February 26, 2010

Manager: When Your Job Is No Longer Doing

"The foolish think that nothing is well done, except that which they do themselves."


The hardest thing many managers must do is learn to manage rather than do.

How about you?

February 25, 2010

The Power of Comprehension

"Tis better to understand than to be understood."


How true is this?

Think what you can accomplish when you really do understand, regardless of what those around you know or believe they know.

February 24, 2010

Planning is Thinking

"Many people would rather die than think. In fact they do."

Bertrand Russel
20th century British philosopher/mathematician

I can directly link (far too) many of my failures to a lack of thought prior to taking action, and I would say the same is true for you as well.

But first, I want to think about that some more.

February 23, 2010

Power Abuse

"Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power."

Abraham Lincoln

So true and the managers who most abuse power are often incapable of seeing that they do.

However the good news is, because of that, they look silly to most all around them and rarely last.

February 22, 2010

Management: The Trade-Off Between Youth and Experience

"Forty is the old age of youth, 50 the youth of old age."

Victor Hugo

19th century French poet/novelist

And what about now?

At least in business today, a time when many older workers want and need to continue to work, I'm betting (too many) feel these numbers should be 35 and 45.

What do you think?

February 19, 2010

Direction Perspective: More Than One Way?

"Have you ever noticed, in traffic, anyone going slower than you is an idiot, and everyone going faster is a maniac!"

George Carlin

If you read reader comments in USA Today, the Wall Street Journal and other similar publications where readers comment on articles, everyone has the answer and knows no others do.

Similarly, eavesdrop on business conversations and you hear the same thing. "I'm right, they're not."

How about you, are you right?

February 18, 2010

It's Lonely At The Top

"The courts of kings are full of people, but empty of friends."

Roman Philosopher

Yet another quote from our friend Seneca, who in the first century before the birth of Christ, could see how lonely it is for leaders, be they kings, CEO's or department heads.

How do you handle the blurred lines between business and friendship?

February 17, 2010

Management, The Plan, And A Very Distant Third, The Product

"In modern business it is not the crook who is feared most, it is the honest man who doesn't know what he is doing."

Owen D. Young
Early 20th century American industrialist

Which is why smart money looks to invest in individuals whose business plan and management is better than the idea or product itself.

How's yours?

February 16, 2010

It's Not a Question of If But Rather What?

"By nature man hates change; seldom will he quit his old home until it has fallen around his ears."

Thomas Carlyle
19th century British historian and essayist.

And in business as well (just ask GM.)

Do you understand your business will change, with the only question being, will you decide what it will become or will it be decided for you?

February 15, 2010

I Know I Assume

"It is not the man who has little, but he who desires more that is poor."

Roman Philosopher

"Lack of money is the root of all evil."

George Bernard Shaw
Author, winner 1925 Nobel prize in literature

Are these statements contradictory?

As often happens, you can't (or shouldn't) say for certain without definition of words like "little", "poor", "lack of", "money" and "evil".

But we do.

Without knowing what we really don't know, we conclude things we shouldn't, worse yet, acting on our assumptions.

And therein is the reason so many of our plans fail.

February 12, 2010

The Measure of Work

"It's not the hours you put in your work that counts, it's the work you put in the hours."

Sam Ewing
Retired Professional Baseball Player

Probably a good summary of the difference between the way most management and most employees see the role of labor.

Which matters most; the number of hours or the results of those hours of work?

If management says results, why do they pay based on hours?

February 11, 2010

Do You Have Any Questions?

"He who would not be frustrate of his hope to write well hereafter in laudable things ought himself to be a true poem."

John Milton
17th century English poet

Mr. Milton is a recognized poetic genius.

I am not.

Moreover the language he uses in this statement may well have been very clear to his contemporaries some 400 years ago.

But maybe not.

It's not to me and I think this may be one time he got just a bit balled up, his meaning taking a backseat to choice of words.

In business, when goaling not the word but the thought, take care to not obfuscate, intentionally or otherwise, upon pain of not more but less being heard as is spoke.

I think you know what I mean (and yes I know, two dogs in two days.)

February 10, 2010

Doing With What You've Got

"Not being beautiful forced me to develop my inner resources."

Golda Meir
Ex Israeli Prime Minister

Have you ever seen a three legged dog get around as well if not better than some with four legs?

They do because they don't understand the assumptions we thinking beings make about them. That they can't because they don't have the resources to do what four legged dogs can do.

Do you feel as though you're working in a three legged company?

February 09, 2010

Knowing When It's Time

"Great is the art of beginning, but greater is the art of ending."

Lazurus Long

Let me paraphrase a possible explanation of why that is true. You need to know when to quit so you are free to begin.

No sun rises without sun sets.

February 08, 2010

Know More, Assume Less

"Get the facts or the facts will get you."

Dr. Thomas Fuller
17th century English Physician

And note well the difference between facts and assumed facts.

Most decisions are based on the latter, less on the former.

February 05, 2010

Hearing What I Mean, Not Just What I Said

"You can listen as well as you hear."

Mike & the Mechanics

But few of us do.

We hear the words but don't comprehend the meaning, not because we can't but because we don't.

February 04, 2010

In Pursuit of Truth

"Believe those who are seeking the truth; doubt those who find it."

Andre Gide
20th century French author, Nobel Prize (Literature) winner

Think back in your career to all those who were certain about any number of things, or at least said they were.

How many turned out to be right?

Skepticism can be a good thing. Not to the point of doubting everything all the time, but as part of the process of validating what is and is not truth.

February 03, 2010

Management's Outside Help

"Men in the game are blind to what men looking on clearly see."

Chinese Proverb

Quite often, but not always, true.

As a consultant, I know there are many instances where I don't know enough about my client's business to help them, whereas in other situations, I know exactly what they need to do almost the minute I walk through their door.

Forest and trees with the "art" being knowing when which is which.

February 02, 2010

Truth in Hiring

"The closest a person ever comes to perfection is when he fills out a job application."

Stanley J. Randall

Did you ever see a resume that said anything other than good things about the applicant?

Did you ever tell an applicant anything bad about the company or position for which they were applying?

Have you ever wondered why so many hires turn out bad for the person being hired, the company or both?

February 01, 2010

Change: The New You

"We change, whether we like it or not."

Ralph Waldo Emerson

So wouldn't it make sense to not only not resist change but attempt to orchestrate into what we will change?

Your business will be different with the only question being, how?