Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Hiring Right

If your organization’s job is to climb trees, which would you rather do, hire a squirrel or train a horse?

Building the right team is important! Start with good stock.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Being a Quitter

Vince Lombardi said, “Winners never quit and quitters never win.”

I don’t always agree with Vince.

Winners know how to quit the right things...such as being lazy, such as doing things that are not advancing learning and improvement, such as things that take focus away from their most important objectives.

I am a firm believer that our “stop doing” list should be longer than our “to do” list. If we stop doing the things that don’t matter in the larger scheme of things, we will have more time to do the things that do.

It is certainly time for me to reexamine my day to day tasks.

Winners quit all the time…they quit the things that make them losers.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

A Couple of Quick Observations

Last week I called for a 10-15 minute conference call with the leadership team of one of my clients. I wanted to discuss and refine the draft agenda I had prepared for their strategic planning day to be held at the end of the following week. It was a short but interesting and spirited telephone discussion. It hit me after the call that the development of a good agenda had actually removed some of the need to discuss in detail a few of my suggested topics.

Observation: developing a good agenda may remove the need for a meeting altogether...or at the very least, make the meeting more effective.(In short…a little planning goes a long way!)

Also during the call I brought up some operational measurements that I thought would be interesting to track and monitor for any trends. That sparked a debate about what to measure.

Observation: deciding what to measure is sometimes just as important as the measurement itself.

Still learning…pretty cool.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Filling in the Blanks

When in a decision making mode sometimes we don’t have all of the facts about a situation. At this point most of us simply “fill in the blanks” with something…and sometimes that something is pure fiction.

Always, always, always attempt to get the facts, or at least as many as you can, prior to making the final call. By this simple action you will save yourself lots of heartburn, heartache, and maybe even heartbreak.

Saturday, July 31, 2010


Shared thinking is only as good as the people doing the sharing.

Who are you hanging around with?

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Ten Cannots

I ran across these 10 statements while doing some reading about our Founding Fathers and the struggles they endured putting together the U.S. Constitution. The actual listing of cannots was published much later in a pamphlet in 1916 by a minister, William J. Boetcker. He was obviously an outspoken advocate for liberty and had done much thinking about the American people’s way of life.

The statements, to me, apply much more to my personal and business life than to my beliefs about political matters.

Here they are:

1. You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
2. You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
3. You cannot help the poor man by destroying the rich.
4. You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
5. You cannot build character and courage by taking away man’s incentive and independence.
6. You cannot help small men by tearing down big men.
7. You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.
8. You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income.
9. You cannot establish security on borrowed money.
10. You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they will not do for themselves.

I am also reminded, by reading this, of one of my favorite quotes attributed to Abraham Lincoln,

“The best thing we can do for the poor is not become one of them.”

Abe, I’m trying.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

A Very Un-Accountant-Like Thought

I believe that an imprecise measurement of the right thing is infinitely more valuable than a precise measurement of the wrong thing.

There…I said it.