August 31, 2015

IF YOU WANT TO LEAD . . .


"Follow the crowd and you will never be followed by a crowd."

Unknown

Ok but at least understand what the crowd thinks, where it intends to go.

Not doing that is another reason you will never be followed.

August 28, 2015

I KNOW THIS MUCH


"Imagination and fiction make up more than three quarters of our life."

Simone Weil (1910-1943) French Philosopher

Don't know how Ms. Weil would know that, and "three quarters" does sound like a convenient number regardless.

But I do believe the concept is true.

What I imagine added to what I erroneously believe to be true is a big number.

What about you?

August 27, 2015

LISTENING FOR TRUTH IN DREAMS


"Yet it is in our idleness, in our dreams, that the submerged truth sometimes comes to the top."

Virginia Woolf (1882-1941) British novelist and essayist.

We easily convince ourselves that our initial thought is correct, so much so we don't further reflect, listening for "submerged truth". 

How much more might we win; how many losses might we avoid were we to do so?

August 26, 2015

BUSINESS WITHOUT LEADERSHIP? OUT OF BUSINESS


"Unhappy the land that is in need of heroes."

Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956) German writer.

True for leaders as well as heroes.

However, whereas most heroes are proclaimed a hero after actually doing something heroic, many "leaders" are put in positions of leadership without having demonstrated leadership ability.

Being in a position of leadership does not necessarily mean you are leading.

It only means you were suppose to lead.

And if you don't lead you won't not lead for long.

You, the company, very possibly both, won't survive.

August 25, 2015

THE PERILS OF CERTAINTY


"I am an agnostic; I do not pretend to know what many ignorant men are sure of."

Clarence S. Darrow (1857-1938) American lawyer

Being certain of something is not bad, in fact it's quite a good thing.

Just make certain you are certain about that which you are certain.


August 24, 2015

THE SELF FULFILLING PROPHECY OF PESSIMISSIM


"A misty morning does not always signify a cloudy day."

Proverb

Things may actually be as bad as they initially seem, but shouldn't you first verify they are before acting as though they are?

August 21, 2015

DID YOU HEAR THE ONE ABOUT THE BANKER WITH A SENSE OF HUMOR? ME EITHER.


"The secret to humor is surprise."

Aristotle (384 BC-322 BC) Greek philosopher.

Smart guy that Aristotle; smart enough to know this doesn't work with bankers.

They don't like surprises and are not looking for humorous entertainment from those to which they've loaned money.

Do what you've told them you will do, when you've told them you would do it, or you will soon find yourself without a banker.

August 20, 2015

RECIPE FOR ACCOMLISHMENT


"To reach a port we must sail, sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it. We must not drift or lie at anchor."

Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809-1894) American author/poet.

"Getting things done" implies taking action, often accompanied by hard work, for good reason.

August 19, 2015

WHAT YOU MAKE OF YOU


"You will become as small as your controlling desire; as great as your dominant aspiration."

James Allen (1864-1912) British-born American essayist.

It really is that simple.

August 18, 2015

GOODNESS BY WHOSE YARDSTICK?


"Goodness is the only investment which never fails."

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

I believe this depends on the definition of "goodness".

What do you think that definition is?

What do you think those at Amazon think that definition is?

August 17, 2015

GROWING OUT OF BUSINESS SALE


"Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell."

Edward Abbey (1927-1989) U.S. writer/environmentalist.

Cancer survives until it ultimately kills its host body, and there is parallel to that in business as well.

Almost any management team can create growth; the trick is to do so profitably. 

August 14, 2015

YOU DON'T SAY!


"As it is the characteristic of great wits to say much in few words, so small wits seem to have the gift of speaking much and saying nothing."

Fran├žois de La Rochefoucauld (1613-1680) French writer.

Less is often more, wiser too.

August 13, 2015

LEST YOU THINK OTERWISE


"Thought makes every thing fit for use."

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) U.S. poet/essayist/lecturer.

As a seed can grow to become a tree so too can a thought evolve into something great.

However, in the beginning, each is only a suggestion of what it might become.

August 12, 2015

ONLY IF ASKED


"There is no waste of time in life like that of making explanations."

Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881) British politician/author.

The answer to the question "Did you do what you said you would do?" is either yes or no. 

Explanations/excuses can follow (only) if requested.

August 11, 2015

ONLY TWO AND WE ALL EXPERIENCE THEM BOTH


"Life contains but two tragedies. One is not to get your heart's desire; the other is to get it."

Socrates (BC 469-BC 399) Greek philosopher of Athens

Because both are based on extremes.

The first about the thing we tell ourselves we cannot live without, the second when we achieve it and realize we can.

August 10, 2015

YOU CAN'T (AND DIDN'T) WIN THEM ALL


"There is the greatest practical benefit in making a few failures early in life."

Thomas H. Huxley (1825-1895) English biologist.

A foreign concept to the majority of parents who only expressed approval for their kid's achievements, both real and imagined.

No acknowledgement of failures they feared would stifle their children's self-esteem.

Too bad because it is the small, youthful defeats that prepares us for the inevitable more meaningful ones we will experience as adults.

August 07, 2015

WHAT WILL YOU DO?


"A bit of fragrance always clings to the hand that gives you roses."

Proverb

A poetic description of giving.

How and when each of us help others is an individual decision, but there should be no question that we will help.

August 06, 2015

RISK ADVERSE?


"Those who can bear all can dare all."

Marquis de Vauvenargues (1715-1747) 
French moralist/essayist/writer.

We all take risks although the stakes are much higher for some than others.

Don't risk more than you can afford and are willing to lose.

And don't expect unreasonable returns for the risks you do take.

August 05, 2015

THE REWARD OF DOING IT YOURSELF


"Chop your own wood, and it will warm you twice"

Henry Ford (1863-1947) American industrialist.

I'm pretty sure Mr. Ford is talking about the effort required to chop wood creating warmth, but I see another possibility.

The good feeling that comes from having done something you could just as easily have left to someone else.

You realize the benefit of whatever you've done as well as the satisfaction of having done it yourself.

August 04, 2015

RIGHT OR WRONG, CHOOSE


"In any moment of decision the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing."

Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) 26th president of the U.S.

You might think Mr. Roosevelt overstated the value of action; clearly there are times when no action is preferable to the wrong action.

But notice he qualified his statement as pertaining to "any moment of decision"; the point in time where making a decision is mandatory regardless of how well prepared you might be.

Still don't see it?

Think back to school. You are taking a test and have one last question to answer. Get the right answer, you pass. Pick the wrong answer, you fail. Choose not to answer you also fail.

What would you do?

August 03, 2015

AS YOU START UP . . .


"Faith lives in honest doubt."

Lord Alfred Tennyson (1809-1892) British poet.

You should never expect others to believe in your start-up if you don't, but that doesn't mean you can't have your own doubts.

It's healthy for you to identify the uncertainties that are part of any new venture.

Identify them, create your plan for dealing with them, and make that a part of what you share with those whose investment you seek.