May 31, 2013


"Any genuine philosophy leads to action and from action back again to wonder, to the enduring fact of mystery."

Henry Miller 
20th century American author

Which well sums up the creative thinking process in business.

Of course we're too "buttoned down" to call it philosophy.

Much better to use terms such as "strategic vision".

Call it what you will it is the conception of something new (genuine philosophy) that leads to a plan (action), which in turn becomes something great (wonder).

"Enduring fact of mystery? Beats me.

May 30, 2013


"Human life is driven forward by its dim apprehension of notions too general for its existing language."

Alfred North Whitehead
Late 19th/early 20th century English mathematician

Business too.

Every idea now recognized as successful began life as just a notion in someone's mind.

But you have to do something with it to create value.

May 29, 2013


"Do little things now; so shall big things come to thee by and by, asking to be done."

Persian proverb

Anxious to get on with it?

I can't imagine you are more than me.

And we both need to remember, big progress comes from many small steps.

May 28, 2013

Very Little Alone, Much Together

“A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality.” 

John Lennon
The Beatles

Very little worth achieving, and nothing I can think of now, is accomplished alone.

If you have something you want to do, be, or change, you need others.

Find them.

May 24, 2013


"A man grows most tired while standing still."

Chinese proverb

Fortunately or not, depending on your view, you can't "stand still".

Unrelenting, often imperceptible, sometimes unimaginable change is constant reality for us all.

The only question is, how much will you have to do with what is going to happen to you?

May 23, 2013

What We Need To Know

"What is the use of growing old? You learn something of men and things but never until too late to use it."

William  H. Seward
US Secretary of State during Abraham Lincoln presidency

Taking this literally would do a disservice to Mr. Seward. 

He made this statement to President Lincoln at a particularly stressful time during the US Civil War.

The real message is, understand there is much to learn about everything, and that there always will be.

The younger you are when you do the better, more effective leader you will likely become.

May 22, 2013

Didn't You Use To Believe . . .

"How many things served us but yesterday as articles of faith, which today we deem but fables?"

Michel Eyquem de Montaigne 
16th century French philosopher/essayist

Your superiors, clients, peers, direct reports, literally everyone you work with, looks to you for consistency of thought.

It's ok to change your mind.

Just be sure to manage how and how often you do so.

May 21, 2013

What You Do, Not Reasons Why You Didn't

"It's no use saying "We are doing our best." You have got to succeed in doing what is necessary."

Winston Churchill
20th century British politician

Excuses you give your boss explaining why something didn't get done are only that.


You are paid for accomplishments.

May 20, 2013

Are Things Really That Bad!

"Borrow trouble for yourself, if that's your nature, but don't lend it to your neighbors."

Rudyard Kipling 
Late 19th/early 20th century British writer

Did you ever work for a manager who was unnecessarily pessimistic?

Don't be that manager.

May 17, 2013

Any Opinion On This?

"Taste has no system and no proofs."

Susan Sontag
20th century American author

Keep this in mind the next time you attempt to "prove" your point about something that is a matter of taste.

Particularly in business.

More To Those Who Do More

"No eulogy is due to him who simply does his duty and nothing more."

Saint Augustine
4th century theologian

Nor significant raise or certainly promotion.

Do just enough and that's what you'll get in return.

May 16, 2013

No Attack No Chance

"We must walk consciously only part way toward our goal, and then leap in the dark to our success."

Henry David Thoreau
19th century American naturalist, poet and philosopher

And often our failure.

But make no mistake about it, ultimately leap we must do.

Indy car race driver Takuma Sato succinctly sums it up with his racing philosophy, "No attack no chance". 

May 15, 2013

Youth Be Served

"Men over forty are no judges of a book written in a new spirit."

Ralph Waldo Emerson
19th century U.S. poet, essayist and lecturer

If you are over 40, and a manager whose company sells to younger consumers, think about this.

What Do Your See?

"Everyone takes the limits of his own vision for the limits of the world."

Arthur Schopenhauer
Late 18th/early 19th century German philosopher

Your vision and that of your managers may be the reason your company accomplishes so little.

May 14, 2013

Crazy Or Eccentric: A Very Thin Line Of Difference

"The world thinks eccentricity in great things is genius, but in small things, only crazy."

Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton
19th century British politician

And since most great things begin as small things, the task of every manager is to determine which they are dealing with before it is apparent.

May 13, 2013

Who Knew?

"They are so knowing that they know nothing."

2nd centrury BC Roman playwright

Do you know what this means?

May 10, 2013

I Can't Be Wrong

"How can what an Englishman believes be hearsay? It's a contradiction in terms."

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

National pride, such as that expressed by Mr. Shaw, is not the only form of self-delusional thinking.

The more you believe anything the less open you are to alternative views.

Not a good thing.

May 09, 2013

But Does It Have To Come To This?

"When it becomes more difficult to suffer than change, then you will change."


And often well before.

Much change occurs regardless of how much you suffer.

May 08, 2013

What Will You Do First?

"To him who is determined it remains only to act."

Italian proverb

Good advice to all seriously considering starting their own business.

But understand, "acting" includes having first planned what acts you will initiate.

Anything less is just blind wandering.

May 07, 2013

The Future Apple Of Our Eye?

"Not what I have but what I do is my kingdom."

Thomas Carlyle
18th century Scottish philosopher

Apple has cash but it remains to be seen if they can continue to do as they have in the past.

And on that rests their future.

May 06, 2013

How Much Time Do You Have?

"Time cuts down all, both great and small."


In other words a lack of time is no excuse for failure, we all have 24/7 of however many days we live on this earth.

Use yours wisely.

May 03, 2013


"Understanding does not mean agreement."


Not in any language although it can be more of a challenge in some.

For example the Japanese have a tendency to say "hai" (yes) to what is being said to them.

At best their intent is "yes I heard you" not "yes I agree".

There is much, much more to communication than simply talking.

May 02, 2013

The Real Test

"A smooth sea never made a skillful mariner."

English proverb

As good a manager as you might be during good times, you won't know if that is good enough until bad times.

May 01, 2013

Stop Learning, You're Through

"Education is our only political safety. Outside of this ark all is deluge."

Horace Mann
19th century American educator

Not just political safety, business safety too.

If your company stops learning, which is to say your employees, it, them, and you will be overwhelmed by the deluge of ignorance.

Never stop learning.