March 31, 2015

WHAT DO YOU MEAN I CAN'T HAVE IT?


"We find many things to which the prohibition of them constitutes the only temptation."

William Hazlitt (1778-1830) British essayist.

This manifests itself many ways in business and none more than short supply.

We want what we can't have.

March 30, 2015

NOT TRYING: ANOTHER FORM OF LOSING


"A winner loses more often than losers."

Unknown

And loses more often than wins, both because they try to win while others don't.

But don't kid yourself, not trying is just another form of losing.

March 27, 2015

THE MISTAKE OF DOING NOTHING


"To keep oneself safe does not mean to bury oneself."

Seneca (4 BC-65) Roman philosopher and playwright.

The fear of making a mistake is what keeps many from attempting changes they would otherwise like to make.

There's no need for that, it's a certainty; you will make mistakes and the first one will be believing you won't if you never make the attempt.

March 26, 2015

BIG PICTURE IDEAS, SMALL PICTURE EXECUTION


"We think in generalities, but we live in detail."

Alfred North Whitehead (1861-1947) English mathematician.

And fortunately there are those among us who do one if not the other very well.

The trick is to build balanced teams of both.

March 25, 2015

IT'S YOUR TURN


"In this world it is not what we take up, but what we give up, that makes us rich."

Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1887) American politician.

There was a time when you were beginning your career you could have and hopefully did benefit from the help of someone older, more experienced.

Now you have the knowledge to help someone who is what you once were.

Just starting.

There are many ways to do this; what will you do?

March 24, 2015

THE PUBLIC YOU


"A wonderful fact to reflect upon, that every human creature is constituted to be that profound secret and mystery to every other."

Charles Dickens (1812-1870) British novelist.

Constituted maybe but not destined, particularly in this day of social networks.

Be careful what you share of yourself with others; what is once said is said forever.

March 23, 2015

ONE DOWN, UNLIMITED MORE TO GO


"Science becomes dangerous only when it imagines that it has reached its goal."

George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) Irish writer.

I wonder what he meant by dangerous? 

Lazy, lethargic, complacent and similar I understand, but dangerous? 

Not so sure.

Unless he refers to the danger in becoming those things because you feel you've achieved your goal.

If so this applies to management as well.

Achieving your goals only means one thing is done, another about to begin.

March 20, 2015

HOW COULD YOU NOT BE?


"I don't think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday."

Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) President of the United States.

How could you not be?

Don't do anything today to improve what you'll be tomorrow.

Nothing grows without effort including you.

March 19, 2015

2ND IS SOMETIMES BEST


"But it is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation."

Herman Melville (1819-1891) American writer.

Depends on how you define "originality" and particularly "imitation".

In business, being a close follower, eliminating mistakes of those whose first-to-market product was good but not great, is a tried and true strategy for success. 

March 18, 2015

WHAT I DON'T KNOW NOW


"Nothing is as new as something long forgotten."

German proverb

It is each new generation's right to feel as though only they discover new things.

As well their affliction.

March 17, 2015

WHY WE ARGUE


"Battle doesn't need a purpose; the battle is its own purpose."

Proverb

Not always but often enough.

The next time you begin to argue with someone ask yourself if the purpose and your desire to win are one and the same.

March 16, 2015

IN GOOD TIMES AND (MAYBE NOT IN) BAD


"Remorse sleeps during prosperity but awakes bitter consciousness during adversity."

Jean Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778) Swiss political philosopher/essayist.

Not only remorse but also accusations and conflict.

Most any management group can tolerate each other when things go well; it's when they don't the team's true ability to work together becomes apparent.

March 13, 2015

IF YOU ONLY KNEW


"When any real progress is made, we unlearn and learn anew what we thought we knew before."

Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) American naturalist/poet/philosopher.

If we're smart we do.

However the requirement to "learn" prevents many from progressing; they are simply too comfortable "knowing" what they believe they "know".

March 12, 2015

THE CARDS YOU'RE DEALT, NO OTHER


"We must find our duties in what comes to us, not in what might have been."

George Eliot (1819-1880) British writer.

Look back pausing briefly if you must to think what might have been.

But only briefly.

Your reality is what is, your future what you make it, given what you have, not what you wished you had.

March 11, 2015

POTENTIAL IS NOT ACCOMPLISHMENT


"The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world's problem."

Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948) Preeminent leader of Indian nationalism.

Could do/intend to do/did do are very different things.

Occasionally check your aspirations against your accomplishments.

A high ratio means wasted potential.

March 10, 2015

WASTED RESOURCES YOU DON'T HAVE TO WASTE


"In politics the middle way is none at all."

John Adams (1735-1826) Second President of the United States.

"Politics" in business is a different sort.

It is the often not so subtle maneuvering to gain advantage over those we should view as allies: our coworkers.

Note to CEO's: You can't stop it; office politics is all pervasive. However do everything in your power to stop it.

It is wasted resources that should be directed toward your customers and competition.

March 09, 2015

YOU COULD BE DOING TOO WELL


"A full cup must be carried steadily."

English proverb

Prosperity is a funny thing.

Becoming complacent regarding what you have can cause you to lose it.

March 06, 2015

WHAT YOU MUST DO, WHAT YOU LIKE TO DO


"Medicine is my lawful wife and literature my mistress; when I get tired of one, I spend the night with the other."

Anton Chekhov (1860-1904) Russian author.

So many unhappy at work.

We recreate to offset the time spent doing what we must rather than what we like, often without the option of deciding when we will do either of them.

One third of your life will be spent working; do your best to insure the majority of that time will be enjoyable.



March 05, 2015

NOT GETTING ENOUGH ATTENTION ARE YOU?


"I envy paranoids; they actually feel people are paying attention to them."

Susan Sontag (1933-2004) American author.

Actually it's not a matter of getting enough attention is it?

It's about getting the people we want to pay us the attention we want when we want it.

All other people and all other times, leave us alone.

Things just don't work that way.

March 04, 2015

THE AGREED UPON TIME


"Better three hours too soon than a minute too late."

William Shakespeare (1564-1616) British poet/playwright.

While not being on time is occasionally a good thing, such as when you arrive late and miss a flight that later crashes, that's about it.

You won't get ahead if you don't plan to and actually do get there on time.

March 03, 2015

THE POINTY HAIRED BOSS THINKS SO, IT MUST BE TRUE


"Could everything be done twice it would be done better."

Proverb

Along with "measure twice, cut once", advice to think before acting.

Very good advice and not just for what we do but as well what we say.

March 02, 2015

IMPERFECT PERFECTIONISTS


"Have no fear of perfection-you'll never reach it."

Salvador DalĂ­ (1904-1989) Spanish surrealist painter.

We refer to some as perfectionists and maybe you see yourself as one.

You're not, I'm certainly not, no one is, they don't exist.

A few of us strive for perfection but even in that we fall short.

That's ok; perfecting the continued attempt is more than most will ever accomplish.