April 30, 2010

Follow Me, I'll Follow You

"Followership, like leadership, is a role not a destination."

Michael McKinney

A role we all should know when and how to play no matter our position within an organization.

Nowhere is it written that leaders do not also need to be followers.

In fact, knowing when to follow may well be the most important requirement of an effective leader.

April 29, 2010

The Danger of Status Quo Management

"After living with their dysfunctional behavior for so many years (a sunk cost if there ever was one), people become invested in defending their dysfunctions rather than changing them."

Dr. Marshall Goldsmith

Good to think of this the next time we decide to launch an impassioned defense of our beliefs.

April 28, 2010

Think, Do, Progress!

"Great thoughts reduced to practice, become great acts."

William Hazlitt
Late 18th century British essayist

All the great plans one might have are useless without action.

The only thing worse is the absence of both.

April 27, 2010

Not What Is, What Could Be!

"A sneer is the weapon of the weak."

James Russell Lowell
19th century American writer/editor

Most anyone can see what is wrong or missing with an idea, product, plan, program, etc.

In other words, what isn't.

But value comes from those who also see what is or could be, and then work to make that happen.

April 26, 2010

Management: Which Side Are You On?

"A great scholar is seldom a great philosopher."

Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
Early 19th century German writer

To succeed in business, you need both practical and visionary leadership, which can be difficult to find in the same person.

Do you have both?

April 23, 2010

Progress: Getting To There

"Good men must not obey the laws too well."

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Interesting suggestion.

If we never walk off the path, how will we ever get to what could be?

What Do You Think??

The list of those who follow this blog grows,
but unfortunately not the number who comment.

Thank you to all who take a few moments to see what's new.

But let's hear what you think. Posting comments is easy.

And encourage others you know to do the same.
The more reaction from more people, the better for all of us.


April 22, 2010

The Line Between Politics and Business

"In war: resolution. In defeat: defiance. In victory: magnanimity. In peace: goodwill."

Winston Churchill

This is an example of why political thinking does not transfer seamlessly to business.

Resolution, defiance and magnanimity, all suggest absolute attitudes, with war, defeat, victory and peace, all extremes of conflict, losing, winning, and those brief interludes between.

Business is never that all or nothing.

Only goodwill strikes me as largely if not completely applicable.

April 21, 2010

Vigilance: Staying Successful

"He is most free from danger, who, even when safe, is on his guard."

Publilius Syrus
1st century BC Roman writer/poet

Ironically, it is success that often sets one up for failure.

Companies doing well often lose the edge that made them successful.

Be watchful!

April 20, 2010

"Knowing" You Are Right Is Not Enough

"In art as in love, instinct is enough."

Anatole France
19th century French writer

But generally not in business.

Instinct has its place but only as one asset among many that are necessary to succeed.

April 19, 2010

For Sale: What've You Got?

"Everyone lives by selling something."

Robert Louis Stevenson

This is so true.

Most sales people get this but way too many accountants, finance, product development and even some marketers, do not.

Do you know what you sell?

Here's a hint.

It's not your company's product or service.

April 16, 2010

Who's In Charge Here?

"Drive your business, let not your business drive you."

Ben Franklin
American statesman, scientist, philosopher

I've co-founded or sole-founded a half dozen or more businesses, all of them lasting a minimum of 3 years.

There wasn't one that did not "drive" me as much if not more than I drove it.


April 15, 2010

The Role of Blame in Problem Solving

"A boss fixes blame, a leader corrects mistakes."

Russell H. Ewing
Mid 20th century British journalist

The April 14th edition of the Los Angeles Times has a good story on the blame fixing arguments now going on in Toyota.

Do you need to assign blame before you can correct a problem?

Is there a difference between placing blame on one person or group as opposed to identifying who is responsible for the problem?

April 14, 2010

Hitting The Target You Aren't Aiming At

"If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading."

Lao Tzu
Ancient Chinese philosopher

He could have said "will" end up where you are heading but didn't because it is possible that something will intervene and change your trajectory.

Shouldn't that something be you?

What's your plan?

April 13, 2010

Thinking Your Way to Success

"You are today where your thoughts have brought you; you will be tomorrow where your thoughts have taken you."

James Allen
Late 19th century author

The point being, what we think is largely responsible for what has and will happen to us.

Any doubt then about the importance of what we think about?

I don't think so.

April 12, 2010

Teamwork: What Part of Success?

"Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success."

Henry Ford

To this list we could add something about actually accomplishing something but Mr. Ford's point is made nonetheless.

A lot of time and effort is expended in teamwork but how much actually gets done?

April 09, 2010

Start-Up Financing: Money For Nothing?

"As mortals, we are ruled by conditions, not by ourselves."

5th century Indian Buddhist monk

Looking for no-strings-attached money for your start-up?

It doesn't exist.

What are you willing to give up to get the money you need to finance your business?

April 08, 2010

Sometimes, Too Much, Is

"We are stripped bare by the curse of plenty."

Winston Churchill

Looking back, I think I accomplished more in those situations where I had less than in those where I had more.

What about you?

April 07, 2010

Stepping Out From The Pack

"Obscurity brings safety."

5th century BC Greek fabulist

Not always but more often than not I suppose it does.

Think about all the bosses that come and go while the workers that report to them hang on.

But are you prepared to spend your career just "hanging on"?

The Role of Tradition in Business

"Tradition is a guide, not a jailer."

W. Somerset Maugham
Early 20th century British novelist and playwright

And the lesson in this for business is, don't be bound by what has been unless you are fairly certain that is also what should be.

Often it is not.

April 06, 2010

The Need for Course Corrections

"Laws and institutions, like clocks, must occasionally be cleaned, wound up, and set to true time."

Henry Ward Beecher
19th century US politician

And just as true in business.

It is (too) easy to become complacent with "how things are done" not to mention what those "things" are.

How often do you reset your business "clock"?

Or are you perpetually in your comfort zone?

April 05, 2010

The Role of Dissent

"Always fall in with what you are asked to accept."

Robert Frost


There's got to be more having to do with debate, discussion, etc.

I'm not saying you always resist but if you never pause to think, sometimes resulting in directional change, what contribution are you making?

April 02, 2010

The Role of Personality in Success or Failure

"A person's fate is their own temper."

Benjamin Disraeli

I think so, almost without regard for what that temper is.

Have you noticed any correlation between the nature of temper and success in business?

April 01, 2010

Tax on Business

"Every advantage has its tax."

Ralph Waldo Emerson

This seems appropriate as we approach April 15, this year amid all the speculation regarding what the new health care bill will mean to business.

If you've run your own company for 10 years or longer, have you seen a noticeable change in the untaxed "advantages" you've previously enjoyed versus today?