“A beszédes változónevek egy idő után elhallgatnak.”

“Descriptive variable names become silent after a while. “

“This should have been mentioned in the school” – said by a colleague, sitting enervated after a giant failure in a demo. Theory often fails in real environment.

Last week spouse had a brilliant idea: she attends to a course to learn child caring, and pass the exam enabling her to found a day-care. Such day-cares are supported by the government to extend the capacity of state kindergardens. Recent government has expressed their support many times encouraging people to invest on this area.

She attended the course on Monday. On Tuesday the government made kindergardens mandatory to all children above 3, and this kind of day-cares are not accepted any more. Nobody sees this coming, really nobody.

She was at the course, surrounded by disappointed and upset people, because the service area they were learning about had just disappeared. The coach lost her job and her existence instantly. They invested several million HUFs (HUF 1 million = EUR 3260) to open three day-cares, which has no client any more. Fortunately we were in the beginning of the investment period.

There are 690 day-cares in Hungary, employing around 1500 people and taking care of 3500 children. In state kindergardens there are 2-3 years long queue. Often people signs up before they even know their child’s name. If your kid was in a day-care today, you need to wait years to get him into a state kidergarden, very likely he will attend to the grammar school before you are able to get him into a kindergarden. In the meantime Mum must be at home or take some (more expensive) service.

Later on this week, on Thursday the government has taken over all (ALL) pension savings of Hungary. ALL. I’m paying it since 1998, I had EUR 17000 on my private account, and this has disappeared today.

IMF delegation left on Friday. I really wish they won’t return any more bringing any money to this government. Since Hungary is not recommended to invest. Not at all. In my oppinion it’s a pure kommunism, led by legal terrorists. Darkest period in the last 30 years.

Anyone offers me a job abroad I’ll go instantly together with my family.

/Did you notice “In my oppinion” phrase above? It’s because media law allows the government to charge me up to EUR 85000 if I write something they don’t want to see written. This is far more than me and my family posesses at all./


I decided to post more, but normally I have no time to log in to the interface, therefore I have activated post by e-mail feature. Hopefully you will see more but shorter posts from me. I hate twitter, but sometimes I have to tell my impressions in short messages, they will appear here, through e-mails.

Let’s try now!

My friend applied for a job in one of the biggest telecom provider of Hungary. As the first step of the interview process she was invited to fill a personality test. She arrived in time, but there was a crowd of hundreds.  At the door she was informed that she needed to pay EUR 2.5,- to fill the test. He entered into a discussion with the guard guy, and it turned out that the nice office was rented for only these two days. She left immediately.

EU. Hungary. Budapest. Today.

I must react on a post of Tamás Cservenyák, author of “Tudatos vezetés” (Deliberate Leadership) blog. He introduces a book of Mintzberg: the Managers not MBAs. Mintzberg made sharp criticism against MBA courses saying that the attendees were not mature enough, they haven’t had several years of leadership behind, and the MBA classes gave too much analytical skills instead of soft ones. He concludes that MBAs are not skilled managers, instead, they are not trained to manage.

I might agree with his points. MBA does not change your personality and attitude. It gives you techniques and methodologies, and a completely different approach to the business. I know it from my experience. I was not a leader when I started the MBA. It was in 2004, and I have just been promoted to be the leader of the testing group, including one person only. I must say that I had no leadership experience in job that time, but in the college I had had some experience in motivating and influencing people. This was the starting point.

The MBA class that I attended also focused on hard skills, but among them there were some classes and roleplays, where we were able to see how other people react on our behavior. Then I attended some other soft skill trainings, but I must say that the thing helps me most in leadership is my attitude and the ethical intelligence I gained during my childhood and studies.

I think Mintzberg is wrong. When you are to hire a technician you should examine two things: hard skills, how he know methodologies and technology, and soft skills, how he can behave in your team. One can say that as we go upper in the organization, the soft skills becames more focused than hard ones. I think this is not true.

If you are looking for a manager to employ on a high level management job, you must look for both hard and soft skills. But this time hard skills are not technical ones. They are management hard skills. To motivate others you may have soft skills, and if your personality and attitude allows, you will be successful in it. But there is another angle. If you know some different motivation theory and technique, you are able to pick the one, which is most suits your attitude, and you may be able to use it. This is a management hard skill. Knowing different management techniques, methodologies is necessary to be an effective manager.

In Hungary the average manager does not have management hard skills. Once I wanted to introduce Gantt chart in project time planning, they said that they didn’t want to learn such new techniques. Gantt chart have been invented in 1897… The most of Hungarian managers are not on the level of the profession as Henry Ford was in 1920. They do not even understand basic rules of management, they have no clue what gross margin is. They have no clue why their team does not do what they ordered.

Therefore, I think, at least in Hungary, having an MBA is a plus giving you a manager, who has management hard skills, and this is what you cannot get from anywhere else in Hungary.

The reason I was a bit upset by reading the article is that Mintzberg had given a weapon into the hand of managers, who think their management style is the best possible, and – accidentally – they have no MBA degree. And, unfortunately, they don’t even know that there are hard skills of management.

…I have learned two things:

  • Never send legal concerns in e-mail. If you do that, that mail will be the first evidence of your intentionality. Especially do not copy people living in “less democratic” countries. Enemy is always listening.
  • People from Japan may arrive at any time. It is very likely that your phone rings NOW, and your Japanise client tells that he is half way between the airport and the office, and he wants to meet you NOW. Regardless of the fact that you are currently at home spending your holiday. Japanese should tell me how it works. You just catch a plane going anywhere, and when it has landed you check where you are and call the closest clients? The journey takes 10 hours, please call me when you are boarding, not after arrival.

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