Rational Observer Review is dedicated to the archival and exposition of the most authoritative practical guidance on personal success management ever published.
Karl A Hoffman LLC publishes media content by Karl A Hoffman, PhD that promotes the eternal pursuit of Wealth, Well-Being and Wisdom.
Posted by Karl A Hoffman on March 27, 2013
Paterno: By The Book
Joe Paterno with Bernard Asbell (1989)
Posted by Karl A Hoffman on February 19, 2014
Donald Trump, bigger than life and bigger than his own self-promotion. A personification of excess, still outliving and beating his detractors.
The fourteen rules below were originally published under the heading of “The Donald J. Trump School of Business and Management.”
Posted by Karl A Hoffman on February 19, 2014
Be a General -
I am the Chairman and president of the Trump Organization. I like saying that because it means a great deal to me. There are almost twenty thousand members of this organization at this point. I did a print ad once in which I declared, “I only work with the best.” That statement still stands,
More and more, I see that running a business is like being a general. Calling the shots carries a great deal of responsibility, not only for yourself, but for your troops. Your employees’ lives, to a large extent, are dependent on you and your decisions. Bad strategy can end up affecting a lot of people. This is where being a leader takes on a new dimension. Every decision you make is an important one, whether there are twenty thousand people working for you or just one.
Posted by Karl A Hoffman on February 12, 2014
Stay Focused -
In the 1980s, I was riding high. After learning the essentials of real estate development from my father, Fred, a builder in Queens and Brooklyn, I’d become a major player in Manhattan.
In the late eighties, I lost focus. My lack of attention was killing my business.
But I learned my lesson. I work as hard today as I did when I was a young developer in the 1970s.
Don’t make the same mistake I did. Stay focused.
Posted by Karl A Hoffman on February 4, 2014
Maintain Your Momentum -
No matter how accomplished you are, no matter how well you think you know your business, you have to remain vigilant about the details of your field. You can’t get by on experience or smarts.
Momentum is something you have to work at to maintain.
Posted by Karl A Hoffman on January 28, 2014
Get a Great Assistant -
Surround yourself with people you can trust. I often say it’s good to be paranoid, but not when it comes to your home team.
Posted by Karl A Hoffman on January 21, 2014
Remember: The Buck Starts Here -
Set the standard. Don’t expect your employees to work harder than you do.
Winners see problems as just another way to prove themselves. Problems are never really hardships for them, and if you haven’t got any problems, then you must not have a business to run.
Posted by Karl A Hoffman on January 15, 2014
Don’t Equivocate -
If you equivocate, it’s an indication that you’re unsure of yourself and what you are doing. It’s also what politicians do all the time, and I find it inappropriate, insulting and condescending.
Posted by Karl A Hoffman on January 8, 2014
Ask Yourself Two Questions -
1. Is there any one who can do this better than I can?
That’s just another way of saying: Know yourself, and know your competition. If your competition is better than you are, you need to offer some quality they lack.
2. What am I pretending not to see?
We can all get swept up in the euphoria of a creative moment, or what former president Richard Nixon’s speechwriters used to call “the lift of a dream.” Before the dream lifts you into the clouds, make sure you’ve looked hard at the facts on the ground.
Posted by Karl A Hoffman on December 31, 2013
Bullshit Will Only Get You So Far -
Although I’ve had to fire people from time to time, it’s not a big part of my job. I much prefer keeping loyal and hardworking people around as long as they’d like to be here.
Once I delayed firing someone for two years because this guy always had such a great line of bullshit every time I came close to the topic.
He managed to string me along for two solid years, and I believed him every time – or wanted to. Finally, I was forced to realize that his claims were bogus, but I gave him every chance before finally axing him.
Posted by Karl A Hoffman on December 24, 2013
Every New Hire Is a Gamble -
Some people give such great interviews that you’re ready to make them vice presidents on the spot, until you realize that their true talent is simply giving a great interview. That’s why, in a sense, every new hire is a gamble.
Impressive credentials don’t always add up to a great performance. Nonexistent credentials don’t necessarily mean a no talent. Being circumspect helps a lot and keeps you from being surprised. People can offer an interesting mix of pros and cons. Time will do the weeding for you. All you have to do is pay attention.
Posted by Karl A Hoffman on December 17, 2013
Ideas Are Welcome, but Make Sure You Have the Right One -
If you run a company, make yourself accessible to your employees. If they feel they can bring ideas to you, they will. If they feel they can’t, they won’t. You might miss out on a lot of good ideas, and pretty soon you might be missing a lot of employees.
I allow people to run their ideas by me. I don’t have a lot of time, so they have to be prepared and succinct.
Your boss’s time is important, and you won’t win any points by wasting it.
Posted by Karl A Hoffman on December 11, 2013
Focus on the Talent Instead of the Title -
Very often, your resources are greater than you might think. I don’t like it when people underestimate me, and I try not to underestimate anyone else, either. People are multifaceted, and it is important to let them function in a way that will allow them to shine. Most people would rather succeed than fail, but sometimes the leader has to be the catalyst for putting “success” into their vocabulary.
In other words, try to see beyond a person’s title. You can find talent in unlikely places.
Posted by Karl A Hoffman on December 4, 2013