October 29, 2010

A Person Of Action Or Indecision?

"A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking."


One of those "brain candy" statements easily refuted, and still, there is a lesson in this for us all.

While at some point you have to act, all too often we act first, think later, based on half-truths, assumptions and too little information.

October 28, 2010

The Change Debate: Which Side Are You On?

"The chains of habit are generally too weak to be felt, until they are too strong to be broken."

Samuel Johnson
18th century British author

One of many, often contradictory quotes having to do with change, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" being an example from the opposite point of view.

We all have to choose and for me, embracing rather than resisting change is the best course of action.

How about you?

October 27, 2010

Who Would Know Better Than Darwin?

"It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change."

Charles Darwin
Suggested by Manish Kulman

If ever there was an endorsement about the importance of one's relationship to change, this is it.

Proactive or reactive, when it comes to change, which are you?

October 26, 2010

You Did It Once And If Need Be, You Can Do It Again!

"You gain strength, courage and confidence by each experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face."

Eleanore Roosevelt
20th century American columnist, lecturer and humanitarian

That being true we all should be considerably stronger given the events of the last 24 months, assuming we don't forget that we once confronted fear and survived.

Do you remember?

October 25, 2010

Follow Me, Follow Us?

"None of us is as smart as all of us."

Japanese proverb

Very Zen, makes sense on many levels, however taken to the extreme, such thinking can lead to inaction, missed opportunity.

How do we balance the expected good from inclusiveness with the benefit that can come from following a decisive leader?

October 22, 2010

Committee Effectiveness

"To get something done, a committee should consist of no more than three people, two of whom are absent."

Robert Copeland

I've been on a few committees where I wish this had been true, including some where the outcome would have been better had I been one of the two not there.

But in general, the effectiveness of a committee has more to do with the ability of its members and the clarity of its mission.  

Get that wrong and even a committee of one will fail.

October 21, 2010

Too Fast, Too Slow

"Quicker by taking more time."

In auto racing this is called slow down to go fast, meaning, driving faster than your ability, the car, road, or some combination of these will allow, will cause you to lose the race.

It's no different in business.

October 20, 2010

The Perils of "Knowledge"

"It is impossible to learn that which one thinks one already knows."

1st century AD Greek philosopher

Minds close when perceived knowledge enters.

Doubt is a good thing.

Do you question yourself enough?

October 19, 2010

Free To Think, Required To Plan

"Surely there is grandeur in the realm of thought, knowing at least you are without a chain."

Robert Green Ingersoll
19th century American politician

So be free to think and envision whatever you wish.  

Great advice because without unfettered imagination, how will we ever progress to what could be from what is?

But once you know where that is (what could be), it's time to create the plan that is absolutely essential to get you there, and unlike the picture in this post, there are no road signs telling you where to go.

October 18, 2010

Listen To The (Right) Voice Of The Customer

"It is the folly of too many to mistake the echo of a London coffee house for the voice of the kingdom."

Jonathan Swift
17th century Irish satirist

Business translation:  If you need to understand what your customers think, which you do, make sure you get those opinions from a sample representative of everyone, and not just some small faction who are easy to survey, more vocal than the rest, or both.

October 15, 2010

The Art of Management?

"The object of art is to give life a shape."

William Shakespeare

And I believe the object of management is to give the collective actions of employees it's "shape".

What do you think?

October 14, 2010

Patience Now, Fewer Regrets Later

"If you are patient in moments of anger, you will escape 100 days of sorrow."

Chinese proverb

Not unexpectedly, a proverb coming from a people noted for their reflective serenity.

Now, if I could only learn how to do this more often. 

October 13, 2010

The Hardest And Most Important Thing We (Should) Do

"Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is the probable reason so few engage in it."

Henry Ford
20th century American industrialist

I would stop to think about what this means, but I'm just too tired.

October 12, 2010

Great Idea? You And Everybody Else

"Ideas are a capital that bears interest only in the hands of talent."

Antoine Rivarol
18th century French writer

Let me be more blunt.

Good ideas are a dime a dozen, worth very little if not backed with a well considered plan.

Whether it be your personal or professional life, no plan, little chance of success.

October 11, 2010

Our Work and Home Selves: One And The Same

"It's an illusion to think we can separate who we are at work from who we are at home--our patterns travel with us."

Silvia LaFair

Contributed by Winifred Wang, MBA
Human Resources Professional

Essentially, what you are is what you are no matter where you are.

If you are experiencing inexplicable difficulty in one part of your life, look to other parts for clues as to why.

October 08, 2010

Achievement First, Recognition Second

"Applause waits on success."
Benjamin Franklin 
18th century American statesman

Succeed first, be recognized for what you've done second.

There are not nearly as many shortcuts as there are those who look for them.

October 07, 2010

If You Can Think It, You Can Do It!

"Our life is the creation of our mind."

"Our life is what our thoughts make it."
Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius

And they're not the only ones to express this view.

If you don't like the way your career or business is headed, first think about what you want it to be and then make that happen.

Yes it is as simple as that.

October 06, 2010

Are You Ahead Or Behind?

"Efficiency tends to deal with things, effectiveness with people.  We manage things, we lead people."
Source Unknown

This quote is saved by the use of the word "tends" because what is and is not efficient and effective varies by situation.  But the overall thought is valid.

If you are in charge, are you leading or herding?  

In the former you have followers, the latter it's you who follows.

October 05, 2010

Candidly Speaking

"Let us not be ashamed to speak what we shame not to think."
Michel Eyquem de Montaigne
16th century French philosopher

Paraphrasing, if you're (wo)man enough to think it, much less say it behind the back of someone else, be (wo)man enough to say it to them as well.

October 04, 2010

The Cost of Doing Nothing

"Change is not made without inconvenience, even from worse to better."

Richard Hooker
16th century Anglican theologian

You must pay to improve your business or personal situation, but what is the cost of doing nothing?
If you've reached the point of contemplating change, the cost of inaction is likely greater than acting.

October 01, 2010

Measure Twice, Cut Once

"Nothing is more terrible than activity without insight."
Thomas Carlyle
19th century Scottish writer

Think before you act.  In business, contingency planning.