October 31, 2013

SEEING WITHIN


"The knowledge of yourself will preserve you from vanity."

Miguel de Cervantes 
17th century Spanish novelist, dramatist, poet

But first you must honestly know you.

Do you?

October 30, 2013

SUPERFICIAL JUDGEMENT


"A man is not good or bad for one action."

Thomas Fuller
17th century British clergyman/author

Nor a woman.

However all too often we are judged by too many about too little of all we say and do.

If you don't judge on most or all it, try not to judge at all.

October 29, 2013

YOUR JOB TODAY, THEIR JOB TOMORROW

"Young people are fitter to invent than to judge; fitter for execution than for counsel; and more fit for new projects than for settled business."

Francis Bacon 
16th century British statesman/philosopher

There is some cynicism in this, coming from a politician, but more raw truth than not.

If you are now older, presumably wiser, part of your job is to get maximum value from your more youthful employees. 

That and help them prepare to do the same for those who will one day succeed them.

October 28, 2013

BUT ON THE OTHER HAND . . .


"Thou hast seen nothing yet."

Miguel de Cervantes
16th century Spanish novelist/dramatist/poet

You could assume at least two very different interpretations of this:
  1. A statement of self-affirmation by a confirmed optimist.
  2. An opinion expressed by the speaker about the limited life experiences of the listener.
How quickly you decided which says a lot about your propensity to consider alternatives.

October 25, 2013

WHAT DO YOU EXPECT?


"We tend to get what we expect."

Norman Vincent Peale
20th century Protestant preacher/author

If, as I do, you believe this is generally true, the next thing you should do is reexamine your expectations.

October 24, 2013

I'LL (NEVER?) FORGIVE YOU!


"Like fragile ice anger passes away in time."

Ovid 
1st century BC Roman poet

Or should.

If you're still nursing a grudge, if not outright anger, towards someone else, to what end?

Doing so is childish.

October 23, 2013

GOT YOUR BACK OR WATCH YOUR BACK?


"We cannot be separated in interest or divided in purpose. We stand together until the end."

Woodrow T. Wilson
Twenty-eighth President of the USA

There are three areas of potential focus for employees of any company.
  1. Internal on each other.
  2. External on the competition.
  3. External on the customer.
The first is mostly office politics.

If you work in an environment where 1 is prevalent over 2 and 3, in addition to you being unhappy, the company is doomed.

October 22, 2013

THE MIND'S CHALLENGE

"Remember, when life's path is steep, keep your mind even."

Horace (BC 65-8) Latin lyric poet

Often the "steeper" (difficult) you believe the "path" (task) to be, the harder it will be to overcome.

Don't imagine it more so than it really is.

October 21, 2013

DO ALL ENDS JUSTIFY ALL MEANS?


"We would frequently be ashamed of our good deeds if people saw all of the motives that produced them."

Fran├žois de La Rochefoucauld 
17th century French writer

Which raises the question, does the motive matter if the deed is "good"?

And does your answer change if only you knows the true motivation for your actions?


October 18, 2013

SNAKE BIT


"Propaganda is a soft weapon; hold it in your hands too long, and it will move about like a snake, and strike the other way."

Jean Anouilh
20th century French playwright

And make no mistake about it, propaganda is as much reality in business as it is in politics.

Watch out least the snake you hold turns and bites you.

October 17, 2013

I SHOULD HAVE SAID . . .


"There are always three speeches for every one you actually gave. The one you practiced, the one you gave, and the one you wish you gave."

Dale Carnegie
20th century American writer

As anyone who speaks in public knows . . . so true!

October 16, 2013

WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED?


"Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young." 

Henry Ford 
Late 19th/early 20th century American industrialist

Very few of you reading this will disagree with Mr. Ford.

But do you practice what he preaches?

If you refuse to continually reexamine your beliefs, occasionally changing your mind as a result of what you discover, you don't.

October 15, 2013

WHO WILL CHANGE YOU?


"The philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways; the point, however, is to change it."

Karl Marx
19th century German philosopher/political economist

Marx's philosophy may have been taken off track by others, or never been on track in the first place. 

But he was right to advocate attempting to guide rather than be subjected to inevitable change.

Who will guide your change?

October 14, 2013

WHAT WILL IT COST YOU?


"Do not bite at the bait of pleasure, till you know there is no hook beneath it."

Thomas Jefferson
Third president of the United States

Less metaphorically, thoroughly understand the potential implications of your plans before you execute them.

Everything has a cost.

October 11, 2013

DOING NOTHING IS HARD WORK


"The secret of being miserable is to have leisure to bother about whether you are happy or not. The cure for it is occupation."

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

Good to remember next time you wonder why you're not happy.

October 10, 2013

THE HONORABLE (EASY) THING TO DO

"Ease and honor are seldom bedfellows."

Proverb

Which seems to suggest being honorable is difficult.

I find just the opposite.

(Click to enlarge Calvin)

October 09, 2013

REVOLUTIONARY THREATS AND OPPORTUNITIES


"A great revolution is never the fault of the people, but of the government."

Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
Late 18th/early 19th century German poet, novelist, dramatist

In business "government" is management.

And take heart; "revolutions" can lead to good as well as bad.

Don't fear them, plan for them.

October 08, 2013

THE DON QUIXOTE IN US ALL


"Pray look better, Sir... those things yonder are no giants, but windmills."

Miguel de Cervantes
16th century Spanish novelist, dramatist and poet

We all tilt at something some time but better to make doing so the exception rather than the rule.

October 07, 2013

YOU MAYBE, NOT ME


"Deny yourself! You must deny yourself! That is the song that never ends."

Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
18th century German poet, novelist and dramatist

Do you understand the supreme irony of you not believing this applies to you?

October 04, 2013

WINNERS WHO TAKE ALL RARELY KEEP IT


"It is better to rise from life as from a banquet -- neither thirsty nor drunken."

Aristotle 
3rd century BC Greek philosopher

And in negotiation too.

Get too much and you may soon lose it all.

October 03, 2013

NEED WHAT YOU WANT


"Fact I know; and Law I know; but what is this Necessity, save an empty shadow of my own mind's throwing?"

Thomas H. Huxley
19th century English biologist

A fine line between need and want.

Try not to cross it unknowingly.

October 02, 2013

DIVERSIONARY FOCUS


"Beware lest you lose the substance by grasping at the shadow."

Aesop
6th century BC Greek fabulist

This is about focus, both that which you should concentrate on and that which you shouldn't.

It's often not easy to know which is which.

October 01, 2013

PROBLEM SOLVERS

"The usual fortune of complaint is to excite contempt more than pity."

Samuel Johnson
18th century British author

Do you want to demonstrate real value to your employer?

For every problem you make them aware of bring them three possible solutions.