Category Archives for Swim With The Sharks

Don’t Be Intimidated by a Reputation

Von Clausewitz, the great military strategist, observed that it is the mark of inadequate commanders to fail to seize the initiative because they overestimate the strength of their opponents. For years, General Motors and IBM dominated their industries despite critical deficiencies. The companies that should have been willing to fight them for market share really […]

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How To Spot A Winner

Vietnam is wars ago on the American landscape. Nobody associates it with winning, yet it offered one of the best and most perceptive stories about winning I’ve ever heard. It seems General William Westmoreland was once reviewing a platoon of paratroopers in Vietnam. As he went down the line, he asked them a question: “How […]

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He Who Burns Bridges Better Be A Damn Good Swimmer

Real-estate operators are legendary for slow-pay practices, but I know one who hangs them all out to dry. This gentleman–we’ll call him “Bob”–was the son of a milkman. He made a fortune in the trucking business and wound up owning major-league sports franchises on both coasts. To give you an idea of how nimble he […]

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You Can’t Solve A Problem Unless You First Admit You Have One

The Same Goes For Business Problems Alcoholics Anonymous has used that principle as a starting point to reclaim thousands and thousands of lives. Thousands more are never reclaimed because it’s so hard to change. Sheer stubbornness has destroyed a lot more bottom lines than new technologies. There were just as many mean spirited jibes at […]

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What’s The Best Way To Save Time?

Spend more time on time management. You’re in as good a position to save time as your richest and most powerful competitors. Over a lifetime, it’s incredible how much time you can save, and the advantages you can achieve, while you’re sitting on your duff in your car. For example: 1. Use a cell phone… […]

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Never Be Your Own Hatchet Man

Ike had Nixon; George W. Bush has Rumsfeld; every ball club has the manager of the moment.  You have to get someone who can make the tough, mean, unpopular decisions–and can take the fall when they get too tough, mean, and unpopular.  You are the peerless leader. You couldn’t really know what a meanie old […]

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Agreements Prevent Disagreements

Every now and then you’ll find yourself dealing with one of those country cousin types who says he doesn’t want a contract and “your word is good enough.” Maybe yours is, but his usually isn’t. One of those arrangements taught me a lesson I’ll never forget.  I had a handshake deal with a man I […]

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Knowing Something About Your Customer Is Just as Important as Knowing Everything About Your Product

Take politicians, for example.  A politician will support your proposition only as long as it is politically popular or uncommonly rewarding. That isn’t to say that pols are any less honest or reliable than the rest of us.   it;s just that politicians must shift positions constantly to keep up with the people they are […]

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Get Bored Easily

Professional managers can repeat the same task over and over, but most successful entrepreneurs can’t handle boredom.  The difference in these two familiar types runs so deeply that, if you’re a manager, it’s unlikely you’ll succeed in the role of entrepreneur, just as entrepreneurs tend not to make very good managers. There’s a place in […]

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It Isn’t Practice That Makes Perfect…

Lombardi again, but let me try to put a new wrinkle on it.  You can practice all day long, but if you don’t really know what you’re doing, no matter how much talent you have, you’re only perfecting an error. Look at the great athletes and musicians.  There are no walk-ons at the Super Bowl […]

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