January 31, 2013

Overly Enthusiastic?


"Opposition always enflames the enthusiast, never converts him."

Friedrich Schiller
18th century German dramatist/historian

And yet enthusiasm is very important, particularly in business for new ideas.

How do you channel such a positive so that it does not become a negative?

January 30, 2013

Prepare To Succeed



"Fortune favors the prepared mind."





Louis Pasteur
19th century French scientist

You'd expect a scientist to say this but what about in business?

It is true for anything that matters.

Success comes with preparedness.

January 29, 2013

Business Theory Of The Moment


"Fashions, after all, are only induced epidemics."

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

There is fashion in business as well and we're not talking about casual Friday.

Business theories come and go but at the end of the day the basics are bedrock.

Do you know what they are?

January 28, 2013

That's Cold. True Maybe, But Cold.


"We want all of our friends to tell us our bad qualities; it is only the particular ass that does so whom we cannot tolerate."


William James
19th century American psychologist/philosopher

Along with karma, candor too can be a particular bitch.

However if we can summon the intestinal fortitude to listen we may learn something very important albeit painful.

January 25, 2013

But We All Think So



"If fifty million people say a foolish thing it is still a foolish thing."

Bertrand Russell
20th century British  logician/philosopher

Numbers don't necessarily prove intelligence, not in what your management thinks nor what your customers think.

January 24, 2013

It's Your Choice

"It is your own convictions which compels you; that is, choice compels choice."

Epictetus
1st century Greek philosopher

In other words you can choose to choose or not.

If you don't you must accept what chance and others gives you.

If you try things will still not always turn out as you wish.

But they will more often than if you don't.

January 23, 2013

The Hidden Cost Of Cheap



"Where quality is the thing sought after, the thing of supreme quality is cheap, whatever the price one has to pay for it."





William James
19th century American psychologist/philosopher

Sometimes the most expensive thing is the one you pay the least for.

January 22, 2013

If You Don't Know Where You Want To Go, Any Plan Will Get You There



"It is because Humanity has never known where it was going that it was able to find its way."

Oscar Wilde
19th century Irish poet/dramatist

But has it known where it would like to go?

The foundation upon which business rests is (or should be) planning.

At the center of all plans is a goal; where you want to go.

You may not know where you will go but you certainly should know where you'd like to go.

January 21, 2013

Always?


"The entrepreneur always searches for change, responds to it and exploits it as an opportunity."



Peter Drucker
20th century American business writer/consultant

Not quite, not if we're going to equate all entrepreneurs with success as this quote appears to do.

Many more fail to do this ("exploits it as an opportunity") than the number who succeed.

But it is the entrepreneurially inclined who get all the headlines when they do so successfully so accept the quote intent if not always the outcome.

January 18, 2013

What Do You Want?


"Unless you have definite, precise, clearly set goals, you are not going to realize the maximum potential that lies within you."

Zig Ziglar
20th/21st century American author/salesman/motivational speaker

There's much more to achieving personal and professional goals than this but if you don't do this, or if you do it incorrectly, none of the rest of it matters.

January 17, 2013

It Does Or It Should?



"The future influences the present just as much as the past."




Friedrich Nietzsche
19th century German-Swiss writer/philosopher

Yes assuming we think as much about the future as we do the past, planning for it in the process.

But sadly we don't and as a result we mostly just get what comes our way.

January 16, 2013

Imitation Absurdity



"Almost all absurdity of conduct arises from the imitation of those who we cannot resemble."

Samuel Johnson
18th century British writer


Be inspired by others but be yourself.

January 15, 2013

No Movement Is Movement, Backwards



"Least he should wander from the right path, he stands still."




William Hazlitt
18th century British essayist

Inertia

Possibly the most difficult power in the universe to overcome.

January 14, 2013

Adding To, Not Taking From


"Begin with another's to end with your own."

Baltasar Gracian
17th century Spanish writer/philosopher

In the extreme, plagiarism, however with proper recognition of what others have done you can create something new.

January 11, 2013

January 10, 2013

What You Think Or What You Know?



"What you don't see with your eyes don't witness with your mouth."

Jewish proverb

In business you must separate what you think is true from what you know is true. 

Those who find you doing too much of the latter will soon not trust you to do the former.

January 09, 2013

What Do You (Really) Know?



"From error to error, one discovers the entire truth."





Sigmund Freud
Late 19th/early 20th century Austrian psychologist

Partial truths come easy; they are the ones we discover quickly, only later realizing we didn't know as much as we thought we did.

January 08, 2013

Because You Should, Not Because You Have



"A tradition without intelligence is not worth having."

T. S. Elliott
20th century English American poet

I think we can safely substitute "thought" for "intelligence", leading us to the primary message.

If you do things mostly or completely because that's the way you've always done them, why?

January 07, 2013

Management Mischief



"O, mischief, though art swift to enter into the thoughts of desperate men!"




William Shakespeare
16th century British playwright

And who can be more desperate than management in a troubled company?

How (do) you insure that management mischief will not appear when big problems arise?

January 04, 2013

I Have No Illusions About That


"It is respectable to have no illusions, and safe, and profitable and dull."

Joseph Conrad
Late 19th early 20th century British novelist


And in business, not always profitable.

If you're not envisioning (which can lead to illusion) you're not evolving and if you're not doing that at some point you're gone.


January 03, 2013

They're Called Must Do For A Reason

"The most valuable of all education is the ability to make yourself do the thing you have to do, when it has to be done, whether you like it or not."
Aldous Huxley
20th century British writer

This is certainly true in business.

If you don't get the essential things done on time, on or under budget, you fail.

January 02, 2013

I'll Never Forgive You


"Everyone should keep a mental wastebasket, and the older he grows, the more things he will promptly consign to it."

Samuel Butler
17th century British poet

I propose a minor but I believe critical change to this.

" . . . the more things he should promptly consign to it."

We all hold onto too much, particularly perceived slights.  

What's the point?  Let the small stuff go.