December 28, 2012

The Business Philosopher

"Philosophy always requires something more, requires the external, the true, in contrast to which even the fullest existence as such is but a happy moment."

Soren Kierkegaard
19th century Danish philosopher

Isn't that the essence of what business managers strive to achieve?

December 27, 2012

At Some Point You Just Have To Laugh

"I can imagine no more comfortable frame of mind for the conduct of life than a humorous resignation."

W. Somerset Maugham
20th century British playwright/author

Did you ever notice how happy and accepting many elderly seem to be?

They appear to have accepted this quote as true and a goal worthy of achieving.

Now, how to do this before we get old, particularly in our business lives.

December 26, 2012

We Won't Be Like You

"The new organization is edgeless, permeable, amorphous . . . constantly reforming according to need."


This sounds like something a new generation person would say to demonstrate how they are different from all generations gone before them.

And there's a slight implied bias suggesting that the new way will be the better way.

If so, great, we can all benefit from new and better ways.

However before concluding that is so I'd like to hear how this "constantly reforming" organization intends to manage itself.

December 21, 2012

Our Own Jailer

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

Samuel Johnson
18th century British author

Not always a bad thing; there are good habits as well as bad.

But you know what this refers to don't you?

December 20, 2012

Averages Are Made Up Of Differences

"The worst form of inequality is to try to make unequal things equal."

3rd century BC Greek philosopher

Because it can't be done.

You can treat unequal things and people the same but that doesn't make them equal.

How's your promotion policy?

December 19, 2012

Become The Best!

"We are citizens of the world.  The tragedy of our times is that we don't know this."

Woodrow Wilson
28th president of the United States

And we are still today in all things and none more than business.

As "motherhoodish" as it may sound, the only way to protect ourselves from foreign competition is to continually out perform them.

December 18, 2012

What's In It For Us?

"When a match has equal partners then I fear not."

5th century BC Greek dramatist

The implication being, one should fear when there is not equality.

For a contract to be valid the law requires benefit to both parties.

It is logical then that there must also be mutual benefit in business relations including those between managers and employees.

Win win or all too often it will be lose lose.

December 14, 2012

Shoot To Kill

"If you shoot a king you must kill him."

Ralph Waldo Emerson
19th century American essayist/poet

Not only true of kings but of CEOs and other managers as well.

If the challenge really matters to you, by all means go ahead with it.

However be prepared to leave, you may not survive.

December 13, 2012

Think (But Not Too Much) Before You Act!

"Reflection makes men cowards."

William Hazlitt
18th century British essayist

You need to reflect before taking action but too much thinking about what might happen and you may not act at all.

How do you balance the two?

December 12, 2012

Which Dog Will You Work For?

"Don't mistake pleasure for happiness. They are a different breed of dogs."

Josh Billings
19th century American humorist

Your career may bring one, sometimes both, occasionally neither.

Make sure you strive for the one you need as much if not more than the one you want.

December 11, 2012

Duty To Others

"A sense of duty is useful in work but offensive in personal relations.  People wish to be liked, not to be endured with patient resignation."

Bertrand Russell
19th century British philosopher

But since personal relations are important in business, how do you separate the two?

You don't.

Duties can be accomplished without "enduring" those you perform them for, patient resignation or not.

December 10, 2012

I Promise . . .

"Words pay no debts."

William Shakespeare
16th century British poet/playwright

Your promises to do specific things by a specific time are a form of debt.

Try not to default too often.

December 07, 2012

I Didn't Because _______

"An excuse is worse than a lie, for an excuse is a lie, guarded."

Alexander Pope
18th century English poet

Not always; some excuses are honest explanations for failure.

But I'm being kind.

All too often they are a lie.

December 06, 2012

But What If They're Right?

"Love your enemies for they tell you your faults."

Benjamin Franklin
18th century American statesman/inventor

Not everything they say about you is true.

Only that which is.

December 05, 2012

Behind the Veil Of What Might Be

"It is the dim haze of mystery that adds enchantment to pursuit."

Antoine Rivarol
19th century French writer

"Mystery", "enchantment"; not likely words you associate with your job are they?

Particularly not when you think about your career "pursuit".

But why shouldn't they be?

December 04, 2012

What Are You Building?

"The boy gathers materials for a temple, and then when he is thirty, concludes to build a woodshed."

Henry David Thoreau
19th century American naturalist/poet/philosopher

Sooner or later compromise is a part of all our lives.

Better later than sooner.

December 03, 2012

Made Of Sterner Stuff?

"Such as we are made of, such we be."

William Shakespeare
16th century English poet/playwright

In business as in our personal lives, just as true for our companies as ourselves.