July 31, 2012

Cut Your Losses

"To select the wrong person for a job is a common mistake; not to remove him/her is a fatal weakness."


Fatal for both the manager and the employee.

If you are one or the other, see that this doesn't apply to you.

July 30, 2012

History Will Repeat Itself Unless . . .

"There is a history in all men's lives."

William Shakespeare
16th century British poet/playwright

In yours as well and worth reviewing if you don't want to repeat your mistakes of the past.

July 27, 2012

Learn To Write Well

"I believe more in the scissors than I do in the pencil."

Truman Capote
20th century American author

The most important skill in business:  The ability to communicate effectively in writing.

The least prevalent skill in business:  The ability to communicate effectively in writing.

July 26, 2012

Youth: A Means To An End

"Youth itself is a talent, a perishable talent."

Eric Hoffer
20th century American philosopher

One replaced by "experience" resulting from the mistakes we all make when young.

That is if we learn from our mistakes.

July 25, 2012

Never Ceasing Change

"Our nature consists in motion; complete rest is death."

Blaine Pascal
17th century French mathematician/philosopher

And true for companies as well.

The only question is whether you attempt to guide the constant change that affects us all, or simply, passively accept what comes.

July 24, 2012

Truth Be Told

"The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names."

Chinese proverb

While denial is often more comfortable it rarely is long term.

Acknowledge reality, the sooner the better.

July 23, 2012

Who Owns You?

"So free we seem, so fettered we are."

Robert Browning
19th century British poet

How true whether you work for yourself or someone else.

We all owe someone something.

July 20, 2012

Stormy Seas

"He that will learn to pray, let him go to sea."

George Herbert
17th century British poet

Thinking of starting your own business?

July 19, 2012

Jill Of All Trades?

"Sir, a man may be so much of everything, that he is nothing of anything."

Samuel Johnson
18th century British author

Beware the pitfalls of becoming a Jack of all trades, master of none.

You must be good at something.

July 18, 2012

If It's Worth Doing . . .

"The real Antichrist is he who turns the wine of an original idea into the water of mediocrity."

Eric Hoffer
20th century American philosopher

Few start out to do a mediocre job and still that does happen way too often.

You have to work, really, really work, to be great.

July 17, 2012

How Can I Help You?

"Masters who sacrifice for servants will receive the gift of loyalty."


If you've never thought about what you should do for those who report to you, you should.

If not for them, for yourself.

July 16, 2012

I Wish I Didn't Know Now What I Didn't Know Then

"Education is the path from cocky ignorance to miserable uncertainty."

Mark Twain
19th century American humorist/author

I see this in my clients and often it's not as much a matter of education as it is experience.

Or lack thereof.

Those just starting out don't know what they don't know, not to mention what they should know.

And those, generally older, who do know, are scared thinking about what they now know they don't know.

July 13, 2012

Making Progress?

"There is safety in reserve, but no attraction."

Jane Austen
18th century English novelist

And in business as well.

You won't have an accident going zero miles per hour.

You also won't get anywhere.

July 12, 2012

Always Right?

"He that wrestles with us strengthens our nerves and sharpens our skill."

Edmund Burke
18th century British political writer

If your direct reports never do this, if your peers always accept your positions, how will you know you're right?

July 11, 2012

Profit Or Loss?

"Desperation is sometimes as powerful an inspirer as genius."

Benjamin Disraeli
19th century British politician

The qualifying "sometimes" makes the difference.

If your situation is truly desperate, as in life or death, you will either be inspired to find a solution, or perish in the process.

July 10, 2012

Person Of Few Words

"We never say so much as when we do not quite know what we want to say."

Eric Hoffer
20th century American philosopher


July 09, 2012

Knowledge Without Understanding . . . What's It Worth?

"When you cease to try to understand than you will know without understanding."

Chinese proverb

And if you really don't understand how can you act on what you know?

July 06, 2012

All Things To All (No) People

"A friend to everybody and nobody is the same thing."

Spanish proverb

Does your company attempt to sell to everyone?

Attempting is fine but it won't happen and in the end could result in lower sales.

July 05, 2012

The Rusty Brain

"Sloth, like rust, consumes faster than labor wears, while the used key is always bright."

Benjamin Franklin
18th century American statesman/inventor/philosopher

This isn't just about the physical.

It pertains to the mental as well.

July 03, 2012

It's Only (Their) Money

"When the well's dry, they know the worth of water."


As an employee, how often (do) you think about the limitation of company resources available to support you all?

You should, every day.

July 02, 2012

Feared Or Willingly Followed?

"The superior man is firm in the right way, and not merely firm."

5th century  BC Chinese philosopher

As the boss you can easily be the latter, often without knowing that you are.

Try not to.