? Few employers are able to correctly calculate the value of an employee: usually, a few very important figures are overlooked. This mistake is made by all auditors, business masters, and other certified economists, as I have seen. It is repeated by all the management books I have read.

Here’s what they think: salary + taxes + bonuses + overhead. In general, if an employee receives $ 12 per hour, and taxes, social insurance, the price of a computer or other tools add another 30%, we already receive $ 15.60. We add medicine, a pension plan, a bonus for Christmas, etc., and here you have another dollar per hour. Then some

important expenses are not always taken into account. Employees use soap and toilet paper, take out stationery, use heating and air conditioning, and take up office space. If a hypothetical entrepreneur pays $ 2,000 a month for rent, utilities and supplies, and he has four employees, then we have $ 500 each, divided by 160 hours of work and get 3.12 per hour. And now it’s 19.72 per hour. But we are just starting to count.

And Now the Genuine Price!

  1. The first big figure to forget is the price of the mistake.

Take the dying American carmakers. There are a lot of problems there, and one of them is a close-knit and highly paid, excessively overpaid working mass, unable or unwilling to do the job correctly.

As a result, companies have to go for massive reviews of cars. Hundreds of thousands of cars have to be redone. And these extra expenses are not compensated from the salaries of incompetent employees. The company wipes out and pays.

I translate: your employees mess up, and you completely bear all possible losses. And they will crap, and do not hesitate.

This price, of course, depends on the business, employee and employer. The universal formula for its calculation is unknown to me.

  1. The next big number that the guys in the sleeves do not see point blank is the price of YOUR time.

Employees inevitably absorb it. In large companies, they are able to keep an eye on and calculate costs, therefore professional nannies (personnel department or personnel service) work there for a small salary and there are several tiers of managers who also graze each other.

So, your employees will take the time from you.

Now let’s see how much your time is worth when you spend it in the most profitable way. Mine now costs from $ 1,600 per hour. And if an employee takes two hours of my time every week, you need to divide 3200 into 40 and add the resulting $ 80 per hour to the cost of this employee. Honestly speaking, your time is probably cheaper than mine.

For simplicity, suppose you safely earn 100,000 a year, divide by about 2,000 hours of work, and get $ 50 per hour. If your employee takes you two hours a week, then we divide 100 by 40 hours, add 2.50 to her cost, and now her total cost is 32.22 per hour. If, however, you want to earn a million a year …

  1. The last big figure is the cost of not having and replacing an employee. Is it not every day that only those who are needed there should come to work? Why keep unnecessary employees? Those who are needed have to be replaced for a period of absence. And for this, the owner has to cunningly redistribute the responsibilities of other employees or sacrifice your precious time to complete the work of Mary, which will now cost him twice or three times as much as usual.

You had no idea that you really pay that much to your employees, right?

About that and speech.

I bet you would demand more from Mary and manage her differently if you knew. Well, now you know.

Loot everything

I keep running horses. I always have 15–20 goals. But with all this, my horses are not kittens. This is a business. They are professional athletes, and I am the owner of the club. If I want the team to perform successfully and the business to flourish, I have to trade players and retire them. But actually, no matter how much you keep the horses, nor cook them and ride them, the last truth is this: they all lame. As the saying goes, the point here is not “if,” but “when.”

Horses are limping mostly physically. Although some have mental lameness: the spirit of competition disappears, the will to win. Or they are too picky, demanding ideal conditions: they don’t want to give everything in the rain, in the cold, in the heat or if they start with

An uncomfortable position. One way or another, everyone is lame. And if lameness cannot be quickly and inexpensively healed, for such a horse the race is over.

Sometimes she switches to another job: rides people on horseback carries carts with Amish or even gets into the service of the police, as in old Disney films. And sometimes she retires – just graze until the end of days. Rich people with large estates love to keep pensioners like a living, breathing and walking

landscape decoration. Few poor people – with severe and incurable injuries or incorrigibly bad behavior – have to lull. And getting too attached to the horse with your soul is a nasty turn, because the day will inevitably come when you will have to say goodbye to it. Keywords: inevitably, must.

So it is with your employees, partners, partners and dealers. Someday each of them is limping. Cases when the same person walked beside an entrepreneur all the years of his business activity from the first to the last, or when someone worked for him all these years and was useful, or remained his supplier or dealer, are so rare and unusual, that turn into a legend.

Know That Every Person in Your Business Life is Inevitably Limping, and You Will Have to Say Goodbye to Him.

Hire slowly, the fire quickly

I first heard the phrase “Hire Slowly, Get Fired Quickly” from Chuck Sekeres, the founder of the highly successful company “Weight Loss under the supervision of doctors.” Chuck was at my seminar, and when that phrase came out from him, I wrote it down. It is as deep as any of Aristotle’s statements. Its genius and value is that 99% of employers do exactly the opposite. (Yes, yes, I also did more than once, like everyone else. And it cost me dearly.)

Most businessmen dismiss slowly. Like moviegoers. They hatch from the first to the last minute a dreary three-hour film.

What for?

They think that further will be more interesting. They do not lose hope that things will go better.

Workers do not smoke on their own, like a ham under the rafters. In business, waiting and hoping is inappropriate tactics. And that is exactly what too many managers do. They hope for a miracle, for spontaneous improvement.

Therefore, according to the results of one completely non-scientific survey with the participation of a good hundred of my clients, I summarize that it usually takes the employer from 6 to 18 months to dismiss an employee who is already known that he works poorly, is not amenable to impact, poisons the situation at the enterprise , has a harmful effect on the rest and, in general, interferes with everything.

Is it any wonder that when such people are finally fired, many are surprised that they dragged them for so long. One of them shared with my friend: “Five months ago, when you should have fired me, but you didn’t fire me, I realized that everything would get away with me.” Some of those dismissed, when they are finally pushed out the door, are even relieved and glad that everything is behind: it’s not easy to live under the Damocles sword for months.

In business, being late for 6–18 months with any business is far from the best course of action.

There is, unfortunately, another reason for the delay in layoffs. Of course, we wait and hope that a bad film will suddenly become better, despite all the hunches and experience. But, in addition, many entrepreneurs pull with the dismissal of the hopeless solely on their own laziness. They trust the nasty worker to collect and

organize information that remains only in the head of this employee or in records where only he can figure it out.

A delay of 6–18 months is unforgivable.

Next mistake: quick hire. As a rule, this error is closely related to the first. Dismissing, finally, a crappy worker, you are left with a hole in the state. It needs to be repaired. And you did not do anything in advance to quickly meet the urgent need for a new employee. Naturally, you don’t give a damn that the “best” candidate who answered

your cry for help on the Internet is a girl with no recommendations, but with two nose rings, the “Kill the boss” tattoo and the habit of suddenly switching from a dog growl. “Hey, you need to answer these calls today.”

That’s what everyone does. Do the opposite.

No excuses

You should treat your business as a military operation, imposing military standards of responsibility and accountability on employees and dealers, demanding results and not accepting any excuses.

They do not pay excuses, excuses do not fulfill the order. Apologies do not and never will make buyers and customers satisfied. And if customers are unhappy, your business will not last long.

It is amazing how many entrepreneurs agree to put up with excuses, and here I am tough on my clients.

With subordinates, you must stand firm. There is no place for any pity. No one will relate to your business like you, and no one will invest so much in it: if it goes to ashes, the hired workers will go and find a new place, but you are here on the hook. Of course, in some ways it is possible to give relief, but to those and only to those who are worth it. Without end, a late, incompetent, simply dishonest and unscrupulous employee does not deserve mercy. You need to get rid of this in a fire order, like a cancerous tumor.

The policy of “No excuses” must be clearly and unequivocally explained at the very beginning of any employment relationship. At the interview with the candidate and at the first meeting with a potential dealer. In a written job description or in a letter of invitation to a new dealer. Everyone should clearly understand that you are not giving anyone a descent.

How to Hunt for Employees

No matter how much you invest in selecting the very best, it will certainly pay off handsomely! Having hired a worthless person, you will soon see: in terms of costs, laboriousness and nervousness, to keep such a thing is not enough comparable “pleasure”. The same is true for dealers and, of course, customers. By hiring an employee (finding a dealer or customer) who perfectly understands you and your expectations and tries to meet them, you will be sure to make a rare bargain.

Well, it remains to separate the diamonds from the stones. Your goal is to get the maximum result with the minimum expenditure of your time and effort.

Fortunately, the search for competent and efficient employees or dealers, as well as the search for buyers and customers, comes down to marketing.

This is akin to dating classified ads: it’s not the case to be blunt about what you want. And probably more importantly – about what you don’t want. This runs counter to conventional wisdom, but it is fully consistent with the “runaway seller” strategy – the more stringent the requirements you make for candidates, the better will come to you to be hired.

If a person simply “liked” the vacancy and aimed to fill out the questionnaire habitually – online or by “looking” at your office or sending a resume by e-mail, you need to put some unusual obstacles in his way that will easily weed out frivolous and unintentional ones.

But those who successfully cope with a series of tasks – these will be people who are ready and able to follow the instructions and aiming not to miss a good opportunity.

Therefore, leave candidates clear, but weird guidelines. One of the methods that I propose to the participants of my seminars is to write in an ad that you need to call a 24-hour toll free number and listen to the recorded message. The message in great detail says what needs to be done. But the procedure itself is confusing for many, and they fail the exam.

Most do not even realize that this is a normal check.

Let your ad and communication algorithm do the dirty work for you! Remember that staffing is marketing, and act accordingly.

The more you can do to separate the grain from the chaff automatically and at an early stage, the better the result.

A successful system – when you are about to sit down and choose, you will choose only from motivated and qualified candidates.

And by the way, the same algorithm is applicable for the selection of suppliers. Instead of an announcement or advertisement, a letter is sent. In the letter, you offer cooperation and give the same “absurd” instructions on how to contact you.

The final thought: whether we are talking about employees or business partners, the most important thing is to manage the situation. And in order to keep leverage, you need to constantly monitor the progress of affairs. Even the best workers and dealers can break firewood, but only a few are ready to admit it.

After all, it is your business and your livelihood.

Do not be afraid to fire anyone if the situation so requires. As they say: hire slowly, fire quickly.

Marketing is the Master, the Rest Are Servants

What you consider to be important work for your business and what your people consider it is far from the same thing.

In addition, assertive marketing, promotion, any ideas about sales, new beginnings and projects are constantly hindered by the current concerns and inertia of people who see “extra work” in every innovation.

So, in the eyes of my clients, their own employees poured a hail of reproaches on the subject “We can’t …”. Truly, businesses were managed according to the “And if we can’t” plan.

You must firmly decide which imperative will dictate to your business, your employees and suppliers. The main imperative can be only one. And only one owner.

In many enterprises, sadly, the main imperative is stagnation guarded by a crowd of parasites: if only you did not have to solve difficult tasks, work hard, something, God forbid, change or think outside the box. The main imperative is to get a paycheck next Friday without unnecessary gestures, without new knowledge and without “extra” work.

You must firmly decide which principle will manage your business, your employees, and the suppliers who serve you. There is only one main imperative. If you want maximum profit, then this imperative should be the maximum profit. And to calculate the principle that provides

arrived, you won’t have to puzzle for a long time. In order not to leaf through the directories, I inform you: the point here is the most effective marketing, which attracts new customers, optimizes the value of customers and returns lost customers.

Remember, there is only one owner. His name is Marketing. The others bow and say: “Yes, master. How can I serve you, master? ”

The Final Words

The only way to direct people to work for your benefit is to build a business that will need fewer workers and can be paid more generously. Thus, you can attract and hold the absolute cream from among consumers, so that you can provide an extraordinary quality of service that will keep you at the peak of the pyramid itself. 

And you will need every trick and trick from this book to make such a system work as beneficial to you as possible.

Why You Should Read “No B.S. Ruthless Management of People and Profits”?

  • To become a great businessman,
  • T understand the true nature of the employer-employee relationship and how to change it
  • To gain profits and lead successfully.

This book is available as:

AudiobookeBook | Print