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5 Insights on Business by Shakespeare

Shakespeare 450 birthdayWilliam Shakespeare's 450th birthday celebration is the perfect time to reflect on wisdom which surpasses the ages. Of course, it may seem strange to consider Shakespeare having any connection with our modern world. The idea of pulling a device from our pockets, speaking to it, and having it respond to us would surely have been grounds for burning at the stake in his time. Still, whether you perform your job sitting in a cubicle, an office, or at your kitchen table, the Bard of Avon had some gems of wisdom to impart.

To business that we love we rise betime and go to it with delight

Anthony and Cleopatra Act 4, sc. 4

Oh, man, what simple advice. If you love your job, you'll get the most out of every day. Find work that makes you happy, and you'll be more productive. And, if you're looking for work, concentrate on those skills which you've honed over the years, and have enjoyed sharing with others.

The purest treasure mortal times afford

Is spotless reputation'îthat away,

Men are but gilded loam, or painted clay.

Richard II Act 1, sc. 1

Your reputation is everything. Earn the respect of your peers, follow best practices, establish a code of ethics and core values for your company, and expect everyone to adhere to them. Be transparent, and give back to your community. Lead by example.

Be not afraid of greatness: some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them.

Twelfth Night Act 2, sc. 5

Leaders come from all different places and situations. If you are in a position of authority, remember that, however you came to this situation, others have walked in similar shoes.

All things are ready if our minds be so.

Henry V Act 4, sc. 3

Be decisive. You have a plan; you have a goal '- act! What good does another meeting, another study, another day get you? To use an oft worn phrase, 'This is why you're paid the big bucks.'

We work by wit, not by witchcraft.

Othello Act 2, sc. 5

This returns us to the analogy of Siri and the cell phone. Yes, technology is amazing and wonderful, but our success is due to our acumen. Exercise discernment and wisdom in your professional (and personal) dealings and you will prosper. Of course, that includes selecting the proper technology and engineering talent to put you in the position to succeed.

If, in 450 years, somebody is quoting you, then you probably '- at the very least '- followed all these pieces of wisdom. I'll throw in one more, as a bonus:

To thine own self be true '- Hamlet Act 1, sc. 3

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