August 31, 2010

How Much Are You Willing To Lay On Which Line?

"No man is worth his salt who is not ready at all times to risk his well-being, to risk his body, to risk his life, in a great cause."

Theodore Roosevelt
26th president of the United States

Fortunately for those of us in business, Mr. Roosevelt was most likely referring to dangerous pursuits such as war, however the thought applies to business just as much.

You have to be ready to commit if you are to win anything of consequence.

Are you?  How great is your cause?

August 30, 2010

Knowing (That You Need) to Begin

"Tis always morning somewhere in the world."
Richard Henry Horne
19th century English poet
Last Friday's quote was about endings so it seemed appropriate to begin this week with one about beginnings.
And I like this one in particular because it reminds me of the constant renewal that is reality in the world.
Endless possibilities to succeed assuming we recognize the potential and act.

Don't just sit there!  Achieve!

August 27, 2010

Knowing When To Say Enough

"One who does not know when to die does not know how to live."

John Ruskin
19th century English art critic

You can't do all you do equally well, certainly including business, so much of success in one thing requires that you know when to stop doing something else.
Do you?

August 26, 2010

Nothing But The Truth?

"We take greater pains to convince others we are happy than in trying to think so ourselves."


The connection to business . . . we take greater pains to convince others of things that we ourselves do not believe.

To what extent do you believe what you and/or your company says?  Is it ethical to say or support what you don't belive?

August 25, 2010

Not As Much Time As You Think

"Short as life is, we make it still shorter by the careless waste of time."

Victor Hugo
19th century French poet/novelist
What would you do differently today if you knew you had two fewer hours to work than you believe you do?

August 24, 2010

When Things Are Not As They Seem

"So quick bright things come to confusion."

William Shakespeare

The old English prelude to "We thought we knew what we were doing."

Attempt to insure that you do.

August 23, 2010

Change, Yes, But To What?

"Life is change, growth is optional. Choose wisely."

Karen Kaiser Clark

Just below the surface of this arguably brain candy quote is some great hard nosed business advice.

Depending to varying degrees on the decisions you make (and many you should have but didn't make), your business will move.

However, remember, there are three other possible directions in addition to up.

Do choose wisely!

August 20, 2010

Too Much, Too Little?

"Often he who does too much does too little."

Italian proverb

I would modify this to read, ". . . he who attempts to do too much does too little", but the thought is the same regardless.

Multi-tasking is fine as long as most if not all the "multi-tasks" get done, but that isn't what always happens.  And excessive delegation does not insure accomplishment.

Multi-tasker or delegator, which are you?

August 19, 2010

The Power of "Git 'er Done"

"One of these days is none of these days."

Unattributed proverb

This along with numerous other proverbs and quotes says "do it now" beats "schedule it" every time.

How are you when it comes to procrastination?

August 18, 2010

Progress or Perish

"An involuntary return to the point of departure is, without doubt, the most disturbing of all journeys."

Ian Sinclair
20th century British writer/film maker

In business this would be equivalent to standing in place, and the "double edged sword" to that is, you likely don't have the option to simply mark time.

Just like a shark must continually swim to live, business must continually evolve or die.

August 17, 2010


"Are you really sure that a floor can't also be a ceiling?"

M.C. Escher
Early 20th century Dutch graphic artist

When planning your business, recognizing that there is more than one way to achieve the same or even better results, is the first requirement.

August 16, 2010


"Life is like a game of cards. The hand you are dealt is determinism; the way you play it is free will."

Jawaharial Nehru
First Prime Minister of India

"There was nothing I could do" usually means you did nothing, which should not be the same as what you tried to do.

August 13, 2010

Change: You Are Not On Your Own

"The silence of the people is warning for the king."

French proverb

And the boss too.

I'm in the middle of a two year research project regarding the process of change, what it is and how to do it better.

One of the common conclusions is you can't do it alone and as a result, what happens in organizations that do not encourage employee input?

August 12, 2010

Leadership When It Counts

"Anyone can hold the helm when the sea is calm."

Swedish proverb

The rough economic "waters" we've just been through, in fact, still are in to a point, proved that repeatedly.

What can a board do to determine a candidate CEO's potential to lead during difficult times?

August 11, 2010

What You See, What Is?

"We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are."

Anais Nin
20th century French author

. . . as we think, as we want them to be, most likely anyway but what they are.

How do you remove the "you" filter when trying to understand new things?

August 10, 2010

The Ability To Accept The Unacceptable

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it."


If I had to pick just one indication of a person's management skills, this would be it.

August 09, 2010

Is Too Much Ever Too Much?

"I wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then."

Bob Seger
American Rock and Roll Singer

When, if ever, is too much information a liability in business?

August 06, 2010

Why Rather Than Who

"The cause of events are even more interesting than are the events themselves."

Marcus Tulius Ciero
1st century BC Roman writer/politican

So, when dealing with mistakes in business, focus on the cause rather than the mistake.

That is the only way to reduce or eliminate similar problems in the future.

August 05, 2010

What You Don't Say As Much As What You Do

"Wise men are not always silent, but they do know when to be."


Success in business depends not only on knowing what to say but as well, when to say nothing at all.

August 04, 2010

August 03, 2010

Success From Failure

"Breakdowns can create breakthroughs. Things fall apart so things can fall together."


A bit corny and certainly not always true (things that fall apart often stay that way.)

But there are clouds with silver linings and you can create success from failure if you focus on why things did not turn out as planned.

Think "why" as opposed to "why me?"

August 02, 2010

The Value of Win Win

"He that complies against his will is of his own opinion still."

Samuel Butler
17th century British poet

One of the tenants of contract law holds that benefit must exit for both parties. You can force agreement but better for both parties to feel they've been treated fairly.

True in management/employee relations as well.