February 28, 2011

Getting To The End

"It's not that I'm so smart, it's just that I stay with problems longer."

Albert Einstein
20th century scientist

How bad is it when more often than not, we must look back saying, "If only."

There are significant consequences for having quit too soon.

February 25, 2011

Driving Or Just Along For The Ride?

"Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced."

Soren Kierkegaard
19th century Danish philosopher

Another one that, unexamined, feels good to me, until I consider it in the context of business.

I believe business is about examining and attempting to control all possible, accepting that there will be far more you don't than there is you do.

What do you think?

February 24, 2011


"To be happy is to become aware of oneself without fright."

Walter Benjamin
Early 20th century German philosopher

Something tells me that we have much less self-awareness as business people than we do in our "civilian" lives.

Able to hide behind our degrees and titles, we do.

What do you think? 

Do you really know your business persona, both the bad as well as the good?

February 23, 2011

Respect But For What?

"Fools take to themselves the respect that is given to their office."

6th century Greek fabulist

Impressed with yourself?

Even the military knows that the salute goes to the uniform, not the man wearing it.

February 22, 2011

Up To And (Occasionally) Across The Line

"Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far they can go."

T.S. Elliot
20th century American-English poet/playwright

In other words, you can't know how far is too far unless you occasionally go there, with the trick being knowing how to come back?

Have you, do you?

February 21, 2011

Management Tolerance

"Censorship ends in logical completeness when nobody is allowed to read any books except the books nobody reads."

George Bernard Shaw
Late 19th, early 20th century Irish writer

How tolerant of new thinking can management afford to be assuming employees all need to be "rowing" in the same direction?

How tolerant are you?

February 18, 2011

Conservative Business Management

"When a nation's young men are conservative, its funeral bell has already rung."

Henry Ward Beecher
19th century American politician

Suggesting new thinking only comes from the liberal point of view.

How will companies run by conservative management create the change they need to evolve and grow?

(To those conservatives just joining us, see yesterday's post.)

February 17, 2011

Liberal Business Management

"A liberable man is too broad-minded to take his own side in a quarrel."

Robert Frost
20th century American poet

Suggesting liberals equivocate too much, not taking a firm stance.

That would be disastrous in business wouldn't it?

(Don't gloat conservatives, you're up next.)

February 16, 2011

The Cost of Winning

"I was never ruined but twice; once when I lost a lawsuit and once when I won one."

18th century French writer/historian

How much more profitable might business be if there was a law banning lawsuits to settle disputes?

If those who would sue each other were forced to settle their differences without the use of lawyers.

February 15, 2011

How About You?

"Don't open a shop unless you like to smile."

Chinese proverb

"I wrote a book called "How To Get Along With Anyone".  Well, I didn't write it alone; I co-wrote it with this other jack-off a-hole."
Steve Martin
American comedian

When it comes to succeeding in business, it helps immensely to be a people-person, and this is not limited to just retail.

Thinking back, I believe that at least half the people I've encountered in business would have preferred to only deal with things rather than people.

What's your preference?

February 14, 2011

Do Unto Others . . .

"If you're too busy to help those around you succeed, you're too busy."


The feel goodness of this notwithstanding, there is an important implied message.

It is important to help others.

Do you?

February 11, 2011

I Am My Brother's Whistle Blower?

"The first faults are theirs that commit them, the second theirs that permit them."

English proverb

So if you see your company doing something inappropriate you have an obligation to speak up, correct?

Never, sometimes, always?

February 10, 2011

Used For What?

"Wealth unused might as well not exist."

5th century BC Greek fabulist

So many quotes imply something without directly saying what that is, this one included.

Is a company's financial reserves, "unused" or prudent management?

February 09, 2011

The First Job

"We should not judge people by their peak of excellence; but by the distance they have traveled from the point where they started."

Henry Ward Beecher
19th century American politician

Memo to Management:  Remember this when considering an otherwise qualified young person who only lacks in experience.

You too once had to find your first job.

February 08, 2011

Art Is Where You Find It

"A work of art is above all an adventure of the mind."

Eugene Ionesco
20th century Romanian born French playwright

Since all great ideas begin in the mind, doesn't this definition also apply to business?

And if it does, does that not also mean that great business ideas are also art?

What did Guy Kawasaki call his book?  "The Art of the Start"

February 07, 2011

Best of Intentions Don't Get It Done

"Tomorrow is often the busiest day of the week."

Spanish proverb

So true.  

I sometimes amaze myself with all I plan to do tomorrow, which rarely turns out to be what I actually do.

How about you?

February 04, 2011

How About Relatively Useful, Relatively Glorius?

"Unless what we do is useful, glory is vain."

  Latin proverb

Much of my early career was spent as a Senior VP Marketing and Product Development selling car and home stereo. 

Was there glory in that?  

What if you sell ketchup, clothes, hardware, grass seed, laundry detergent, most anything you can think of that is not essential to sustain or preserve someone's life?

I suppose what is and is not "useful" depends on one's perspective.

How about what you do?

February 03, 2011

Talk Is Cheap!

"A grievance is most poignant when almost redressed."

Eric Hoffer
20th century American author/philosopher

And "almost" is the best you can say if all your company does is tell its employees it is concerned about their well-being.

Talk is cheap.

So, what is it for you?  Words or actions?

February 02, 2011

That's Funny!

"That is the saving grace of humor, if you fail no one is laughing at you."

A. Whitney Brown
21st century American writer/comedian

Nor in business, certainly not your investors.

Treat every dollar of investment capital as if it belonged to someone else.

It does.

February 01, 2011

What Are The Odds?

"The gambling known as business looks with austere disfavor upon the business known as gambling."

Ambrose Bierce
19th century American journalist

What are the differences between the two?

Both are about taking chances, hoping for financial gain, all based on more unknowns than knowns.

But at least with gambling the rules are clear.