4000 Holes


Monday, 5 February 2024

Simply decide whether the pearls of wisdom below were uttered from the mouth of Wernham Hogg's David Brent or under-fire Rovers CEO Steve Waggott. Answers at the end.


1 – “Sadly, it didn’t quite work out on the playing side but in other ways it’s actually worked out perfectly for me.”

2 – “We’re like one big organism, one big animal. The guys upstairs on the phone, they're the mouth. The guys down here, the hands.”

3 – “I’ve changed many things, really. In a global sense, streamlining, the whole ongoing enterprise of it.”

4 – “It’s important that you have financial resources and the physical resources to work from, but the most important glue is people.”

5 – “They're malleable and that's what I like really. I don’t like people saying, ‘We do it this way’. I just want to go, do it this way if you like. Team playing – I call it ‘team individuality’, it's a new, it's like a management style.” 

6 – “I call it the swan syndrome, where you glide across the water, but you paddle like hell underneath to keep on top of a multitude of issues that you’ve got to contend with every day.” 

7 – “Trust people and they'll be true to you. Treat them greatly, and they will show themselves to be great.”

8 – “Nothing ever changes by staying the same. Quite literally.”

9 – “There are two words that I use a lot. ‘Smart’ – let’s operate smarter, let’s work within the resource we’ve got. It’s not ‘more means more’ as sometimes ‘less can mean more’. My second word would be ‘Unlock’ – I use it a lot. Unlocking the talent within an organisation is a big thing for me.”

10 – “What upsets me about the job? Um… Wasted talent.”

11 – “Why should they be worried? They trust me implicitly. I’ve said there are not going to be redundancies, so that becomes gospel.”

12 – “People are the Polyfilla. They cover up cracks to make things work, when you know it shouldn’t work.”

13 – “I don't live by ‘The Rules’, and if there's one person who’s influenced me in that way of thinking – someone who is a maverick, someone who does 'that' to the system – then it's Ian Botham.” 

14 – “I believe in getting to know the individual to see if their DNA matches the DNA of the job, but also the organisation and that they can fit with the culture, the ethos and the dynamics of what they’re going to be doing.”

15 – “The manager is what I call the head of the waterfall”

16 – “Do what you do for your hobbies, whether you swim, you run, you play music, listen to music, just prepare yourself for the next day and do it all over again.” 

17 – “A good idea is a good idea forever.”

18 – “When I’m advising up and coming staff, I often tell them to make sure that they’re Teflon-coated”

19 – “We aim to move through the gears, but in a sensible way, not to slam it from first into overdrive and crunch the gearbox too much, just take it smoothly through.”

20 – “It’s a chance for them to tell me where we’re going wrong.”

21 – “Who’s to say that hiring staff won’t save money in the long run? Does a struggling salesman start turning up on a bicycle? No. He turns up in a newer car. Perception, yeah? They’ve got to trust me.”

22 – “Navigating through that for four years, keeping the business afloat and keeping staff on side when morale was low was a real achievement. There’s definitely a book to be written about it.”

23 – “Life is just a series of peaks and troughs. And you don't know whether you're in a trough until you're climbing out, or on a peak until you're coming down. And that's it, you never know what's round the corner.”

Steve Waggott: Under pressure

DAVID BRENT: 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, 10, 11, 13, 17, 20, 21, 23
STEVE WAGGOTT: 1, 4, 6, 9, 12, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19, 22

This article was originally published in Issue 102 of 4,000 Holes. Please consider buying a zine for just £2 here to help us keep producing stuff! Cheers.

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