Notes from the
Manager's Scratch Pad
Bruce B. Cloud, Sr., P.E.
About the Book
Associated Press, Press Release
"... As the writer under his byline for Zachry Construction Corporation’s internal news and safety magazine, Cloud could never have known the enduring quality of his work and how issues of government involvement, inflation and fuel prices would resurface 20 to 40 years later. The commitment and sincerity of his words is representative of the man that he was, the man who inspired a company to new heights by emphasizing teamwork and a unified vision. Notes from the Manager's Scratch Pad compiles these resilient messages for a new generation of managers and leaders, challenging them to combine innovative thought and action in order to achieve success for themselves and for their company...."
How many times have you heard that money does not grow on trees? Notes from the Manager's Scratch Pad is a collection of articles written by Bruce Cloud from 1965 to 1984 to the employees of the company he led. Cloud emphasizes how a company must be resourceful with its assets to be successful; without success there is no company - there are no jobs.
Cloud provides lessons that help each of us to visualize our roles in the company as a balanced approach to our work. His ability to observe our complicated human nature incorporates attitudes with best business practices to establish high standards that enable all his peers opportunity to thrive.
These articles show how historical events impacted their business and reflect how many similar circumstances are found today. Have we learned from history, or are we doomed to repeat it?
In 2006, Bruce Cloud was asked to write another article to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the company’s internal news publication. In that article, Things of the past should not be forgotten, but made for the future, he summarized his proven philosophy for businesses then and now. This, his last article, is appropriately placed as the introduction and captures the essence of this literary collection.
These articles are products of experience. Integrate this compilation of corporate topics into your own mission statement and set of values. Cloud coaches us to challenge ourselves and help others: "Unless you can help someone as you go through life, you have wasted whatever talent you possess."
About the Author
Bruce B. Cloud, Sr. (1920 – 2007) was a professional engineer (P.E.) whose journeyman and executive career shaped him into a corporate and industry leader. During the post and cold war eras he managed an emerging privately held company in a rapidly developing worldwide construction market.
Cloud had an intrinsic ability to communicate with every level of his organization, as well as the industry associations to which he devoted his time. Over three generations of the company founder’s family relied on his guidance. These articles, written to the employees of the company, speak for how he inspired loyalty, citizenship, pride, humility, and much more.
Cloud’s talent and character encouraged each company employee to become a thinker, and more importantly, to take action. He believed in reaching out with a helpful hand, but not a handout. His faith in God, family, and the foundations of our country enabled him to be a role model. He excelled as a mentor and always worked to improve the process. His wisdom extends far beyond these ‘Notes’. Ultimately, he hoped to have made an enduring footprint for others to follow.
Leadership is not a method, but a way of life. (p.2)
We must always be trying new methods, new ideas, new services, for no company can afford not to move forward. (p36)
Real understanding comes when you are able to interpret why others see you differently than you see yourself. (p.65)
Don't be afraid of doing too much—always deliver more than you are paid for and remember success in any endeavor depends on your initiative and your determination to be a "self starter". (p.70)
All the skill and knowledge in the world isn't worth a plugged nickel unless you can share it with your fellowman. (p.84)
Try not to judge a man prior to performance. Give him a chance to succeed as well as to fail, both are good lessons. (p.90)
…unless you can help someone as you go through life, you have wasted whatever talent you possess. (p.105)
Let's start back at the grass roots and instill into our younger people a pride of work. Teach them that regardless of what they are or do that they should try to be the best they are capable of and that satisfaction comes from giving an honest day's work for an honest day's pay. (p.112)
We have fought many wars to pursue the freedom of individuals and now we are about to relinquish that freedom to bureaucratic groups at all levels of government by depending on someone else to take care of us. Some would have the world stand still with a no-growth policy. We didn't build this great nation by standing still — we did it through hard, productive and progressive work. (p.130)
Through their rules and regulations, the decision rights of every citizen and every business are being dictated by groups that the average citizen has no control over and has no way of changing through our political election system (75,000 full-time government regulators costing $3 billion a year). (p151)
To be happy and successful, then, a person must not dream without sacrificing; he must not wish for something without the desire and vitality to work for it; he must make each failure help in the success he wants by not repeating his mistakes; he must measure each success in relation to the ultimate success; he must learn to be happy within himself and learn to help others, for therein lies the greatest success one can attain. (p.198)
Our forefathers fought hard to make this country great. We need to fight hard to keep it that way. With the help of everyone cooperating for America, we can do it. Are you ready to help? (p.214)
Although knowledge is a great asset, the most successful people are the "doers’. (p.222)
The person who spends their time aiding the development of others becomes a leader, a self-disciplined, self-confident individual furnishing the process of human development that provides for the progress of a civilization. (p.230)
Now regardless of whether we are talking about being an executive, a manager or a foreman makes little difference because really we are talking about one's ability to work with and get along with other people. (p.233)
When the things we did yesterday or last year are more important than our ambitions for tomorrow and next year, then it's time to let someone else take over. (p.241)
One who coasts will always slow down; so keep alive, keep challenging yourself. If growth stops, decay begins. (p.242)
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