Categorized | Business Authors

Good Management is Not Firefighting – How to manage using what you already know

Joel Quass

Joel Quass

Short Author Bio:

Joel Quass started out a child just like everybody else, doing chores around the house, mowing the lawn for his parents and enjoying school (most of the time). At age 8 he started delivering a weekly newspaper and at 10, began caddying at a local golf course. Joel’s career in management began over 35 years ago and he has owned five businesses. Among them are Quassword Cards, “The Crossword Puzzle Greeting Card” that he managed with his brother Brian, and Strawcastle Snax, a vending company in Williamsburg, Virginia, which he developed from $90,000 to $1/4 million in gross sales when he sold the business two years later. Joel received a BA in Political Science from Christopher Newport University, VA. where he also taught sailing as an adjunct professor.

Joel is a published author, a speaker on management topics and a senior manager for a big box retailer. Joel has taught employees and managers in small and large group settings.

Book Synopsis

Fighting Fires? Stressed Out? Having trouble Leading? Looking for new ideas to boost productivity? Learn to successfully manage using what you already know. Get your staff motivated to maximize performance, productivity, and job satisfaction. Use Good Management Is Not Firefighting as a model that allows you and your company to operate successfully while applying practical solutions to unique situations. Ideal for new managers and packed with timely reminders for experienced professionals.

Why readers should buy my book:

There are answers to challenges you face. Your management style will dictate your ability to succeed. You should view collaboration and teamwork as good ideas. My book shows you how to use the tools you already have so you and your team will be successful.

Why did I write my book?

Good Management Is Not Firefighting is written as an informational book designed to help anyone learn new management techniques. Over my many years in management, I have seen a pattern develop as I watch employees be promoted. The pattern is the same whether it is an hourly employee getting his or her first Supervisor position or a seasoned manager stepping into a new role. The pattern goes something like this:

First there is the honeymoon period. If the previous manager has any sort of programs in place, the department or group is usually on auto-pilot, following what the previous manager has set down. If the new manager takes the time to get to know each employee and what their role is, the transition generally goes smoothly. However, there is usually trouble if the new manager comes in with “I’m the boss so it’s my way or the highway.”

After the honeymoon period, things either go into a new growth period or the manager hunkers down into survival mode. Without the tools and the willingness to use them to be successful, many potentially great leaders crash and burn. Those that begin to figure it our search for answers. Those that do not ask questions wait for someone to tell them what to do, and waiting… perish. Okay, they don’t die, but their career’s do.

Once the manager realizes that 80% his or her job is teaching, then things began to happen. As they learn that their job is to accept responsibility for their employee’s shortcomings and to give the credit to their employees for success, morale shoots up. Soon the manager realizes they aren’t just a firefighter and begin solving problems as they arise by recognizing that they need to look at the source of a problem to understand what is really happening. Then they begin to be viewed as a leader in the organization. Applying these ideas always begins an upward spiral of success.

I wrote my book for each of you reading this, to share the hard lessons I’ve learned over 35 years. My goal is to have you become successful NOW, not after years of struggle. I want you to know that you already have many of the tools you will need. In my book I show you how to tap into what you know and apply it to your situation. Using these tools will make your employees, your business and ultimately you a success.


All of my blog posts are based on my experiences. A recent post titled “He has a Gun – My Black Swan Event,” chronicles my experience right after high school as a gas station manager. In “You Never Know” I relate a customer service story that played out over 5 months, involved 2 different retail locations and a train traveling into New York City. You can read these and other posts at

Social Media

I am building an on-line presence through many social media sites:

Speaking Events

I speak on Workplace issues including Customer Service, Time Management, Stress in the Workplace and Leadership. I enjoy speaking in the Board Room, the meeting room, the classroom and at the kitchen table. You can find out more at:

What is the Best Advice you never got?

I wish someone had pointed out to me 15 years ago (when I penned the first words that would eventually be my book) that I needed to write the book, that it would not write itself. So I slowly added scraps of ideas over the years into my “book file,” but it wasn’t until February of last year that I finally made the commitment to myself to finish what I had started.

My advice to anyone is “Take Action Now.” Calvin Coolidge said “Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan “Press On” has solved and will solve the problems of the human race.”

The more I speak to people, the more I recognize there are those who know more than I do about many things including public speaking, getting published and marketing. But I also see that many people are content to tell me how I should proceed, instead of taking their superior abilities and doing it themselves.

I am grateful for the opportunities I have been given. I look to the future with the motto “I love getting up in the morning because I learn something new every day.” But most importantly, I plan to “Press On.”

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