The qualities we measure for in business are education, previous career path and experience. We hope that by studying the past as closely as possible we are mitigating the risk involved in hiring a stranger and trusting him to work in a business.

Let’s borrow a couple of military terms (because they dovetail nicely in the corporate mentality of business as a regimen of discipline and application) and let’s call them “Strategy” and “Tactics”. Most executives will confuse one with the other but the two are not interchangeable.

If you want great results in business, focus on those who make it possible to achieve them.

Businesses that pride themselves on being practical will say “profit”. Without a healthy bottom line, they argue, there can be no grand vision, no great purpose.

When you’re introduced to someone and spend five minutes chatting to them, what you remember afterwards is how they made you feel and whether you liked that feeling or not.

“Things don’t change. What we’re doing is working.”

You don’t have to know everything about the things you make decisions on. That’s what advisors are for and why you often hire outside consultants. You do, however, need to roughly know what you’re talking about.

“Just be honest with me. How do you like the new initiative?”

When I can I visit street markets selling fruit and vegetables, especially in the summer. Local growers sell fresh produce at really competitive prices. There is a subtext here in that they’re not always cheaper than the supermarket price, but the produce is a lot fresher and produced in a much more careful way.

“We shall destroy them!” says the CEO about the opposition to those below him.