April 30, 2012

The Importance Of Becoming Something Else

"A living thing is distinguished from a dead thing by the multiplicity of the changes taking place at any given moment in it."

Herbert Spencer
19th century English philosopher/biologist/sociologist

If you don't see ongoing change in you and your company . . . .

April 27, 2012

Is It Me Or Is It You?

"Abuse, if you slight it, will gradually die away; but if you show yourself to be irritated you will be thought to have deserved it."

Publius Cornelius Tacitus
1st century Roman historian

Just make sure you are slighting abuse, which in business can be mistaken for justifiable criticism.

If it is the latter, fight it, and if the former, think about what you need to do differently.

April 26, 2012

It's Not My Fault I Have No Faults

"Our own self-love draws a thick veil between us and our faults."

Lord Chesterfield
18th century British statesman

Don't think this applies to you?

Take 60 seconds to list all the positive things about you.

Now take the next 60 seconds to list your faults.

If the first list is twice as long or longer than the second, you might want to rethink both lists.

April 25, 2012

I Know You Don't Mean Me!

"Nothing so needs reforming as other people's habits."

Mark Twain
19th century American author/humorist

How many of your company's problems are directly or indirectly your fault?


April 24, 2012

Forget The "To Do" List, What About The "Ta Done" List?

"Think of many things, do only one."


We have to take this figuratively; in today's world there just isn't an option to do only one thing at a time.

However the underlying thought is true.

Have all the creative ideas you like but at the end of the day you have to have accomplished something.

April 23, 2012

Let Me Think About That

"There is music in words, and it can be heard you know, by thinking."

E. L. Doctorow
20th century American author

In business the "music" may be wisdom but call it what you will it is only there for you to see and hear if you first think.

April 20, 2012

Lie To Me Kindly

"There is no sickness worse for me than words that to be kind must lie."

5th century Greek dramatist

Interesting coming from a dramatist.

Business is full of lies, small, big, intentional, unintentional.

And there is kindness too although maybe not as much as could be.

Given a required choice, when it comes to business are you going to be kind or lie?

April 19, 2012

Truth Shall Set You Free

"The language of truth is quite simple."

4th century BC Greek poet

It is much easier to own the truth than to attempt to own a lie.

April 18, 2012

Don't Fence Me (Out)!

"Don't ever take a fence down until you know why it was put up."

Robert Frost
20th century American poet

Nor put one up without first understanding what you want to keep in or keep out.

Business is full of "fences" including official and unofficial, obvious and not.

Easy to erect, difficult to dismantle once up.

April 17, 2012


"She lacks the indefinable charm of weakness."

Oscar Wilde
19th century Irish poet

Is there charm in business weakness?

Have you ever done business with a smaller company simply because they were small?

Or is being small not a weakness?

April 16, 2012

Getting A Lot For Doing A Little

"The only job where you start at the top is digging a hole."


Most every generation thinks they work harder than those coming after them.

Still, I tend to believe that the generation just now entering the labor force does feel more entitled than did all those that came before them.

What do you think?

April 13, 2012

I Know That!

"No man knows less than the man who knows it all."


Knowing just this makes one smarter than most.

And by the way, isn't it appropriate that the source of this quote is (wait for it), unknown?

April 12, 2012

This Is Hard!

"Every noble work is at first impossible."

Thomas Carlyle
19th century British historian

And while you're at it you can substitute "important", "critical", "beneficial", and a host of other adjectives for "noble" as well.

In short, if it's worth doing it may well initially appear to be difficult if not impossible to do.

But don't let that stop you.

Do It!

April 11, 2012

The Pendulum Swings

"He will always be a slave who does not know how to live upon a little."

1st century BC Latin poet

Prior to the beginning of the recession we are just now ever so slowly emerging from, far too many companies were slave to excess.

And now we have the opposite.

Do more with less, don't hire if you can avoid it.

An excess of opposite extremes, each as debilitating as the other.

April 10, 2012

Not Me!

"Opposition may be sweet to a man when he has christened it persecution."

George Eliot
19th century British writer

When involved in a dispute, it isn't human nature to see ourselves as the problem is it?

Him/her, not me.

But never?  Ever?  Really??

April 09, 2012

Do I Look Like I Care?

"One must not attempt to justify them, but rather to sense their nature simply and clearly."

Albert Einstein
19th/20th century German/Swiss /US scientist

The second worst mistake a marketer can make is believing they must justify the needs and wants of their customers rather than simply accept them.

The worst mistake?

Not caring.

April 06, 2012

Doing What You Say?

"Patience when teased is often transformed into rage."


"Teasing" can take many forms.

For example repeatedly promising and failing to fulfill those promises.

And as to "rage"?

How about being fired for not doing what you said you would?

Or "fired" by a customer who is no longer willing to buy your product, having been disappointed in what you previously sold them?

April 05, 2012

Whose Fault Is That?

"Neither have they the heart to stay, nor wit enough to run away."

Samuel Butler
17th century British poet

Not happy in your job?

What are you doing to become happy, if not where you are then somewhere else?

April 04, 2012

Above All Else, Understand

"I have striven not to laugh at human actions, not to weep at them, nor to hate them, but to understand them."

Benedict de Spinoza
17th century Dutch Jewish philosopher

I know I've visited this notion in other quotes but it is too important not to risk overstating.

If we did nothing more than understand the views of others there would be almost no limit to what we could accomplish.

Important in business, certainly, but in all things we do as well.

April 03, 2012

Don't Like It? Change It!

"Circumstances do not make the man they reveal him."

James Allen
19th century British born American essayist

Some, including me, believe we can alter our circumstances.

If you don't like where you are, change.

April 02, 2012

What's Your Real Agenda?

"Be curious, not judgmental."

Walt Whitman
19th century American poet

Which are you really when questioning your subordinates?

It's very easy to think you are one while actually being the other.