April 30, 2013

A Fortunate One?

"Fortune truly only helps those who are of good judgement."

5th century BC Greek poet

A not so subtle way of saying you make your fortune or luck.

More than not I believe this is true.

If you are "fortunate" you've probably earned it.

April 29, 2013

If Only . . .

"There is nothing assured to mortals."

1st century BC Latin poet

Well, there is really, taxes and death being but two examples.

But you get the idea.

The less time you spend wishing things would stay the same the more time you'll have working to make them what you want them to be.

April 26, 2013

The Power Of Need Over Want

"Nothing has more strength than dire necessity."

4th century BC Greek poet

Keep this in mind when considering the validity of your "can't miss" business idea.

Most of what we come up with will fail this test.

The more people need rather than want the better.

April 25, 2013

This Isn't What I thought It Would Be

"If we do not change our direction we are likely to end up where we are headed."

Chinese proverb

Which is not a bad thing as long as where we are headed is where we want and need to go.

Unfortunately that often isn't the case.

Be certain of your destinations (goals) before you invest time and money trying to reach them.

April 24, 2013


"The language of friendship is not words but meanings."

Henry David Thoreau
19th century American naturalist

Substitute "communication" for "friendship" and you have a very important lesson in business as well.

Far more critical than the words you speak is the assumed meaning of those words.

What you think you've said is often not what is heard, and when that happens there is no communication.

April 23, 2013

In Due Time

"Nothing can be done except little by little."

Charles Baudelaire
19th century French poet

Accepting patience as a necessary part of progress has always been difficult.

And in these days of instant/always on, even more so.

April 22, 2013

The Emotional Light

"There can be no transforming darkness into light and apathy into movement without emotion."

Carl Gustav Jung
Late 19th/early 20th century Swiss psychiatrist/psychologist

Emotionless effort gets you nowhere worth going; you need emotional effort to achieve most any goal worth achieving.

April 19, 2013

They're Not Laughing

"Humor is the first gift to perish in a foreign language."

Virginia Woolf
20th century British novelist

Because communication is as much if not more about the culture as it is the translation.

If you don't know one you don't know the other.

And if you don't know what I mean, I rest my case.

April 18, 2013

Creative Structure

"There ain't no rules around here, we're trying to accomplish something."

Thomas Alva Edison
Late 19th/early 20th century American inventor

Free thinkers love quotes such as this coming from people noted for their successes.

However even Mr. Edison would not suggest this for everything, all times.

The trick is to adapt structure (rules) in which creativity can flourish.

No small task.

April 17, 2013

This Can Go Either Way

"The comic and the tragic lie inseparably close, like light and shadow."

4th century BC Greek philosopher

In business too, success and failure often rest on a single thin thread of chance.

What do you do to improve the odds of the former over the latter?

April 16, 2013

Does Not Compute!

"There is something in omens."

1st century BC poet

(Much too) logical managers will likely disagree with this.

Being logical is good so long as you leave some time for being illogical.

April 15, 2013

Walk The Walk, Certainly, But Whose Walk?

"A leader has been defined as one who knows, the way, shows the way, and goes the way."


Ok, while simplistically corny I get and accept the core idea.

Sort of a walk the walk sentiment.

But a leader must also be open to being led to what he or she should know, show, and go to.

No one knows it all.

April 12, 2013

And You Are . . ?

"An identity would seem to be arrived at by the way in which the person faces and uses his experience."

James Baldwin
20th century American writer

In other words you will be what you've seen, heard, and done.

Whenever possible make sure you're ok with that before you see, hear, and do it.

April 11, 2013

Cold Hard Reality

"To aim is not enough, you must hit!"

German proverb

This does fly in the face of all our exhortations to our children that doing their best was more important than winning, doesn't it?

But at work?

Either you do or you'll end up not doing somewhere else.

April 10, 2013

Prepare Now For The Next Economic Tsunami

"There is an enormous number of managers who have retired on the job."

Peter F. Drucker
American writer/educator/business consultant

One good thing about the severity of the recent recession is that it eliminated a lot of unproductive labor and management along with, no doubt, some productive people as well.

That's the downside to tsunamis, both literal and figurative ones.

If you're standing when one approaches you may well not be after it's passed over you.

However unlike the real wave, during difficult economic times there is some judgement about who stays and who goes.

The more productive you are the better chance you have of surviving.

April 09, 2013

April 08, 2013

If You Can't Trust You . . .

"The easiest person to deceive is one's own self."

Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton
19th century British politician, poet, critic

And we don't always know when we do either.

Just as it is a good idea to continually review your business plan assumptions, updating them as necessary, so too should you review what you assume to be true about you.

There is fact and fiction in all of it.

April 05, 2013

Business Nirvana

"There would be no society if living together depended upon understanding each other."

Eric Hoffer
20th century American philosopher and author

In a perfect world . . .

We would always understand what our co-workers say.

There would be few if any misunderstandings.

We would work harmoniously towards a common goal.

. . . in a perfect world.

I'm ok with not living in a perfect world.

April 04, 2013

Me Too!

"No man was ever great by imitation."

Samuel Johnson
18th century British author

So much in business is based on if not copied from something else.

Is what you are, do, what your company is, does, original, or an imitation of someone or something else?

April 03, 2013

Scarecrows Around Every Corner

"Logical consequences are the scarecrows of fools and the beacons of wise men."

Thomas H. Huxley
19th century British biologist

Sometimes we fear what possibly, but not certainly, we may need to fear, before we need to fear it.

And for that we are fools.

Understand the potential consequences of your actions, and decide based on that what course you will take.

There are enough real threats to be avoided without adding the unreal ones we perceive as real.

April 02, 2013

You Will Get Yours

"God bears with the wicked, but not forever."

Miguel de Cervantes
16th century Spanish novelist

Nor with anyone or thing for that matter, not forever.

If you are a wicked manager, or you work for a wicked company, there will be a day of reckoning.

And while it could come from God, it doesn't have to.

The market has a way of sorting that out.

Don't be wicked.

April 01, 2013

Do You Know What You Do Not Know?

"When you know a thing, to hold that you know it; and when you do not know a thing, to allow that you do not know it--this is knowledge."

5th century BC Chinese philosopher

How many of us do this enough of the time?

I allow I do not know.