Quotes for School Principals, Deans, Counselors, and Students


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Sample Books by Dan L. Miller:


Snowballs and Sinners–A Young Adult Thriller


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Review the Books by Dan L. Miller section at: Books by Dan L. Miller

In this Quotes for School Principals, Deans, Counselors, and Students section I provide a comprehensive collection of the most interesting, thought-provoking, and useful quotations covering topics most appropriate for use by school principals, deans, counselors, and students. On this page I display quotations on Management. I also provide PDFs devoted to the topics of Alcohol, Drugs & Tobacco, Alternative Learning Center (An Alternative In-School Suspension Program), Anger & Fighting, Authority, Change, Character, Conduct of Life—Advice, Confidence, Cooperation, CounselingCourtesy & Kindness, Dedication/Determination, Discipline & Behavior, Failure, Honesty, Individuality, Leadership, Optimism, Procrastination, Respect, Responsibility, School PrincipalsSelf-Concept/Self-Esteem, Success, Tardiness and Truancy, and Values. I also start this page with links to an article and to my doctoral dissertation that outline the concept of Therapeutic Discipline, an alternative to school suspension. Therapeutic Discipline includes Bibliotherapy as a primary component, and school personnel can use the quotations in this collection to help address the counseling/behavioral needs of students at all levels, including higher education. Additionally, I have posted descriptions and links to articles that should be useful to school personnel: “How to Help Students Prepare for their First Job,” “Choose Your Future: Solving Problems and Getting Help,” and ‘Fifty Ways to Improve Attendance.” I have collected quotations most of my life from many sources. This collection of quotations is unique in that I’ve chosen only quotes that are interesting, thought-provoking, and useful. I’ve included classic quotations, but I’ve also used many quotations taken directly from primary sources, and I’ve purposely integrated numerous quotes from women and minorities. This collection is also unique in that many of the quotations will be found in no other compilation. Also, the collection is voluminous. This educational website related to the importance of education is one of the largest presentations of quotations in existence intended specifically for use by students, writers, school principals, deans, counselors, and other educators.

The quotes in this collection are particularly appropriate for use in counseling students, for use with students assigned to in-school suspension, and as content for bibliotherapy. In addition to the wisdom and guidance quotes provide, the quotes are also perfectly suited for use in displays, presentations, speeches, research, students’ papers, and classroom lessons and discussions.

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Page Divider 1Effect of a Program of Therapeutic Discipline on the Attitude, Attendance, and Insight of Truant Adolescents

Miller, Dan. “Effect of a Program of Therapeutic Discipline on the Attitude, Attendance, and Insight of Truant Adolescents.” The Journal of Experimental Education. 55.1 (1986): 49-53. Print.

This article summarizes my doctoral dissertation. The investigation’s purpose was to answer the following question: In an in-school suspension setting, does a program of therapeutic discipline that involves counseling, bibliotherapy, writing therapy, and contingency contracting result in more positive attitudes toward school attendance, improved attendance, and greater insight into attendance problems among adolescent truants who participate in the program than among adolescent truants who participate in a traditional program of non-therapeutic discipline?

Effect of a Program of Therapeutic Discipline

Page Divider 1Effect of a Program of Therapeutic Discipline on the Attitude, Attendance, and Insight of Truant Adolescents

Miller, Dan. Effect of a Program of Therapeutic Discipline on the Attitude, Attendance, and Insight of Truant Adolescents. Diss. Northern Illinois U. 1982. Print.

This doctoral dissertation provides an alternative to traditional programs of in-school suspension. The investigation’s purpose was to answer the following question: In an in-school suspension setting, does a program of therapeutic discipline that involves counseling, bibliotherapy, writing therapy, and contingency contracting result in more positive attitudes toward school attendance, improved attendance, and greater insight into attendance problems among adolescent truants who participate in the program than among adolescent truants who participate in a traditional program of non-therapeutic discipline?

I provide a link below to the full text of the dissertation in a pdf. It is not the published version, but it does include all dissertation content.

Effect of a Program of Therapeutic Discipline

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How to Help Students Prepare for Their First Job

Miller, Dan. “How to Help Students Prepare for Their First Job.” Guidance Clinic. September (1988): 1-5. Print.

What qualities do employers look for when hiring students after high school or college? To find the answer to that question, I surveyed over one hundred personnel officers from the nation’s leading corporations. I asked them to respond to the question, “What qualities do you look for in applicants for jobs with your company?” I summarize the answers to that question in this article. By reviewing the qualities employers look for most, guidance counselors and career advisors may be better able to help students prepare their resumes and develop the qualities employers want in their employees.


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Choose Your Future: Solving Problems and Getting Help

Miller, Dan L. “Choose Your Future: Solving Problems and Getting Help.” Education-Related Quotes (2017): 4 Apr. 2017. Web.

If you’re having problems in school socially, academically, or behaviorally, there are ways to address those problems. To improve, you need to understand the reason behind the problem. By reading through this essay on problem-solving, you should be able to identify the reasons for your difficulties in school, list the possible remedies for the problem, and develop a plan of action you can use to improve the situation.

Choose Your Future-Solving Problems and Getting Help

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Fifty Ways to Improve Attendance

Miller, Dan. “Fifty Ways to Improve Attendance.” NASSP Bulletin. 70.492 (1986): 74-79. Print.

In this article I provide fifty strategies for school administrators and teachers to improve student attendance.

Fifty Ways to Improve Attendance

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Best Quotes on Alcohol, Drugs & Tobacco: Alcohol, Drugs and Tobacco, Best Quotes on

Alternative Learning Center (An Alternative In-School Suspension Program): Alternative Learning Center

Best Quotes on Anger and Fighting: Anger and Fighting, Best Quotes on

Best Quotes on Authority: Authority, Best Quotes on

Best Quotes on Change: Change, Best Quotes on

Best Quotes on Character: Character, Best Quotes on

Best Quotes on Conduct of Life—Advice: Conduct of Life–Advice, Best Quotes on the

Best Quotes on Confidence: Confidence, Best Quotes on

Best Quotes on Cooperation: Cooperation, Best Quotes on

Best Quotes on Counseling: Counseling, Best Quotes on

Best Quotes on Courtesy & Kindness: Courtesy and Kindness, Best Quotes on

Best Quotes on Dedication/Determination: Dedication:Determination, Best Quotes on

Best Quotes on Discipline and Behavior: Discipline & Behavior, Best Quotes on

Best Quotes on Failure: Failure, Best Quotes on

Best Quotes on Honesty: Best Quotes on Honesty

Best Quotes on Individuality: Individuality, Best Quotes on

Best Quotes on Leadership: Leadership, Best Quotes on

Best Quotes on Optimism: Optimism, Best Quotes on

Best Quotes on Procrastination: Procrastination, Best Quotes on

Best Quotes on Respect: Respect, Best Quotes on

Best Quotes on Responsibility: Responsibility, Best Quotes on

Best Quotes on School Principals: School Principals, Best Quotes on

Best Quotes on Self-Concept/Self-Esteem: Self-Concept:Self-Esteem, Best Quotes on

Best Success Quotes: Best Success Quotes

Best Quotes on Tardiness and Truancy Plus a Short Story and Two Essays: Tardiness and Truancy

Best Quotes on Values: Values, Best Quotes on

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‘Try to handle each piece of paper only once.’ Every time you pick up a piece of paper needing your action, failing to act only means you’ll have to double your time and energy spent on it by picking it up again.

   –Michael LeBoeuf

A school without a public relations program is like winking at a girl in the dark. You know what you’re doing, but no one else does.

–Steuart Henderson Britt

High expectations are the key to everything. 

–Sam Walton

What gets measured gets done.

—Tom Peters

Be decisive. Right or wrong, make a decision. The road of life is paved with flat squirrels who couldn’t make a decision.


Put up with it and you will get more of it.

–Lynne Deal

It is the greatest good to the greatest number which is the measure of right and wrong.

–Jeremy Bentham

Never make a decision yourself, if you don’t have to. When one of your men asks you a question, ask him what is the answer. There is only one answer to many questions, and, therefore, this method answers many questions before they are asked. It not only develops your men, but also enables you to measure their ability.

–Henry L. Doherty

Treat people as if they were what they ought to be and you help them to become what they are capable of being.

–Johann W. van Goethe

If a better system is thine, impart it; if not, make use of mine.


No sensible decision can be made any longer without taking into account not only the world as it is, but the world as it will be.

–Isaac Asimov

When traveling in unfamiliar territory, explorers frequently consult their compasses to ensure they have not lost their way or are not headed in a direction away from their destination. The value of a compass is that it defines one direction—north. All other directions can be determined and selected or rejected based on this knowledge. As educators, we also need to consult our professional compass. Rather than showing north, our compass needs to point directly at helping students learn. Every issue, every decision, and every expenditure of an organizational resource—human or financial—must be judged on its consistency with the point of our compass. If we are clear and consistent in our pursuit of and support for student learning, we can monitor our direction and adjust our course with relative ease. Like explorers, we need to frequently consult our compass and adjust our course accordingly. However, our compass is not something we can carry in our pocket. We must keep it in our hearts and minds.

The Master Teacher

Things do not get better by being left alone. Unless they are adjusted, they explode with a shattering detonation.

–Sir Winston Churchill

The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good people to do what he wants done, and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it.

–Theodore Roosevelt

Nothing that is not a real crime makes a man appear so contemptible and little in the eyes of the world as inconsistency.

–Joseph Addison

Much worse than training teachers and losing them is not training them and keeping them.

–Harry Wong

Human beings are not perfectible. They are improvable.

–Eric Sevareid

The executive who works from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. every day will be both very successful and fondly remembered by his widow’s next husband.

–John M. Capozzi

Treat a person as he is and he will remain as he is. Treat him as he could be, and he will become what he should be. 

–Jimmy Johnson

The man who has not learned to say ‘No’ will be a weak if not a wretched man as long as he lives.

–Alexander Maclaren

Creativity always dies a quick death in rooms that house conference tables.

–Bruce Herschensohn

Wise people are foolish if they cannot adapt themselves to foolish people.

–Michel de Montaigne

Nothing else can quite substitute for a few well-chosen, well-timed, sincere words of praise. They’re absolutely free–and worth a fortune.

–Sam Walton

An employee’s motivation is a direct result of the sum of interactions with his or her manager.

–Bob Nelson

When you handle yourself, use your head; when you handle others, use your heart.

–Donna Reed

By failing to plan, you plan to fail.

—Benjamin Franklin

Just being available and attentive is a great way to use listening as a management tool. Some employees will come in, talk for twenty minutes, and leave having solved their problems entirely by themselves

—Nicholas V. Luppa

I desire to so conduct the affairs of this administration that if, at the end…I have lost every friend on earth, I shall have one friend left, and that friend shall be down inside me.

–Abraham Lincoln

Of all the skills of leadership, listening is the most valuable—and one of the least understood. Most captains of industry listen only sometimes, and they remain ordinary leaders. But a few, the great ones, never stop listening. That’s how they get word before anyone else of unseen problems and opportunities.

—Peter Nulty

Executives owe it to the organization and to their fellow workers not to tolerate nonperforming individuals in important jobs.

–Peter Drucker

It is not always what we know or analyzed before we make a decision that makes it a great decision. It is what we do after we make the decision to implement and execute it that makes it a good decision.

—William Pollard

You get the best effort from others not by lighting a fire beneath them, but by building a fire within.

–Bob Nelson

With public sentiment, nothing can fail; without it, nothing can succeed.

–Abraham Lincoln

It is a bad plan that admits of no modification.

–Publilius Syrus

Management is nothing more than motivating other people.

–Lee Iacocca

People perform better for managers who are not interested in production alone, but who express interest in their employee’s welfare, keep in touch with them, and are approachable.

Managers Magazine

High-performing systems show that their leaders provide direction that is clear, strong, and unambivalent.

–Robert Evans

Murphy’s Law: If there is a wrong way to do something, then someone will do it.

–Edward A. Murphy, Jr.

Nothing will ever be attempted if all possible objections must first be overcome. 

–Dr. Samuel Johnson

The man who is worthy of being ‘a leader of men’ will never complain about the stupidity of his helpers, the ingratitude of mankind nor the inappreciation of the public. These are all a part of the great game of life. To meet them and overcome them and not to go down before them in disgust, discouragement or defeat—that is the final proof of power.

–Wm. J. H. Boetcker

When, against one’s will, one is high pressured into making a hurried decision, the best answer is always, ‘No,’ because ‘No’ is more easily changed to ‘Yes,’ than ‘Yes’ is changed to ‘No.’

–Charles E. Nielson

Human beings were held accountable long before there were corporate bureaucracies. If the knight didn’t deliver, the king cut off his head. 

–Alvin Toffler

You can compare our roles in the front office to the military: we’re the supply corps, not the heroes. We supply the heroes, period. The heroes are out there.

–Herb Kelleher

There are three simple things to remember about running a business. One, encourage youth…Two, give them responsibility as soon as you can and they will seldom let you down. Three, you must show an interest in what they are doing and have them report to you frequently on a fairly informal basis.

–Lord Hanson

If you’re going to play together as a team, you’ve got to care for one another. You’ve got to love each other…The difference between mediocrity and greatness…is the feeling these guys have for each other. Most people call it team spirit.

–Lee Iacocca

You can have the smartest people in the world working for you, but if they can’t communicate with and motivate other people, they are of no use to you.

–Thomas Bickett

Before you implement an idea that has been generated in the office, you should always take it to the field and ask for their criticisms. Pretty soon the idea will look like Swiss cheese—full of holes. They know what they’re doing and we don’t.

–Herb Kelleher

If you find a way of working so that people are cared for, they will give of their best, strive for excellence, or at least do better than the competition. That way round you cannot lose. Yes it is about good staff canteens, cloakrooms, pay and pensions. But in the end it is about caring.

–Sir Hector Lang

The manger, in today’s world, doesn’t get paid to be a steward of resources, a favored term not so many years ago. He or she gets paid for one and only one thing—to make things better (incrementally and dramatically), to change things, to act—today.

–Tom Peters

I consider my ability to arouse enthusiasm among people the greatest asset that I possess, and the way to develop the best that is in people is by appreciation and encouragement. There is nothing else that so kills the ambitions of a person as criticism from his or her superiors. I never criticize anyone. I believe in giving people incentive to work. So I am anxious to praise, but loath to find fault. If I like anything, I am hearty in my appreciation and lavish in my praise.

—Charles Schwab

Money alone won’t attract, hold, or motivate talented, creative people. To be sure, they appreciate money. But in the end, the good ones choose a place to work based on pride—in their work, their colleagues, their clients, the standing of the agency. And they want a supportive environment where their skills can flourish. Provide that environment, and you’ll attract talented people.

–Kevin O’Neill

The man who gets the most satisfactory results is not always the man with the most brilliant single mind, but rather the man who can best coordinate the brains and talents of his associates.

–W. Alton Jones

Never tell anyone how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.

–General George S. Patton

You’ll never have all the information you need to make a decision. If you did, it would be a foregone conclusion and not a decision.

–David Mahoney, Jr.

To be a manager, you have to start at the bottom, no exceptions.

–Henry Block

We know where most of the creativity, the innovation, the stuff that drives productivity lies—in the minds of those closest to the work. It’s been there in front of our noses all along while we’ve been running around chasing robots and reading books on how to become Japanese—or at least manage like them.

–John F. Welch

The worst rule of management is ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.’ In today’s economy, if it ain’t broke, you might as well break it yourself, because it soon will be.

–Wayne Calloway

If you are losing a tug-of-war with a tiger, give him the rope before he gets to your arm. You can always buy a new rope.

–Max Gunther

If you’re too sweet and nice, they just leave tire marks on your back.

–Gert Boyle

The way to develop the best that is in a man is by appreciation and encouragement.

–Charles Schwab

A ‘no’ uttered from deepest conviction is better and greater than a ‘yes’ merely uttered to please.

–Mohandas Gandhi

Systems of schooling are over-managed and under-led.

Thomas J. Sergiovanni

Be honest! Always tell a straight story and always treat employees in an honest manner. Don’t be false or insincere.

–Dan L. Miller

Good management consists of showing average people how to do the work of superior people.

–John D. Rockefeller

It is common sense to take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly and try another, but above all, try something.

–Franklin D. Roosevelt

The fellow that agrees with everything you say is either a fool or he is getting ready to skin you.

–Kin Hubbard

The people to fear are not those who disagree with you, but those who disagree with you and are too cowardly to let you know.

–Napoleon Bonaparte

To know what is right and not to do it is the worst cowardice.


Creativity is so delicate a flower that praise tends to make it bloom, while discouragement often nips it in the bud. Any of us will put out more and better ideas if our efforts are appreciated.

–Alex F. Osborn

One great mistake made by intelligent people is to refuse to believe that the world is as stupid as it is.

—Mme. de Tencin

The hardest thing to cope with is not selfishness or vanity or deceitfulness, but sheer stupidity.

–Eric Hoffer

He that listens after what people say of him shall never have peace.

–Thomas Fuller

It is easy to fool yourself. It is possible to fool the people you work for. It is more difficult to fool the people you work with. But it is almost impossible to fool the people who work under you.

—Harry B. Thayer

The man whose life is devoted to paperwork has lost the initiative. He is dealing with things that are brought to his notice, having ceased to notice anything for himself. He has been essentially defeated by his job.

–C. Northcote Parkinson

Like all weak men he laid an exaggerated stress on not changing one’s mind.

–W. Somerset Maugham

To be happy with human beings, we should not ask them for what they cannot give.

–Tristan Bernard

If you have some respect for people as they are, you can be more effective in helping them to become better than they are.

–John W. Gardner

After you’ve done a thing the same way for two years, look it over carefully. After five years, look at it with suspicion. And after ten years, throw it away and start all over.

–Alfred Edward Perlman

If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.

–Harry S. Truman

Detestation of the high is the involuntary homage of the low.

–Charles Dickens

Help people reach their full potential. Catch them doing something right.

–Kenneth Blanchard and Spencer Johnson

When dealing with people remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but with creatures of emotion.

–Dale Carnegie

Not to oversee workmen is to leave them your purse open.

— Benjamin Franklin

The secret of success lies not in doing your own work, but in recognizing the right man to do it.

–Andrew Carnegie

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

–Bert Lance

When someone does something good, applaud! You will make two people happy.

–Samuel Goldwyn

As soon as you are complicated, you are ineffectual.

–Konrad Adenauer

Make up your mind to act decidedly and take the consequences. No good is ever done in this world by hesitation.

–Thomas Henry Huxley

Don’t think there are no crocodiles because the water is calm.

 –Malayan Proverb

An institution is the lengthened shadow of one man.

–Ralph Waldo Emerson

Please all, and you will please none.


Desire to have things done quickly prevents their being done thoroughly.


If you want work well done, select a busy man; the other kind has no time.

–Elbert Hubbard

To expect to rule others by assuming a loud tone is like thinking oneself tall by putting on high heels.

–J. Petit-Senn

All victories breed hate, and that over your superior is foolish or fatal.

–Baltasar Gracian

The best way to escape from a problem is to solve it.

–Robert Anthony

Whatever women do they must do twice as well as men to be thought half as good. Luckily, this is not difficult.

–Charlotte Whitton

But where organizing an effort is concerned it is sometimes better to have mediocre talent than a bunch of creative individuals who disturb the situation by questioning everything.

–Alan Harrington

Even if it doesn’t work, there is something healthy and invigorating about direct action.

–Henry Miller

Among the smaller duties of life, I hardly know any one more important than that of not praising when praise is not due.

–Sydney Smith

Always remember that the soundest way to progress in any organization is to help the man ahead of you to get promoted.

–L. S. Hamaker

A committee of one gets things done.

–Joe Ryan

Few things help an individual more than to place responsibility upon him, and to let him know that you trust him.

–Booker T. Washington

The only things that evolve by themselves in an organization are disorder, friction, and malperformance.

–Peter Drucker

The formula for success is simply putting the right people in the right jobs and then sitting on the sidelines and being a damned good cheerleader.

–A. Marshall Jones

Indecision is fatal. It is better to make a wrong decision than to build up a habit of indecision. If you’re wallowing in indecision, you certainly can’t act—and action is the basis of success.

–Marie Benyon Ray

Acting without thinking is like shooting without aiming.

–B. C. Forbes

A pat on the back is only a few vertebrae removed from a kick in the pants, but is miles ahead in results.

–Ella Wheeler Wilcox

He who praises everybody praises nobody.

–Samuel Johnson

A committee is a group of the unwilling, chosen from the unfit, to do the unnecessary.

–Richard Harkness

To err is human, and so is trying to avoid correcting it.

–R. Reycraft

Pressed into service means pressed out of shape.

–Robert Frost

Reason’s whole pleasure, all the joys of sense, be in three words: health, peace, and competence.

–Alexander Pope

Like dogs in a wheel, birds in a cage or squirrels in a chain, ambitious men still climb and climb, with great labor and incessant anxiety, but never reach the top.

–Robert Browning

To find the optimum position of a worker is like operating a radio receiver. You wish to tune in a station very precisely. You have a meter that indicates signal strength and as you near the optimum point the needle begins to move across the dial. It is not until the needle passes the maximum and starts to fall back that you can be certain that it has reached the maximum.

–J. Goldston

If you don’t know where you are going, you will end up somewhere else.

–Laurence J. Peter

If his understanding fails, have patience with him.


Don’t hire a chemical engineer to brew you a cup of coffee.

–A. Margolese

The challenge to think systematically about large, ambiguous questions is inherently daunting, and is one that many businessmen—activists by nature—may be reluctant to take up. But if businessmen are to manage events, rather than be managed by them, there is no alternative.

–William S. Rukeyser

Strengthen me by sympathizing with my strengths not my weakness.

–Amos Bronson Alcott

It gives pleasure to be praised by one whom all men praise.

–T. Howe

You’ll find in no park or city a monument to a committee.

–Victoria Pasternack

People roll up their shirtsleeves higher if they feel they are on the team and not just sitting on the sidelines.

–Ralph Wallace

A committee is a group that keeps minutes and wastes hours.

–Milton Berle

A conference without a leader is like a ship without a helmsman—it’s apt to wander all over the ocean.


Conference: a meeting at which people talk about things they should be doing.

— Adrian Furnham

Some persons are like wheelbarrows. They stand still unless they are pushed.


The executive exists to make sensible exceptions to general rules.

–Elting E. Morison

An executive is a man who is always annoying the hired help by asking them to do something.

–Laurence J. Peter

There are an enormous number of managers who have retired on the job.

–Peter Drucker

To kill time, a committee meeting is the perfect weapon.

–Laurence J. Peter

Trouble is only opportunity in work clothes.

–Henry J. Kaiser

Long-range planning does not deal with future decisions, but with the future of present decisions.

–Peter Drucker

The deepest principal of Human Nature is the craving to be appreciated.

–William James

The biggest problem in the world could have been solved when it was small.

–Witter Bynner

It is nonsense to say there is not enough time to be fully informed. Time given to thought is the greatest timesaver of all.

  –Norman Cousins

When an individual is kept in a situation of inferiority, the fact is that he does become inferior.

–Simone de Beauvoir

In practical life, the women is judged by man’s law, as if she were a man, not a woman.

–Henrik Ibsen

Management is now where the medical profession was when it decided that working in a drug store was not sufficient training to become a doctor.

–Lawrence Appley

A camel is a horse designed by a committee.

–Alec Issigonis

If Columbus had had an advisory committee he would probably still be at the dock.

–Arthur Goldberg

No grand idea was ever born in a conference, but a lot of foolish ideas have died there.

–F. Scott Fitzgerald

The only man who can change his mind is the man who’s got one.

–Edward Noyes Westcott

Power corrupts the few, while weakness corrupts the many.

–Eric Hoffer

Power is the ultimate aphrodisiac.

–Henry Kissinger

My experience of the world is that things left to themselves don’t get right.

–Thomas Henry Huxley

Nothing is so exhausting as indecision, and nothing is so futile.

–Bertrand Russell

The intangible duty of making things run smoothly is apt to be thankless, because people don’t realise how much time and trouble it takes and believe it is the result of a natural and effortless unction.

–A. C. Benson

To persuade is more trouble than to dominate, and the powerful seldom take this trouble if they can avoid it.

–Charles Horton Cooley

Those who believe in our ability do more than stimulate us. They create for us an atmosphere in which it becomes easier to succeed.

–John Lancaster Spalding

The man of narrower mind is often the better administrator.

–Joseph Rickaby

That mobilizing of the mind to meet and sway the minds of other men, involved in the conduct of affairs, blunts a sense of fine truth. The administrator is the death of the artist.

–Charles Horton Cooley

A weak men has doubts before a decision; a strong man has them afterwards.

–Karl Krout

Some persons are very decisive when it comes to avoiding decisions.

–Brendan Francis

Settle one difficulty, and you keep a hundred others away.

–Chinese Proverb

When in doubt, risk it.

–Holbrook Jackson

An executive: A man who can make quick decisions and is sometimes right.

–Elbert Hubbard

By shifting papers about my desk, writing my initials on things, talking to my colleagues about things which they already know, fumbling in books of reference, making notes about things which are already decided, and staring out of the window while tapping my teeth with a pencil, I can successfully counterfeit a man doing a heavy day’s work….I am, in short, an executive.

–Robertson Davies

Over and over again mediocrity is promoted because real worth isn’t to be found.

–Kathleen Norris

Nothing is more difficult, and therefore more precious, than to be able to decide.

–Napoleon I

It is the characteristic excellence of the strong man that he can bring momentous issues to the fore and make a decision about them. The weak are always forced to decide between alternatives they have not chosen themselves.

–Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Decide, v. i. To succumb to the preponderance of one set of influences over another set.

–Ambrose Bierce

There is nothing so bitter that a patient mind cannot find some solace for it.


He that has much to do will do something wrong.

–Samuel Johnson

The man who makes no mistakes does not usually make anything.

–William Connor Magee

In difficult situations when hope seems feeble, the boldest plans are safest.


An administration, like a machine, does not create. It carries on.


Bad administration, to be sure, can destroy good policy; but good administration can never save bad policy.

–Adlai Stevenson

Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention and skillful execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives.

–Willa A. Foster

A Supervisor’s Prayer

Dear Lord, please help me–

To accept human beings as they are–not yearn for perfect creatures;

To recognize ability–and encourage it;

To understand shortcomings–and make allowance for them;

To work patiently for improvement–and not expect too much too quickly;

To appreciate what people do right–not just criticize what they do wrong; To be slow to anger and hard to discourage;

To have the hide of an elephant and the patience of Job;

In short, Lord, please help me be a better boss!

–John Luther

In a hierarchy every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence.

–Laurence Peter

In time, every post tends to be occupied by an employee who is incompetent to carry out its duties.

–Laurence Peter

Competence, like truth, beauty and contact lenses, is in the eye of the beholder.

–Laurence Peter

Don’t react; attack!

–Dan L. Miller

Pay attention to your enemies, for they are the first to discover your mistakes.


What is worth doing is worth the trouble of asking somebody to do it.

–Ambrose Bierce

A decision is the action an executive must take when he has information so incomplete that the answer does not suggest itself.

–Arthur William Radford

Policy sits above conscience.

–William Shakespeare

To be great is to be misunderstood.

–Ralph Waldo Emerson

The measure of a master is his success in bringing all men round to his opinion twenty years later.

–Ralph Waldo Emerson

A bad workman quarrels with the man who calls him that.

–Ambrose Bierce

A bad workman never gets a good tool.

–Thomas Fuller

The girl who can’t dance says the band can’t play.

–Yiddish Proverb

Half the failures in life arise from pulling in one’s horse as he is leaping.

–Julius Charles Hare

It is in vain to hope to please all alike. Let a man stand with his face in what direction he will, he must necessarily turn his back on one half of the world.

–George Dennison Prentice

Out of every ten innovations attempted, all very splendid, nine will end up in silliness; the tenth and the last, though it escapes the preposterous, will show little that is new in the end.

–Antonio Machado

There is time enough for everything in the course of the day if you do but one thing at once; but there is not time enough in the year if you will do two things at a time.

–Lord Chesterfield

Who would succeed in the world should be wise in the use of his pronouns. Utter the You twenty times, where you once utter the I.

–John Hay

Men can be stimulated by hope or driven by fear, but the hope and the fear must be vivid and immediate if they are to be effective without producing weariness.

–Bertrand Russell

There is no more certain sign of a narrow mind, of stupidity, and of arrogance, than to stand aloof from those who think differently from us.

–Walter Savage Landor

In every work a reward added makes the pleasure twice as great.


To please people is a great step towards persuading them.

–Lord Chesterfield

If you expect perfection from people, your whole life is a series of disappointments, grumblings and complaints. If, on the contrary, you pitch your expectations low, taking folks as the inefficient creatures which they are, you are frequently surprised by having them perform better than you had hoped.

–Bruce Barton

We need objectives. We need focus and direction. Most of all, we need the sense of accomplishment that comes from achieving what we set out to do…it’s important to make plans, even if we decide to change them, so that at least for the moment we know where we’re going and we can have a sense of progress. In the long run, it’s frustrating, not liberating, to be like the airplane pilot who radios, ‘I have good news and bad news. The good news is that I’m making excellent time. The bad news is that I’m lost!’ Or, putting it another way, a sailor without a destination cannot hope for a favorable wind.

–Leon Tec

If you cry ‘Forward!’ you must without fail make plain in what direction to go. Don’t you see that if, without doing so, you call out the word to both a monk and revolutionary, they will go in directions precisely opposite?

–Anton Chekhov

I cannot commend to a business house any artificial plan for making men producers—any scheme for driving them into business-building. You must lead them through their self-interest. It is this alone that will keep them keyed up to the full capacity of their productiveness.

–Charles H. Steinway

He who every morning plans the transaction of the day and follows out that plan, carries a thread that will guide him through the maze of the most busy life. But where no plan is laid, where the disposal of time is surrendered merely to the chance of incidence, chaos will soon reign.

 –Victor Hugo

Executive ability is deciding quickly and getting somebody else to do the work.

–J. G. Pollard

A chairman of a meeting is like the minor official at a bullfight whose main function is to open and close the gates to let the bull in and out.

–Dewey F. Barich

What concerns everyone can only be resolved by everyone.

–Friedrich Durrenmatt

Problems are only opportunities in work clothes.

–Henry J. Kaiser

People are the key to success….The foremost distinguishing feature of effective managers seems to be their ability to recognize talent and to surround themselves with able colleagues.

–Norman R. Augustine

Rules, regulations, policies, reports, and organization charts are not a substitute for sound management judgment. One cannot legislate problems out of existence.

–Norman R. Augustine

To reward poor performance or neglect outstanding performance is like placing the controls for each separate half of an electric blanket on the wrong side of the bed.

–Norman R. Augustine

The centuries are filled with people who thought the world couldn’t get along without them.

–American Proverb

Lots of folks confuse bad management with destiny.

–Kin Hubbard

A bell doesn’t ring on its own—if someone doesn’t pull or push it, it will remain silent.


‘No’ and ‘yes’ are words quickly said, but they need a great amount of thought before you utter them.

–Baltasar Gracian

Deliberation often loses a good chance.

–Latin Proverb

The finest plans are often spoilt through the pettiness of those who are supposed to carry them out, since even emperors can do nothing without the support of their soldiers and hangers-on.

–Bertolt Brecht

It’s the worst wheel of the wagon that screeches the loudest.

 –Spanish Proverb

Before you have an argument with your boss, you’d better take a good look at both sides—his side and the outside.


A certain boss when asked how many people work for him replied, ‘About half of them.’


A committee usually consists of three persons, each of whom thinks

the others talk a lot of nonsense.


There are more than 200,000 useless words in the English language, and at some committee meetings you hear all of them.


To do two things at once is to do neither.

–Publilius Syrus

While we stop to think, we often miss our opportunity.

–Publilius Syrus

People who feel good about themselves produce good results.

–Kenneth Blanchard and Spencer Johnson

The best minute I spend is the one I invest in people.

–Kenneth Blanchard and Spencer Johnson

The defeats and victories of the fellows at the top aren’t always defeats and victories for the fellows at the bottom.

–Bertolt Brecht

Management is practice. Its essence is not knowing but doing. Its test is not logic but results. Its only authority is performance.

–Peter Drucker

The man who occupies the first place seldom plays the principal part.

–Johann W. van Goethe

Good managers have a bias for action.

—Thomas J. Peters

When fortune surprises us by giving us an important position, without having led us to it by degrees, or without our being elevated to it by our hopes, it is almost impossible for us to maintain ourselves suitably in it, and appear worthy of possessing it.

–La Rochefoucauld

’Tis in vain to speak reason where ’twill not be heard.

–Thomas Fuller

A successful executive in business is the one who can delegate all the responsibility, shift all the blame, and appropriate all the credit.


To be angry with a weak man is proof that you are not very strong yourself.


From this arises the question whether it is better to be loved rather than feared, or feared rather than loved. It might perhaps be answered that we should wish to be both: but since love and fear can hardly exist together, if we must choose between them, it is far safer to be feared than loved.

–Niccolo Machiavelli

That action is best which procures the greatest happiness for the greatest numbers.

–Francis Hutcheson

He that wrestles with us strengthens our nerves, and sharpens our skill. Our antagonist is our helper.

–Edmund Burke

Let me be a little kinder,

Let me be a little blinder

To the faults of those around me,

Let me praise a little more.

–Edgar Albert Guest

The buck stops here.

–Harry S. Truman

Don’t fight forces; use them.

–Richard Buckminster Fuller

If the human being is condemned and restricted to perform the same functions over and over again, he will not even be a good ant, not to mention a good human being.

–Norbert Wiener

Routine is the god of every social system; it is the seventh heaven of business, the essential component in the success of every factory, the ideal of every statesman. The social machine should run like clockwork.

–Alfred North Whitehead

A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do….Speak what you think today in hard words and tomorrow speak what tomorrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict everything you said today.

–Ralph Waldo Emerson

What we anticipate seldom occurs; what we least expected generally happens.

–Benjamin Disraeli

There is no more miserable human being than one in whom nothing is habitual but indecision.

–William James

Mistrust a subordinate who never finds fault with his superior.

–John Churton Collins

Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.

–Theodore Roosevelt

We won’t be deceived by titles such as Indispensable and Unique and Great.

Someone else indispensable and unique and great can always be found at a moment’s notice.

 –Constantine Peter Cavafy

Be always sure you are right—then go ahead.

–David Crockett

There is no friendship between those associated in power; he who rules will always be impatient of an associate.


Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.

–C. Northcote Parkinson

Praise makes good men better and bad men worse.

–Thomas Fuller

There are two levers for moving men — interest and fear.


He is not good himself, who speaks well of every body alike.

–Thomas Fuller

Praising all alike is praising none.

–John Gay

It is a certain sign of mediocrity always to praise moderately.


Good men hate those who praise them, if they praise them too much.


The praise of a fool is more harmful than his blame.


You’re either part of the solution or part of the problem.

   –Eldridge Cleaver

If you want a thing done well, do it yourself.

–Napoleon I

Against stupidity the very gods

Themselves contend in vain.


A successful man cannot realize how hard an unsuccessful man finds life.

–Edgar Watson Howe

Nothing is more humiliating than to see idiots succeed in enterprises we have failed in.

–Gustave Flaubert

Those that think must govern those that toil.

–Oliver Goldsmith

Some of us are like wheelbarrows—only useful when pushed, and very easily upset.

–Jack Herbert

When you hire people that are smarter than you are, you prove you are smarter than they are.

–R. H. Grant

The employer generally gets the employees he deserves.

–Sir Walter Bilbey

The man who trusts men will make fewer mistakes than he who distrusts them.

–Camillo di Cavour

Better lose the anchor than the whole ship.

–Dutch Proverb

It does not take much strength to do things, but it requires great strength to decide on what to do.

–Elbert Hubbard

Some problems are so complex that you have to be highly intelligent and well informed just to be undecided about them.

–Laurence J. Peter

I hate to see things done by halves. If it be right, do it boldly,—if it be wrong leave it undone.

–Bernard Gilpin

The block of granite which was an obstacle in the pathway of the weak becomes a stepping-stone in the pathway of the strong.

–Thomas Carlyle

When possible make the decisions now, even if action is in the future. A reviewed decision usually is better than one reached at the last moment.

–William B. Given, Jr.

The wheel that squeaks the loudest is the one that gets the grease.

–Josh Billings

It is the weak man who urges compromise—never the strong man.

–Elbert Hubbard

To get something done a committee should consist of three men, two of whom are absent.

–Robert Copeland

If you want to kill any idea in the world today, get a committee working on it.

–Charles F. Kettering

When you are looking for obstacles, you can’t find opportunities.

–J. C. Bell

Nothing is more despicable than respect based on fear.

–Albert Camus

I don’t believe in just ordering people to do things. You have to sort of grab an oar and row with them.

–Harold Geneen

The central problem of our age is how to act decisively in the absence of certainty.

–Bertrand Russell

In every crisis there is a message. Crises are nature’s way of forcing change—breaking down old structures, shaking loose negative habits so that something new and better can take their place.

–Susan Taylor

Why not go out on a limb? Isn’t that where the fruit is? —Frank Scully

Successful organizations arouse the desire to act by providing the freedom to act.

—Rosabeth Moss Kanter

Workers who are given the freedom to determine some of their goals and the autonomy to develop strategies to achieve them outperform their more rigidly supervised counterparts again and again.

–Peters and Waterman

People with highly developed skills or expertise can give their best only through self-motivation, not guidance from above.

—Peter Drucker

Freedom isn’t the absence of structure—letting employees go off and do whatever they want—but rather a clear structure which enables people to work within established boundaries in a creative and autonomous way.

—Rosabeth Moss Kanter

Effective organizations are obsessed with outcomes, with results. They set a focus and ‘Stick to the knitting.’

–Peters and Waterman

If you’re not a little scared, you’re not going fast enough.

–Richard Petty, (Race Car Driver)

Problems are the price you pay for progress.

–Branch Rickey

Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.

–Elmer Letterman

Progress always involves risk; you can’t steal second base and keep your feet on first.

–Frederick Wilcox

In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.

–Albert Einstein

We are continually faced by great opportunities brilliantly disguised as insolvable problems.

–Lee Iacocca

We cannot direct the wind…but we can adjust the sails.

–Thomas S. Monson

The sequence in the acceptance of a new idea:

1. It’s a foolish idea and won’t work.

2. It’s not a bad idea, but the time isn’t ripe.

3. The time is ripe, but we couldn’t finance it.

4. I was always in favor of this idea.

–Edgar Dale

Every complicated problem has a quick, easy and wrong solution.

–H. L. Mencken

No organization can function well if its supervisory force does not function. Supervisors are, so to speak, the ligaments, the tendons and sinews, of an organization. They provide the articulation. Without them, no joint can move.

–Peter F. Drucker

Problems cannot be solved at the same level of consciousness that created them!

–Albert Einstein

Ride the horse in the direction that it’s going.

–Werner Erhard

Pick battles big enough to matter, small enough to win.

–Jonathan Kozol

Trends, like horses, are easier to ride in the direction they are going.

–John Naisbitt

The way we SEE the problem…IS the problem

–Stephen Covey


THE WINNER— is always part of the answer.

THE LOSER— is always part of the problem.

THE WINNER— always has a program.

THE LOSER— always has an excuse.

THE WINNER— says, ‘Let me do it for you.’

THE LOSER— says, ‘That’s not my job!’

THE WINNER— sees an answer for every problem.

THE LOSER— sees a problem for every answer.

THE WINNER— sees a green near every sand trap.

THE LOSER— sees two or three sand traps near every green.

THE WINNER— says, ‘It may be difficult, but it’s possible.’

THE LOSER— says, ‘It may be possible, but it’s too difficult.’

BE    A    WINNER!!!

Counseling Connection

If you can’t get through, walk around.

–Finnish Proverb

The organization capable of continuous renewal is interested in what it is going to become, and not what it has been.

–Joseph Halloran

Experience has always shown, and reason also, that affairs which depend on many seldom succeed.


Set short-term goals and you’ll win games. Set long-term goals and you’ll win championships.

–Joe Paterno

Don’t find fault. Find a remedy.

–Henry Ford

Decision is a sharp knife that cuts clean and straight; indecision a dull one that hacks and tears and leaves ragged edges behind it.

–Gordon Graham

Those who apply themselves too much to little things usually become incapable of great ones.

–La Rochefoucauld

When you encounter difficulties and contradictions, do not try to break them, but bend them with gentleness and time.

–Saint Francis de Sales

Trust men and they will be true to you; treat them greatly and they will show themselves great.

–Ralph Waldo Emerson

Just as reading diet books is a substitute for losing weight, reading management books is a substitute for good management.

–Terence Deal

To do great things is difficult, but to command great things is more difficult.

–Friedrich Nietzsche

I never varied from the managerial rule that the worst possible thing we could do was to lie dead in the water of any problem. Solve it. Solve it quickly, solve it right or wrong. If you solved it wrong, it would come back and slap you in the face and then you could solve it right. Lying dead in the water and doing nothing is a comfortable alternative because it is without risk, but it is an absolutely fatal way to manage a business.

–Thomas J. Watson, Jr.

Anonymity and withdrawal are part of the CEO’s inventory of power. The reverse of anonymity is visibility, which brings with it an expectation of accountability. If you want to operate without accountability, you make yourself difficult to reach.

–Ralph Nader

Managing is like holding a dove in your hand. Squeeze too hard and you kill it; not hard enough and it flies away.

–Tommy LaSorda

Management consultants are people who borrow your watch to tell you what time it is, and then walk off with it.

–Robert Townsend

It isn’t the incompetent who destroys an organization. The incompetent never gets in a position to destroy it. It is those who have achieved something and want to rest upon their achievements who are forever clogging things up.

–Charles Sorenson

Most CEOs got their jobs because their predecessors and the directors liked them. They slapped the right backs and laughed at the right jokes. It’s reverse Darwinism: Once a backslapper gets the top job, he sure as hell isn’t going to have somebody better than him as his heir apparent. So management gets worse and worse.

–Carl C. Icahn

Someone once defined the manager, only half in jest, as that person who sees the visitors so that everyone else can get the work done.

–Henry Mintzberg

First-rate people hire first-rate people, second-rate people hire third-rate people.

–Leo Rosten

An executive is a man who decides; sometimes he decides right, but always he decides.

–John H. Patterson

Management problems always turn out to be people problems.

–John Peet

A final word to bosses. Keep the staff so busy that they have no time to think about anything except getting their daily work completed.

–Albert Allen

Managing is the art of getting things done through and with people in formally organized groups. It is the art of creating an environment in which people can perform as individuals and yet cooperate towards the attainment of group goals. It is the art of removing blocks to such performance.

–Harold Koontz

The executive is by profession a decision-maker. Uncertainty is his opponent. Overcoming it is his mission. The moment of decision is without a doubt the most critical and creative event in the life of an executive.

–John McDonald

There’s no such thing as the perfect solution. Every solution, no matter how good, creates new problems.


It is occasionally possible to charge hell with a bucket of water, but against stupidity the gods themselves struggle in vain.

–Doris Fleeson

He who is feared by many must fear many.

–Publilius Syrus

A good horse should be seldom spurred.

–Thomas Fuller

Deliberate often—decide once.

–Latin Proverb

To have his path made clear for him is the aspiration of every human being in our beclouded and tempestuous existence.

–Joseph Conrad

Unless you enter the tiger’s den, you cannot take the cubs.

–Japanese Proverb

In the first place God made idiots. This was for practice. Then he made school boards.

–Mark Twain

All battles are won before they are fought.

–Sun Tzu

Don’t be afraid of opposition. Remember, a kite rises against, not with, the wind.

–Hamilton Wright Mabie

Unreality is the true source of powerlessness. What we do not understand, we cannot control.

–Charles Reich

By working faithfully eight hours a day, you may eventually get to be a boss and work twelve hours a day.

–Robert Frost

Praise is a device for making a man deserve it.

–Franklin P. Jones

Don’t be afraid to take a big step if one is indicated. You can’t cross a chasm in two small jumps.

–David Lloyd George

Anyone can hold the helm when the sea is calm.

–Publilius Syrus

You will never ‘find time’ for anything..if you want time, you must make it.

–Charles Buxton

There is always a better way…your challenge is to find it.


There is nothing more difficult, more perilous, or more uncertain of success, than to take the lead in introducing a new order of things.


Hateful is the power, and pitiable is the life, of those who wish to be feared rather than loved.

–Cornelius Nepos

Punctuality is one of the cardinal business virtues: always insist on it in your subordinates.

–Don Marquis

I was to learn later in life that we tend to meet any new situation by reorganizing; and a wonderful method it can be for creating the illusion of progress while producing confusion, inefficiency, and demoralization.

–Petronius Arbiter

Wise kings generally have wise counsellors; and he must be a wise man himself who is capable of distinguishing one.


Experience has always shown, and reason also, that affairs which depend on many seldom succeed.


If you mistrust your employees, you’ll be right 3 percent of the time. If you trust people until they give you a reason not to, you’ll be right 97 percent of the time.

–Wolf J. Rinke

We shall sooner have the fowl by hatching the egg than by smashing it.

–Abraham Lincoln

I’d much rather deal with someone who’s good at their job but malevolent toward me, than someone who likes me but is a ninny.

–Sam Donaldson

One of the great errors organizations make is shutting down what is a natural, life-enhancing process—chaos. We are terrified of chaos. As a manager, it signals failure. But if you move out of control and into an appreciation of natural order, you understand that the only way a system changes is when it is far from equilibrium, when it moves from the ‘quiet’ we treasure and is confronted with the choice to die or reorganize. And you can’t reorganize to a higher level unless you risk the perils of the path through chaos.

–Margaret Wheatley

Every organization must prepare for the abandonment of everything it does.

–Peter Drucker

When you are in an environment in which you are taken care of, the blade of choice grows very dull. When people tell you what to do, and you don’t have any decisions to make, being accountable for what happens in your life just gets to be a smaller and smaller thing.

–W. Mathew Juechter

When employees work in an environment of fear, they become experts at blaming others and spend inordinate amounts of time covering (up) to make sure no one can blame them.

–Drake Beil

The graveyards are full of indispensable people.

–Charles de Gaulle

Excellent firms don’t believe in excellence—only in constant improvement and constant change.

–Tom Peters

The objective of the employee is to work just hard enough so as not to be fired and the objective of the company is to pay just enough so the employee won’t quit.

—George Carlin

If you can’t get people to accept ideas because they’re sound, and if you are not willing to accept an idea because it’s sound, then you’re really not a good manager.

–John Donnelly

If each of us were to confess his most secret desire, the one that inspires all his plans, all his actions, he would say: ‘I want to be praised.’

–E. M. Cioran

We are all motivated by a keen desire for praise, and the better a man is, the more he is inspired by glory.


When you cannot make up your mind which of two evenly balanced courses of action you should take—choose the bolder.

–W. J. Slim

An employee with a good family life is healthier and more productive.

–Sylvia Sepielli

Managers are people who do things right, and leaders are people who do the right thing.

–Warren G. Bennis and Burt Nanus

The trouble with American educators is that they seek one grand theory to address all problems.


Management means, in the last analysis, the substitution of thought for brawn and muscle, of knowledge for folkways and superstition, and of cooperation for force. It means the substitution of responsibility for obedience to rank, and of authority of performance for the authority of rank.

–Peter Drucker

Deliberation is the work of many men. Action, of one alone.

–Charles de Gaulle

A man who has to be convinced to act before he acts is not a man of action….You must act as you breathe.

–Georges Clemenceau

Men in business are in as much danger from those at work under them as from those that work against them.

–George Savile

I must create a system or be enslaved by another man’s.

–William Blake

The benevolent despot who sees himself as a shepherd of the people still demands from others the submissiveness of sheep.

–Eric Hoffer

The good ideas are all hammered out in agony by individuals, not spewed out by groups.

–Charles Browder

We always carry out by committee anything in which any one of us alone would be too reasonable to persist.

–Frank Moore Colby

A committee is a thing which takes a week to do what one good man can do in an hour.

–Elbert Hubbard

If I can’t fire people—and I never would want to—how can I instill a sense of crisis? How can I persuade people that if nothing changes, the company will slowly die?

–Minoru Makihara

I believe every decision is stronger when a group of people argue about it, debate it, try to figure out how to make it better.

–Lou Gerstner

Never flinch—make up your own mind and do it.

–Mararet Thatcher

Often you find out you’re abdicating not delegating. That is wrong, because you abdicate, give the situation to people, and it causes all sorts of problems. Then you learn that abdication is not the right thing to do either. The real art of delegation is to be able to give people responsibility, give them authority, but also make them accountable, and ensure there is a very good report-back system to you.

–Tom Farmer

If I had to sum up in one word that makes a good manager, I’d say decisiveness. You can use the fanciest computers to gather numbers, but in the end you have to set a timetable and act. And I don’t mean rashly. I’m sometimes described as a flamboyant leader and hip-shooter, fly-by-the-seat-of-the-pants operator. But if that were true, I could never have been successful in this business.

–Lee Iacocca

I try to keep in touch with the details—you can’t keep in touch with them all, but you’ve got to have a feel for what’s going on. I also look at the product daily. That doesn’t mean you interfere, but it’s important occasionally to show the ability to be involved. It shows you understand what’s happening.

–Rupert Murdoch

Surround yourself with the best people you can find, delegate authority, and don’t interfere.

–Ronald Reagan

A man may be a tough, concentrated, successful money-maker and never contribute to his country anything more than a horrible example. A manager may be tough and practical, squeezing out, while the going is good, the last ounce of profit and dividend, and may leave behind him an exhausted industry and a legacy of industrial hatred. A tough manager may never look outside his own factory walls or be conscious of his partnership in a wider world. I often wonder what strange cud such men sit chewing when their working days are over, and the accumulating riches of the mind have eluded them.

–Sir Robert Gordon Menzies

When doctors listen to nurses, patients recover more quickly; if mining engineers pay more attention to their men than to their machinery, the pits are more efficient. As in athletics and nuclear research, it is neither books nor seminars from which managers learn much, but from here-and-now exchanges about the operational job in hand.

–Reg Revans

Workers in the United States—and even more so in England—have been treated like dog food for the past 150 years. In fact, such treatment forms the bedrock logic of he Industrial Revolution: Forget craft. Specialize jobs to the point any idiot can perform them.

–Tom Peters

Democracy has yet to penetrate the workplace. Dictators and despots are alive and well in offices and factories all over the world.

–Ricardo Semler

Top management must know how good or bad employees’ working conditions are. They must eat in the employees’ restaurants, see whether the food is well cooked, visit the washroom and lavatories—if they are not good enough for those in charge they are not good enough for anyone.

–Lord Sieff

There will be two kinds of CEOs who will exist in the next five years: those who think globally and those who are unemployed.

–Peter Drucker

You cannot mandate productivity, you must provide the tools to let people become their best.

–Steven Jobs

If each of us hires people who are smaller than we are, we shall become a company of dwarfs. But if each of us hires people who are bigger than we are, we shall become a company of giants.

–David Ogilvy

Hire people cleverer than you are and delegate more than you think is good for you.

–Sir Peter Parker

Delay is preferable to error.

–Thomas Jefferson

There are no recipes. There are no certainties that what I’m doing is going to work. You’ve got to go on instinct.

–Lou Gerstner

You can be totally rational with a machine. But if you work with people, sometimes logic often has to take a backseat to understanding.

–Akio Morita

We have become prisoners of cerebral management. I’m sympathetic to the management process which is intuitive, based on immediate responses.

–Henry Mintzberg

The only irreplaceable capital an organization possesses is the knowledge and ability of its people. The productivity of that capital depends on how effectively people share their competence with those who can use it.

–Andrew Carnegie

A: I play it the company way

Where the company puts me, there I’ll stay.

B: But what is your point of view?

A: I have no point of view!

Supposing the company thinks…I think so too!

–Frank Loesser

People, including managers, do not live by pie charts alone—or by bar graphs or three-inch statistical appendices to 300 page reports. People live, reason, and are moved by symbols and stories.

–Tom Peters

Management is an activity or art where those who have not yet succeeded and those who have proved unsuccessful are led by those who have not yet failed.

—Paulsson Frenckner

A manager’s job should be based on a task to be performed in order to attain the company’s objectives…the manager should be directed and controlled by the objectives of performance rather than by his boss.

–Peter Drucker

The function which distinguishes the manager above all others is his educational one. The one contribution he is uniquely expected to make is to give others vision and ability to perform. It is vision and more responsibility that, in the last analysis, define the manager.

–Peter Drucker

I believe that management is an art—and possibly one of the most difficult ones. Just as the artist constantly and consciously works to perfect his technique and to gain mastery of his relevant skills, so must the manager. Mere technical command of the skills does not, however, produce a virtuoso or a superb manager. It is that extra something which each of us brings from within ourselves that makes the difference—vision, judgement, awareness of the world around us, and responsiveness to that world, which leads to success. Managing is a matter of the mind and the character.

–Sir John Harvey-Jones 

A good manager is best when people barely know that he exists. Not so good when people obey and acclaim him. Worse when they despise him.


The achievement of stability, which is the manager’s objective, is a never-to-be-attained ideal. He is like a symphony orchestra conductor, endeavoring to maintain a melodious performance in which the contributions of the various instruments are coordinated and sequenced, patterned and paced, while the orchestra members are having various personal difficulties, stage hands are moving music stands, alternating excessive heat and cold are creating audience and instrumental problems, and the sponsor of the concert is insisting on irrational changes in the program.

–Leonard Sayles

The worst mistake a boss can make is not to say ‘well done.’

–John Ashcroft

People will always work harder if they’re getting well paid and if they’re afraid of losing a job which they know will be hard to equal. As is well known, if you pay peanuts, you get monkeys. 

–Armand Hammer

No institution can possibly survive if it needs geniuses or supermen to manage it. It must be organized in such a way as to be able to get along under a leadership composed of average human beings. 

–Peter Drucker

The best way to run a business is to put your trust in people.  If they let you down, you can make changes. 

–Lord Hanson

Managers have been brought up on a diet of power, divide and rule. They have been preoccupied with authority rather than making things happen. 

–Charles Handy

Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power. 

—Abraham Lincoln

What you cannot enforce, do not command. 


If you only have a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail. 

–Abraham Maslow

No problem is so formidable that you can’t walk away from it. 

–Charles Schultz

Problems are only opportunities in work clothes. 

–Henry J. Kaiser

You think you understand the situation, but what you don’t understand is that the situation just changed. 

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Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected. 

–Steven Jobs

Good management techniques are enduring. Quality control, for instance was treated as a fad here, but it’s been part of the Japanese business philosophy for decades. That’s why they laugh at us. 

–Peter Senge

There is always a way of doing everything, if it be to boil an egg. 

–Ralph Waldo Emerson

We can delegate authority, but not responsibility. 

—Lee Cockerell

Responsibility should always be coupled with corresponding authority. 

–Chester Barnard

I emphasize the importance of the details. You must perfect every fundamental of your business if you expect it to perform well. 

–Ray Kroc

If you have a job without aggravations, you don’t have a job. 

–Malcolm S. Forbes

Hard work never killed a man. Men die of boredom, psychological conflict and disease. Indeed the harder your people work, the happier and healthier they will be.

–David Ogilvy

An executive cannot gradually dismiss details. Business is made up of details and I notice that the chief executive who dismisses them is quite likely to dismiss his business.

Success is the sum of detail. It might perhaps be pleasing to imagine oneself beyond detail and engaged only in great things, but as I have often observed, if one attends only to great things and lets the little things pass the great things become little; that is, the business shrinks.

It is not possible for an executive to hold himself aloof from anything. No business, no matter what its size, can be called safe until it has been forced to learn economy and rigidly to measure values of men and materials.

–Harvey S. Firestone

We should all be very careful when we say ‘no’ to a suggested improvement or plan made by a subordinate. A ‘no’ in most cases is final. We are usually more careful when we say ‘yes’ because we know that our ‘yes’ decisions will have to stand the test of performance or further approval. As a matter of fact, we should be more careful with our ‘noes’ for the very reason that they do not have to stand the test of performance or further approval.

–A. W. Robertson

We should place confidence in our employee. Confidence is the foundation of friendship. If we give it, we will receive it. Any person in a managerial position, from supervisor to president, who feels that his employee is basically not as good as he is and who suspects his employee is always trying to put something over on him, lacks the necessary qualities for human leadership—to say nothing of human friendship.

–Harry E. Humphreys, Jr.

He who considers too much will perform little.


The percentage of mistakes in quick decisions is no greater than in long-drawn-out vacillations, and the effect of decisiveness itself ‘makes things go’ and creates confidence.

–Anne O’Hare McCormick

When you find a man who knows his job and is willing to take responsibility, keep out of his way and don’t bother him with unnecessary supervision. What you may think is co-operation is nothing but interference.

–Thomas Dreier

All of us know the story of the Edsel automobile. Everybody thinks the Edsel failed because Ford didn’t do its homework. In fact, it was the best-engineered, the best-researched, the best-everything car. There was only one thing wrong with it: nobody in the Ford Motor Company believed in it. It was contrived. It was designed on the basis of research and not on the basis of commitment. And so when it got into a little trouble, nobody supported the child. I’m not saying it could have been a success. But without that personal commitment, it certainly never could be.

–Peter Drucker

Those who are victorious plan effectively and change decisively. They are like a great river that maintains its course and adjusts its flow…they have form but are formless. They are skilled in both planning and adapting and need not fear the result of a thousand battles; for they win in advance, defeating those that have already lost.

–Sun Tzu

If you chase two rabbits, both will escape.

–Ancient Proverb

While an open mind is priceless, it is priceless only when its owner has the courage to make a final decision which closes the mind for action after the process of viewing all sides of the question has been completed. Failure to make a decision after due consideration of all the facts will quickly brand a man as unfit for a position of responsibility. Not all of your decisions will be correct. None of us is perfect. But if you get into the habit of making decisions, experience will develop your judgment to a point where more and more of your decisions will be right. After all, it is better to be right 51% of the time and get something done, than it is to get nothing done because you fear to reach a decision.

–H. W. Andrews

In handling men, there are three feelings that a man must not possess—fear, dislike and contempt. If he is afraid of men he cannot handle them. Neither can he influence them in his favor if he dislikes or scorns them. He must neither cringe nor sneer. He must have both self-respect and respect for others.

–Herbert N. Casson

The culminating point of administration is to know well how much power, great or small, we ought to use in all circumstances.

–Charles de Montesquieu

I leave everything to the young men. You’ve got to give youthful men authority and responsibility if you’re going to build up an organization. Otherwise you’ll always be the boss yourself and you won’t leave anything behind you.

–A. P. Giannini

Attacking is the only secret. Dare and the world always yields; or if it beats you sometimes, dare it again and it will succumb.


As soon as a man climbs up to a high position, he must train his subordinates and trust them. They must relieve him of all small matters. He must be set free to think, to travel, to plan, to see important customers, to make improvements, to do all the big jobs of Leadership.

–Herbert N. Casson

The best leaders are those most interested in surrounding themselves with assistants and associates smarter than they are—being frank in admitting this—and willing to pay for such talents.

–Amos Parrish

A good man likes a hard boss. I don’t mean a nagging boss or a grouchy boss. I mean a boss who insists on things being done right and on time; a boss who is watching things closely enough so that he knows a good job from a poor one. Nothing is more discouraging to a good man than a boss who is not on the job, and who does not know whether things are going well or badly.

–William Feather

It is hard to get to the top if the boss has no daughter, and even harder if he has a son.


Consult: to seek another’s advice on a course already decided upon.

–Ambrose Bierce

Praise is the only gift for which people are really grateful.

–Countess of Blessington

The one social lapse for which there is no forgiveness is forgetting people’s names—it makes them feel that they are small and unmemorable.

–Katharine Whitehorn

The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits.

–Alexandre Dumas

A State which dwarfs its men, in order that they may be more docile instruments in its hands even for beneficial purposes—will find that with small men no great thing can really be accomplished.

–John Stuart Mill

A committee is a cul de sac down which ideas are lured and then quietly strangled.

–Sir Barnett Cocks

If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, it’s just possible you haven’t grasped the situation.

–Jean Kerr

Graveyards are full of indispensable men.

–Charles de Gaulle

The amount of flak received on any subject is inversely proportional to the subject’s true value.


It is a rare executive who doesn’t wear out several suits to every pair of shoes.


There’s nothing so exhausting as the management of men, except the management of women.


If you think both sides in a dispute cannot win, just interview management and labor after a strike is settled.


The stupid you always have with you.

—Henry David Thoreau

The quickest way to kill a good theory is to put it into practice.

–Evan Esar

Somewhere deep down we know that in the final analysis we do decide things and that even our decisions to let someone else decide are really our decisions, however pusillanimous.

–Harvey G. Cox

The great art of governing consists in not letting men grow old in their jobs.


The most likely place to have your idea pocket picked is at a meeting….Here an idea becomes public property the moment it hits the air waves.

–Jane Trahey

All organizations are at least 50 per cent waste—waste people, waste effort, waste space, and waste time.

–Robert Townsend

Reorganization is the permanent condition of a vigorous organization.

–Roy L. Ash

I have yet to see any problem, however complicated, which, when you look at it the right way, did not become still more complicated.

–Poul Anderson

Some problems never get solved. They just get older.

–Chaim Weizmann

Regardless of my industry and ingenuity, more than once I’ve been haunted by the suspicion that I’m yodeling in an echo chamber.

–Richard Maney

We do not need, and indeed never will have, all the answers before we act….It is often only through taking action that we can discover some of them.

–Charlotte Bunch

Take time to prepare.

–Frank Lloyd Wright

Criticism, like rain, should be gentle enough to nourish a man’s growth without destroying his roots.

–Frank A. Clark

It is better to be boldly decisive and risk being wrong than to agonize at length and be right too late.

–Marilyn Moats Kennedy

The greater the ignorance, the greater the dogmatism.

–Sir William Osler

Get someone else to blow your horn and the sound will carry twice as far.

–Will Rogers

To get others to do what you want them to do, you must see things through their eyes.

–David Schwartz

Consider how hard it is to change yourself and you’ll understand what little chance you have of trying to change others.

–Jacob Braude

Competing pressures tempt one to believe that an issue deferred is a problem avoided; more often it is a crisis invented.

–Henry Kissinger

Catch them doing something right!If you can catch people doing something well, no matter how small it may seem, and positively reinforce them for doing it, they will continue to grow in a positive direction.

–Ken Blanchard

Everyone has an invisible sign hanging from their neck saying, ‘Make me feel important.’

–Mary Kay Ash

What every genuine philosopher (every genuine man, in fact) craves most is praise—although the philosophers generally call it ‘recognition’!

–William James

Success is good management in action.

–William E. Holler

Action to be effective must be directed to clearly conceived ends.

–Jawaharlal Nehru

If you had to identify, in one word, the reason why the human race has not achieved, and never will achieve, its full potential, that word would be ‘meetings.’

–Dave Barry

Some problems are so complex that you have to be highly intelligent and well informed just to be undecided about them.

–Laurence J. Peter

Joint undertakings stand a better chance when they benefit both sides.


Where there is no vision, the people perish.

Proverbs 29:18

Setting an example is not the main means of influencing another, it is the only means.

–Albert Einstein

The goal of the gifted boss is to be worthy of exceptional talent.

–Dale Dauten

A committee takes hours to put into minutes what can be done in seconds.

–Judy Castrina

Consultants look at your watch, tell you the time and send you a bill.


My greatest strength as a consultant is to be ignorant and ask a few questions.

–Peter Drucker

Goal setting is the strongest force for human motivation.

–Don Clark

Short-term goals are refueling stations along the journey.

–Scott A. Romeo

So much of what we call management consists of making it difficult for people to work.

–Peter Drucker

A good supervisor is a catalyst, not a drill sergeant.

–Whitley David

When confronted with a Goliath-sized problem, which way do you respond: ‘He’s too big to hit,’ or like David, ‘He’s too big to miss’?

God’s Little Devotional Book

Problems are messages.

–Shakti Gawain

Every problem has in it the seeds of its own solution.

–Norman Vincent Peale

A problem is a chance for you to do your best.

–Duke Ellington

Sometimes you have to jump off the bridge and build your wings on the way down.

–Danielle Steele

Example is not the main thing in influencing others, it is the only thing.

–Albert Schweitzer

Never confuse activity with results.

–Lou Gerstner

Whenever you commend, add your reasons for doing so.

–Sir Richard Steele

True professional growth is the acquiring of both professional attitudes and skills—and moving to new levels of performance not experienced before.

–Robert L. DeBruyn

I have long been profoundly convinced that in the very nature of things, employers and employees are partners, not enemies; that their interests are common, not opposed; that in the long run the success of each is dependent upon the success of the other.

–John D. Rockefeller, Jr.

Let our advance worrying become advance thinking and planning.

–Sir Winston Churchill

The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.

–Bertrand Russell

So many people go unnoticed and unappreciated because no one has ever taken time with them and admired their uniqueness.

–John Powell

We are apt to forget that we are only one of a team…and that we are strong only as long as each unit in our organization functions with precision.

—Samuel J. Tilden

It is not who is right, but what is right, that is of importance.

–Thomas H. Huxley

Efficiency tends to deal with Things. Effectiveness tends to deal with People. We manage things, we lead people.


If a better system is thine, impart it; if not, make use of mine.


There is an easier, better and quicker way to do most everything, and now as never before, we must seek those easier, better, quicker ways and methods.

–Gustav Metzman

The Law of Win/Win says, ‘Let’s not do it your way or my way; let’s do it the best way.’

–Greg Anderson

I believe nobody makes it alone…always keep in mind your relationships. Nurture them, build them, and lean on them when you need to.

–Stedman Graham

Individual commitment to a group effort—that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.

–Vince Lombardi

If you’re going through hell, keep going.

–Winston Churchill

The real path to greatness, it turns out, requires simplicity and diligence. It requires clarity, not instant illumination. It demands each of us to focus on what’s vital—and to eliminate all of the extraneous distractions.

–Jim Collins

A successful face-to-face team is more than just collectively intelligent. It makes everyone work harder, think smarter and reach better conclusions than they would have on their own.

–James Surowiecki

Organizations only improve ‘where the truth is told and the brutal facts confronted.’

–Jim Collins

Improvement takes recognition of and moral outrage at ineffective practices.

–Roland Barth

We must overcome the awful inertia of past decades.

–Michael Fullan

Place a good person in a bad system, and the system will win every time.

–Seymour Sarason

Make ten consecutive correct guesses and you’ve established a reputation as an expert—which will last until you make one little mistake.


You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else.

–Albert Einstein

Perfection never exists in reality, but only in our dreams.

— Dr. Rudolf Dreikurs

Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe.

— Albert Einstein

As everyone knows, an executive has practically nothing do to except to decide what has to be done, tell somebody to do it, listen to the reasons it should not or cannot be done that way, listen to why it should be done by somebody else or done a different way, follow up to see if the thing has been done, discover that is has not been done, inquire why, listen to excuses from the person who should have done it, follow up again to see if the thing has been done, only to discover that is has been done…incorrectly.

–Walter M. Buescher

A mediocre idea that generates enthusiasm will go father than a great idea that inspires no one.

–Mary Kay Ash

I’ve come to a startling conclusion that

I am the decisive element in my organization.

It’s my approach and response that create climate.

It’s the control and direction of my emotions that generates behavior.

As a leader,

I possess significant influence that enables people to feel positive or negative.

I can bring hope or despair, truth or deceit

I can humiliate or humor, hinder or heal.

In the things that confront me,

It’s my response that decides whether

     there will be turmoil or serenity

I can be kind or cruel, patient or impatient, fearful or courageous.

That conclusion also tells me that it is through acts of compassion that love prevails.

For love does not point out what is wrong, but models what is right.

Gene Bedley

A new position of responsibility will usually show a man to be a far stronger creature than was supposed.

–William James

The smart man solves a problem. The wise man prevents it.

–Albert Einstein

You can work miracles by having faith in others. To get the best out of people, choose to think and believe the best about them.

–Bob Moawad

The man who rows the boat generally doesn’t have time to rock it.

–Bill Copeland

There is always an easy solution to every human problem—neat, plausible, and wrong.

–H. L. Mencken

A good manager is a man who isn’t worried about his own career but rather the careers of those who work for him.

–H. S. M. Burns

Sandwich every bit of criticism between two thick layers of praise.

–Mary Kay Ash

In any moment of decision the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.

–Theodore Roosevelt

When you have a choice to make and don’t make it, that in itself is a choice.

–William James

There is a point, of course, where a man must take the isolated peak and break with all his associates for clear principle; but until that time comes he must work, if he would be of use, with men as they are. As long as the good in them overbalances the evil, let him work with them for the best that can be obtained.

–Theodore Roosevelt

I don’t need more time; I need a deadline!

–Duke Ellington

Treat employees like partners, and they act like partners.

–Fred Allen

It is not fair to ask of others what you are not willing to do yourself.

–Eleanor Roosevelt

A certain amount of opposition is a great help to a man. Kites rise against, not with, the wind.

–Lewis Mumford

It is a common experience that a problem difficult at night is resolved in the morning after the committee of sleep has worked on it.

–John Steinbeck

In crises the most daring course is often safest.

–Henry A. Kissinger

If you don’t make mistakes, you’re not working on hard enough problems. And that’s a big mistake

–Frank Wilczek

When the eagles are silent, the parrots begin to jabber.

–Sir Winston Churchill

Build for your team a feeling of oneness, of dependence on one another and of strength to be derived by unity.

–Vince Lombardi

If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking.

–George Patton

Effective management always means asking the right questions.

–Robert Heller

People who don’t take risks generally make about two big mistakes a year. People who do take risks generally make about two big mistakes a year.

–Peter Drucker

The key to being a good manager is keeping the people who hate me away from those who are still undecided.

–Casey Stengal

The problem is not that there are problems. The problem is expecting otherwise and thinking that having problems is a problem.

–Theodore Rubin

Our challenges ought not defeat us; rather, they should drive us.

–Dr. David Satcher

The best way out is always through.

–Robert Frost

If you would win a man to your cause, first convince him that you are his sincere friend.

–Abraham Lincoln

You cannot buy enthusiasm, you cannot buy initiative, you cannot buy loyalty; you cannot buy the devotion of hearts, minds, and souls. You have to earn these things.

–Clarence Francis

Fix the problem, not the blame.

–Japanese Proverb

People want recognition of their work to help them believe in themselves.

–Dorothy Richardson

What you do speaks so loudly I cannot hear what you say.

–Ralph Waldo Emerson

Have the courage to face difficulty lest it kick you harder than you bargain for.

–Stanislaus I of Poland

There is transcendent power in example. We reform others unconsciously when we walk upright.

–Anne Sophie Swetchine

People are generally better persuaded by the reasons which they have themselves discovered than by those which have come into the mind of others.

—Blaise Pascal

Whatever needs to be maintained through force is doomed.

–Henry Miller

It is not enough to take steps which may some day lead to a goal; each step must be itself a goal and a step likewise.

–Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

The most pathetic person in the world someone who has sight, but no vision.

–Helen Keller

There are two ways of meeting difficulties. You alter the difficulties or you alter yourself to meet them.

–Phyliss Bottome

It isn’t that they can’t see the solution. It is that they can’t see the problem.

–G. K. Chesterton

Our doubts are traitors and make us lose the good we oft might win by fearing to attempt.


Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.

–Henry Ford

We do not seek to have our way, but to find a common way.

–G. P. Morris

Bite off more than you can chew, then chew it. Plan more than you can do, then do it.


A keen understanding of human beings will permit management to secure unusual results.

–Howard E. Blood

Every situation, properly perceived, becomes an opportunity.

–Helen Schucman

If there are obstacles, the shortest line between two points may be the crooked line.

–Bertolt Brecht

A mistake in judgment isn’t fatal, but too much anxiety about judgment is.

–Pauline Kael

I have never yet seen any plan that has not been mended by the observations of those who were much inferior in understanding to the person who took the lead in the business.

–Edmund Burke

Take time to deliberate, but when the time for action arrives, stop thinking and go in.

–Andrew Jackson

People’s minds are changed through observation and not through argument.

–Will Rogers

We are most deeply asleep at the switch when we fancy we control any switches at all.

–Annie Dillard

Recognition is the greatest motivator.

–Gerard C. Oakdale

If it works, copy it.

–Tony Schwartz

Apathy can be overcome by enthusiasm, and enthusiasm can be aroused by two things: first, an idea which takes the imagination by storm; and, second, a definite, intelligible plan for carrying that idea into action.

–Arnold Toynbee

‘Heller’s Law’

The first myth of management is that it exists. The second myth of management is that success equals skill.

—Robert Heller

Lawful and settled authority is very seldom resisted when it is well employed.

–Samuel Johnson

The organization capable of continuous renewal is interested in what it is going to become, and not what it has been.

–Joseph Halloran

Problems are the price of progress. Don’t bring me anything but trouble. Good news weakens me.

–Charles Kettering

The only difference between a problem and a solution is that people understand the solution.

–Charles Kettering

Difficulties are meant to rouse, not discourage. The human spirit is to grow strong by conflict.

–William Ellery Channing

Plans are only good intentions unless they immediately degenerate into hard work.

–Peter Drucker

The man who insists on seeing with perfect clearness before he decides, never decides.

–Henri-Frédéric Amiel

Doing what’s right isn’t the problem. It is knowing what’s right.

–Lyndon B. Johnson

Pick battles big enough to matter, small enough to win.

–Jonathan Kozol

I learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

–Maya Angelou

Storms make oaks take deeper root.

–George Herbert

Indecision may or may not be my problem.

–Jimmy Buffett

Furious activity is no substitute for understanding.

–H. H. Williams

You can discover what your enemy fears most by observing the means he uses to frighten you.

–Eric Hoffer

Sometimes a slow gradual approach does more good than a large gesture.

–Craig Newmark

You have not converted a man because you have silenced him.

–John Viscount Morley

An executive is a person who always decides; sometimes he decides correctly, but he always decides.

–John H. Patterson

An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.

–Sir Winston Churchill

Make a decision, even if it’s wrong.

–Jarvis Klem

It is better to have one person working with you than three people working for you.

–Dwight D. Eisenhower

If you want creative workers, give them enough time to play.

–John Cleese

Against logic there is no armor like ignorance.

–Laurence J. Peter

Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape.

–Robert Ludlum

Help others get ahead. You will always stand taller with someone else on your shoulders.

–Bob Moawad

Who begins too much accomplishes little.

–German Proverb

He who every morning plans the transaction of the day and follows out that plan, carries a thread that will guide him through the maze of the most busy life. But where no plan is laid, where the disposal of time is surrendered merely to the chance of incidence, chaos will soon reign.

–Victor Hugo

When a man says he approves of something in principle, it means he hasn’t the slightest intention of putting it into practice.

–Otto von Bismarck

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

–Albert Einstein

Intellectuals solve problems; geniuses prevent them.

–Albert Einstein

It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.

–Albert Einstein

If everything seems under control, you’re not going fast enough.

–Mario Andretti

A specification that will not fit on one page of 8.5 x 11 inch paper cannot be understood.

–Mark Ardis

Never do today what you can put off till tomorrow. Delay may give clearer light as to what is best to be done

–Aaron Burr

People need to be reminded more often than they need to be instructed.

–Samuel Johnson

The less you’re concerned about getting credit, the more work you can get done.

–Arnold Schwarzenegger

Of all the passions, fear weakens judgment most.

–Cardinal De Retz

There is no rule without an exception.


Every problem you will have…is essentially a matter of relationships, of interdependence.

–Clarence Francis

When you encounter difficulties and contradictions, do not try to break them, but bend them with gentleness and time.

–Saint Francis de Sales

Let us not be afraid of debate or dissent.

–John F. Kennedy

The sole advantage of power is that you can do more good.

–Baltasar Gracián

Joint undertakings stand a better chance when they benefit both sides.


The man who says he is willing to meet you halfway is usually a poor judge of distance.

–Laurence J. Peter

Nothing is settled until it is settled right.

–Louis Dembitz Brandeis

Problems are the stimulus to thinking.

–John Dewey

A system is not the sum of its parts, but rather, the product of the interaction of the parts.

–Russell Ackoff

If you know why, you figure out how.

–W. Edwards Deming

Why bother doing it right if we’re not sure we’re doing the right thing?

–Peter Drucker

Efficiency is doing the thing right. Effectiveness is doing the right thing.

–Peter Drucker

First seek to understand and then to be understood.

–Stephen R. Covey

Honest differences are often a healthy sign of progress.

–Mahatma Gandhi

Sometimes it’s better to light a flame thrower than curse the darkness.

–Terry Pratchett

Management and union may be likened to that serpent of the fables who on one body had two heads that, fighting each other with poisoned fangs, killed themselves.

–Peter Drucker

A problem properly stated finds its own solution.

–Charles Le Corbusier

I would rather try to persuade a man to go along, because once I have persuaded him he will stick. If I scare him, he will stay just as long as he is scared, and then he is gone.

–Dwight D. Eisenhower

If you don’t risk anything you risk even more.

–Erica Jong

Everybody knows if you are too careful you are so occupied in being careful that you are sure to stumble over something.

–Gertrude Stein

You may be deceived if you trust too much, but you will live in torment if you do not trust enough.

–Frank Crane

Progress is not created by contented people.

–Frank Tyger

You’ve got to allow people to make mistakes, but only a little failure is tolerated; beyond that, ‘you’re gone.’

–Sergio Marchionne

When two men in business always agree, one of them is unnecessary.

–William Wrigley Jr.

You can get everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.

–Zig Ziglar

Women are no better or worse than men, in general. There are only good managers and bad managers. I have had good and bad experiences with both sexes. It completely depends upon the individual and not the sex.

–Dave Denison

I’m sick of getting e-mails from women managers who take everything so personally. I think it’s keeping women from moving forward. Sometimes a business report just sucks, and a guy can take it….Women stew about it, e-mail about it, tweet about it. They’ve got to get away from that.

–Eve Tahmincioglu

Hire good people and leave them alone.

–William McKnight

Let me know about a problem as soon as you know about it. Bad news, unlike wine, doesn’t get better with time.

–Colin Powell

The fish rots from the head.

—Chinese Proverb

Teams do better when they are composed of people with the widest possible range of personalities.

–Data from Stanford University

There is an exception to every rule, standard operating procedure, and policy; it is up to leaders to determine when exceptions should be made and to explain why they made them.

–General David Petraeus

Stay fit to fight. Your body is your ultimate weapons system. Physical fitness for your body is essential for mental fitness.

–General David Petraeus

The only thing better than a little competition is a lot of competition. Set challenges for your subordinates to encourage them to excel.

–General David Petraeus

Adventure is just bad planning.

–Roald Amundsen

A conference is a gathering of important people who singly can do nothing but together can decide that nothing can be done

–Fred Allen

Rules reduce freedom and responsibility. Enforcement of rules is coercive and manipulative, which diminishes spontaneity and absorbs a group energy. The more coercive you are, the more resistant the group will become.

–John Heider

If you live in the river you should make friends with the crocodile.

–Indian Proverb

The best way to handle most flare-ups is to sleep on them. Avoid acting out of anger and creating an even stickier mess. And if you’re lucky, the problem may resolve itself.

–Jerry Reinsdorf

You’re neither right nor wrong because people agree with you. You’re right because your facts and your reasoning are right.

–Warren Buffet

Ever since we’ve had companies, we’ve had mangers trying to figure out which people are best suited to working for them. The techniques have varied considerably. Near the turn of the 20th century, one manufacturer in Philadelphia made hiring decisions by having its foremen stand in front of the factory and toss apples into the surrounding scrum of job seekers. Those quick enough to catch the apples and strong enough to keep them were put to work.

–Don Peck

Examples of bias abound. Tall men get hired and promoted more frequently than short men, and make more money. Beautiful women get preferential treatment, too—unless their breasts are too large. According to a national survey by the Employment Law Alliance a few years ago, most American Workers don’t believe attractive people in their firms are hired or promoted more frequently than unattractive people, but the evidence shows that they are, overwhelmingly so. Older workers, for their part, are thought to be more resistant to change and generally less competent than younger workers, even though plenty of research indicates that’s just not so. Workers who are too young or, more specifically, are part of the Millennial generation are tarred as entitled and unable to think outside the box.

–Don Peck

In 2010, three professors at Duke’s Fuqua School of Business asked roughly 2,000 people to look at a long series of photos. Some showed CEOs and some showed non-executives, and the participants didn’t know who was who. The participants were asked to rate the subjects according to how ‘competent’ they looked. Among the study’s findings: CEOs look significantly more competent then non-CEOs; CEOs of large companies look significantly more competent than the CEOs of small companies; and, all else being equal, the more competent a CEO looked, the fatter the paycheck he or she received in real life. And yet the authors found no relationship whatsoever between how competent a CEO looked and the financial performance of his or her company.

–Don Peck

Lauren Rivera, a sociologist at Northwestern, spent parts of the three years from 2006 to 2008 interviewing professionals from elite investment banks, consultancies, and law firms about how they recruited, interviewed, and evaluated candidates, and concluded that among the most important factors driving their hiring recommendations were—wait for it—shared leisure interests. ‘The best way I could describe it,’ one attorney told her, ‘is like if you were going on a date. You kind of know when there’s a match.’ Asked to choose the most-promising candidates from a sheaf of fake resumes Rivera had prepared, a manager at one particularly buttoned-down investment bank told her, ‘I’d have to pick Blake and Sarah. With his lacrosse and her squash, they’d really get along [with the people] on the trading floor.’ Lacking ‘reliable predictors of future performance,’ Rivera writes, ‘assessors purposefully used their own experiences as models of merit.’ Former college athletes ‘typically prized participation in varsity sports above all other types of involvement.’

–Don Peck

One of the tragedies of the modern economy is that because one’s college history is such a crucial signal in our labor market, perfectly able people who simply couldn’t sit still in a classroom at the age of 16, or who didn’t have their act together at 18, or who chose not to go to graduate school at 22, routinely get left behind for good. That such early factors so profoundly affect career arcs and hiring decisions made two or three decades later is, on is face, absurd.

–Don Peck

I hire only people with high-reactive temperaments as research assistants. They’re compulsive; they don’t make errors.

–Jerome Kagan

A 2013 study in the Academy of Management Journal…found that neurotics contribute more to group projects than co-workers, while extroverts contribute less. And in 2005, researchers in the United Kingdom published a paper, ‘Can Worriers be Winners?,’ reporting that financial managers high in anxiety tended to be the best, most effective money managers, as long as their worrying was accompanied by a high IQ.

–Scott Stossel

I not only use all the brains that I have, but all that I can borrow.

–Woodrow Wilson

Action is a great restorer and builder of confidence. Inaction is not only the result, but the cause, of fear. Perhaps the action you take will be successful; perhaps different action or adjustments will have to follow. But any action is better than no action at all.

–Norman Vincent Peale

Hire people who are better than you are, then leave them to get on with it. Look for people who will aim for the remarkable, who will not settle for the routine.

–David Ogilvy

Whenever somebody comes up with a good idea, there’s somebody else who has never had a good idea in his life who stands up and says, Oh, you can’t do that.

–Tom Clancy

Desperate affairs require desperate measures.

–Horatio Nelson

To survive it is often necessary to fight and to fight you have to dirty yourself.

–George Orwell

When men think much, they can rarely decide.

–Anthony Trollope

A weak man has doubts before a decision, a strong man has them afterwards.

–Karl Kraus

If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.

–Albert Einstein

Limited expectations yield only limited results.

–Susan Laurson Willig

The cure for most obstacles is, Be decisive.

–George Weinberg

Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men’s blood and probably will themselves not be realized. Make big plans; aim high in hope and work, remembering that a noble, logical diagram once recorded will not die.

–Daniel Burnham

Once – many, many years ago – I thought I made a wrong decision. Of course, it turned out that I had been right all along. But I was wrong to have thought that I was wrong.

–John Foster Dulles

The Dunning-Kruger effect: the tendency for some people to substantially overestimate their abilities. The less competent people are, the more they overestimate their abilities.

–Katty Kay and Claire Shipman

As the builders say, the larger stones do not lie well without the lesser.


Doing leads more surely to talking than talking to doing.

–Vance Havner

Power is the faculty or capacity to act, the strength and potency to accomplish something. It is the vital energy to make choices and decisions. It also includes the capacity to overcome deeply embedded habits and to cultivate higher, more effective ones.

–Stephen Covey

If you are going to achieve excellence in big things, you develop the habit in little matters. Excellence is not an exception, it is a prevailing attitude.

–Colin Powell

There are no traffic jams when you go the extra mile.

–Roger Staubach

The people who actually do things always suffer the slings and arrows of those who don’t.

–Craig Bruce

Our attitude towards others determines their attitude towards us.

–Earl Nightingale

Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.

—Henry Ford

The single most important factor in determining the climate of an organization is the top executive.

—Charles Galloway

There ain’t no rules around here. We’re trying to accomplish something.

—Thomas Edison

If there is any one phrase that is guaranteed to set me off it’s when someone says to me, ‘OK, fine. You’re the boss!’ What irks me is that in 90% of such instances what that person is really saying is, ‘OK, then, I don’t agree with you, but I’ll roll over and do it because you’re telling me to. But if it doesn’t work out,  I’ll be the first to remind everyone that it wasn’t my idea.’

Business Insider

The risk of a wrong decision is preferable to the terror of indecision.


One cool judgment is worth a thousand hasty counsels. The thing to do is to supply light and not heat.

—Woodrow Wilson

Lions don’t lose sleep over the opinions of sheep.

—George R. R. Martin

The beauty of empowering others is that your own power is not diminished in the process.

—Barbara Colorose

Psychological research hints that people of both sexes may feel more comfortable with ambitious older women than with ambitious younger ones.

—Liza Mundy

Givers—people who share their time, contacts, or know-how without expectation of payback—dominate the top of their fields.

—Adam Grant

Steve Jobs was an asshole and he was one of the most successful businessmen on the planet. Maybe if I become an even bigger asshole I’ll be successful like Steve.

—Tom McNichol

Semi-obnoxious behavior not only can make a person seem more powerful, but can make them more powerful, period. The same goes for overconfidence. Act like you’re the smartest person in the room, a series of striking studies demonstrates, and you’ll up your chances of running the show.

—Jerry Useem

You can be tough, as long as you’re not toxic.

—Jim Vesterman

The five steps in teaching an employee new skills are preparation, explanation, showing, observation and supervision.

—Bruce Barton

Decision…is choice in face of bounded uncertainty.

—G. L. S. Shackle

Good judgment comes from experience and experience comes from bad judgment.

—Fred Brooks

We pick great people, we make them better, and we retain them.

—Jeffrey Immelt, GE CEO

Temporary solutions often become permanent problems.

—Craig Bruce

Successful people build each other up. They motivate, inspire, and push each other. Unsuccessful people just hate, blame, and complain.


It is amazing how much you can accomplish if you don’t care who gets the credit.

—Harry Truman

In looking for people to hire, you look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence, and energy. And if they don’t have the first, the other two will kill you.

—Warren Buffett

I never lose. Either I win or I learn.

—Nelson Mandela

To the man who only has a hammer in the toolkit, every problem looks like a nail.

—Abraham Maslow

The foundation stones for a balanced success are honesty, character, integrity, faith, love and loyalty.

—Zig Ziglar

For solving a surprisingly large and varied number of problems, crowds are smarter than individuals.

—Michael Shermer

Meetings are an addictive, highly self-indulgent activity that corporations and other organizations habitually engage in only because they cannot actually masturbate.

—Alain van der Heide

The worst disease which can afflict executives in their work is not, as popularly supposed, alcoholism; it’s egotism.

—Robert Frost

If you would convince others, seem open to conviction yourself.

—Lord Chesterfield

When it comes to the future, there are three kinds of people: those who let it happen, those who make it happen, and those who wonder what happened.

—John M. Richardson, Jr.

It would be difficult to exaggerate the degree to which we are influenced by those we influence.

—Eric Hoffer

Train people well enough so they can leave; treat them well enough so they don’t want to.

—Sir Richard Branson

Any human anywhere will blossom in a hundred unexpected talents and capacities simply by being given the opportunity to do so.

—Doris Lessing

A man convinced against his will is not convinced.

—Laurence J. Peter

When employees are happy, they are your very best ambassadors.

—James Sinegal

The smaller the function, the greater the management.

—C. Northcote Parkinson

Ask Americans which they think is more important to success, effort or talent, and they pick effort two to one. Ask them which quality they’d desire most in a new employee, and they pick industriousness over intelligence five to one.

—Jerry Useem

Any supervisor worth his salt would rather deal with people who attempt too much than with those who try too little.

—Lee Iacocca

Administrators need to shift from being controllers to enablers, so as to liberate the energies and talents of the teachers.

—Steve Denning

When you give a guy a raise, that’s the time to increase his responsibilities. Reward him at the same time you motivate him to do even more. Hit him with more while he’s up and never be tough on him when he’s down. Then he’s upset over his own failure, you run the risk of hurting him badly and taking away his incentive to improve. As a mentor used to say, ‘If you want to give a man credit, do it in writing. If you want to give him hell, do it over the phone.’

–Lee Iacocca

When emotionally upset, people cannot remember, attend, learn, or make decisions clearly. As one management consultant put, ‘stress makes people stupid.’

—Daniel Goleman

There are four things that hold back human progress: ignorance, stupidity, committees and accountants.

—Charles J. C. Lyall

Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives.

New York Times Ad, (1939)

I used to be indecisive but now I am not quite sure.

—Tommy Cooper

Information is the manager’s main tool, indeed the manager’s ‘capital,’ and it is he who must decide what information he needs and how to use it.

—Peter F. Drucker

We must not waste life in devising means. It is better to plan less and do more.

–William Ellery Channing

Enthusiasm is the mother of effort, and without it nothing great was ever achieved.

–Ralph Waldo Emerson

Perfection seems like the goal. It’s impressive to see the pressure perfectionists put on themselves. It seems as if they work on a higher order. But maybe they are just frozen—focused myopically on perfectionism rather than the goal of the project. Perfection often causes paraplegia because we forget that it’s not perfection we need. It’s a solution that moves us forward.

—Danny Gregory

Perfection is hard to achieve and always impermanent. The exact right solution for a given time will always wear out its perfection. Otherwise we wouldn’t have evolution—empires would not crumble, champions would not fall. The universe is always in flux, so waiting endlessly for perfection just means you’ll miss the boat.

—Danny Gregory

The real questions are: Does it solve a problem? Is it serviceable? How is it going to look in ten years?

—Charles Eames

When you choose the lesser of two evils, always remember that it is still an evil.

—Max Lerner

No problem can stand the assault of sustained thinking.


Words without actions are the assassins of idealism.

—Herbert Hoover

Problems are not stop signs, they are guidelines.

—Robert H. Schuller

A man truly succeeds when he promotes others.

—Horace Mann

Consultant James M. Bleech of Jacksonville, FL recently took  a survey of 110 executives to find out which excuses they use most.

‘It’s not my fault’—a sort of generic denial of responsibility—headed the list. It was followed by, ‘It’s someone else’s fault.’

‘Something else came up,’ was third, followed by ‘I didn’t have time’  and ‘We’ve never done it that way before.’ The old standby, ‘No one told me to do it’ ranked sixth, at about half the frequency of the number one excuse.

Bringing up the rear: ‘I had too many interruptions’; ‘If only my supervisor really understood’; ‘I will get to it later’; and ‘No one showed me how to do it.’

Absent from the list—and it’s probably just a matter of time—was ‘The computers were down.’

—James M. Bleech, (1995)

The trouble with low-ambition/high-sociability employees is that you can’t fire them because everyone likes them.

—Robert Hogan

The nobler a man, the harder it is for him to suspect inferiority in others.


If a chairman sacks the manager he initially appointed, he should go as well.

—Brian Clough

Surround yourself with doers. Be around people who demonstrate their boldness.

—Wayne W. Dyer

Too many problem-solving sessions become battlegrounds where decisions are made based on power rather than intelligence.

—Margaret J. Wheatley

Hesitancy in judgment is the only true mark of the thinker.

–Dagoberdt D. Runes

New opinions are always suspected, and usually opposed, without any other reason but because they are not already common.

–John Locke

If two men on the same job agree all the time, then one is useless. If they disagree all the time, then both are useless.

—Darryl F. Zanuck

You don’t make decisions because they are easy; you don’t make them because they are cheap; you don’t make them because they’re popular; you make them because ‘they’re right.’

—Theodore Hesburgh

I have always found that if I move with seventy-five percent or more of the facts that I usually never regret it. It’s the guys who wait to have everything perfect that drive you crazy.

—Lee Iacocca

The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity.

—Amelia Earhart

I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions. —Stephen Covey

When you go to meetings or auditions and you fail to prepare, prepare to fail. It is simple but true.

—Paula Abdul

While listening may be the most undervalued of all the communication skills, good people managers are likely to listen more than they speak. Perhaps that’s why God gave us two ears and only one mouth.

–Mary Kay Ash

The business value of a computer is its management. The productivity of management is the decisive element that makes the difference of whether a computer hurts or helps.

–Paul A. Strassmann

If you don’t know what to do with many of the papers piled on your desk, stick a dozen colleagues initials on them and pass them along. When in doubt, route.

—Malcolm Forbes

We should teach the students, as well as executives, how to conduct experiments, how to examine data, and how to use these tools to make better decisions.

—Dan Ariely

People can make or break a company. Management can do whatever it wants with the banks and borrowing and manipulating and everything else. If the spirit of the people isn’t in everything they do, it’s going to fail.

–Vic Barough

If you aren’t fired with enthusiasm, you will be fired with enthusiasm.

—Vince Lombardi

About 40 percent of the population really never smiles, and if they never smile then forget it. They shouldn’t be in our business.

–Archie Norman

If you can keep  your head when all about you are losing theirs, it’s just possible you haven’t grasped the situation.

–Jean Kerr

I learned early on that if you don’t want your memos to get you in trouble some day, just don’t write any.

—Dick Cheney

A boss is a person involved in management or leadership of those who believe they could do a much better job than him.

TL;DR Wikipedia

If each of us hires people smaller than we are, we shall become a company of dwarfs.

—David Ogilvy

In any great organization it is far, far safer to be wrong with the majority than to be right alone.

—John Kenneth Galbraith

Motivation is everything. You can do the work of two people, but you can’t be two people. Instead, you have to inspire the next guy down the line and get him to inspire his people.

—Lee Iacocca

Women appear to pay the greatest price for bragging. When job candidates in one study self-confidently high-lighted their accomplishments, they were seen as more competent than when they spoke modestly. Yet the women who self-promoted were seen as less likable than the self-effacing women.

—Matthew Hutson

Even as high intelligence is increasingly treated as a job prerequisite, evidence suggests that it is not the unalloyed advantage it’s assumed to be. The late Harvard Business School professor Chris Argyris argued that smart people can make the worst employees, in part because they’re not used to dealing with failure or criticism. Multiple studies have concluded that interpersonal skills, self-awareness, and other ‘emotional’ qualities can be better predictors of strong job performance than conventional intelligence, and the college Board itself points out that it has never claimed SAT scores are helpful hiring filters.

—David H. Freedman

Creativity is so delicate a flower that praise tends to make it bloom, while discouragement often nips it in the bud. Any of us will put out more and better ideas if our efforts are appreciated.

–Alex F. Osborn

I want to get rid of the living dead. I can’t stand going into factories and businesses and seeing these faceless people standing around. They don’t look healthy and they don’t act healthy, and they’re a big problem for corporate America. I’m talking about the people who are there because it’s a job, whose attitude is, ‘I have to be here, but I don’t have to like it. I’ll do it for my family, not for myself.’ What have we done to create those types of environments? We should be able to tell this person, ‘It’s your obligation to be happy. Find somewhere to be happy.’

—Jack Stack

Never retract, never explain, never apologize—get the thing done and let them howl.

–Nellie McClung

Men initiate salary negotiations four times as often as women do, and that when women do negotiate, they ask for 30 percent less money than men do. –Katty Kay and Claire Shipman

Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.

—Peter Drucker

Stop thinking in terms of limitations and start thinking in terms of possibilities.

—Terry Josephson

Management: An art of handling conflicting Egos to meet a common objective, be it political, organisational or societal in nature.

—Ramana Pemmaraju

No matter how brilliant a man may be, he will never engender confidence in his subordinates and associates if he lacks simple honesty and moral courage.

—J. Lawton Collins

If you have talented and motivated people, they should be encouraged to work alone when creativity or efficiency is the highest priority.

—Adrian Furnham

Ethical problems in organizations originate not with ‘a few bad apples’ but with the ‘barrel makers.’ There are norms at their workplace that induce them to cheat.

—James O’Toole and Warren Bennis

Sometimes even the best manager is like the little boy with the big dog waiting to see where the dog wants to go so he can take him there.

–Lee Iacocca

Leadership and management are in many respects the application of common sense, though this needs to be combined with humility and a willingness to recognize your own fallibility and that of others. Good leaders acknowledge their mistakes.

–Sir Colin Marshall

There are three popular explanations for the clear under-representation of women in management, namely: (1) they are not capable; (2) they are not interested; (3) they are both interested and capable but unable to break the glass-ceiling: an invisible career barrier, based on prejudiced stereotypes, that prevents women from accessing the ranks of power. Conservatives and chauvinists tend to endorse the first; liberals and feminists prefer the third; and those somewhere in the middle are usually drawn to the second.

—Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic


There is now compelling scientific evidence for the notion that women are more likely to adopt more effective leadership strategies than do men. Most notably, in a comprehensive review of studies, Alice Eagly and colleagues showed that female managers are more likely to elicit respect and pride from their followers, communicate their vision effectively, empower and mentor subordinates, and approach problem-solving in a more flexible and creative way (all characteristics of ‘transformational leadership’), as well as fairly reward direct reports. In contrast, male man- agers are statistically less likely to bond or connect with their subordinates, and they are relatively more inept at rewarding them for their actual performance.

—Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic

Stop thinking in terms of limitations and start thinking in terms of possibilities.

—Terry Josephson

I’m sick of hearing how far we’ve come—about the isolated promotions of occasional women, about the ‘pipeline’ of potential female leaders rising in the ranks. That fact is that so far as leadership is concerned women in nearly every realm are nearly nowhere—hardly any better off than they were a generation ago.

–Barbara Kellerman

The manager is a copy; the leader is an original. The manager maintains; the leader develops…The manager has a short-range view; the leader has a long-range per- spective…The manager imitates; the leader originates.

—Warren Bennis

If your absence won’t make any difference, your presence won’t either.


Pull the string, and it will follow wherever you wish. Push it, and it will go nowhere at all.

—Dwight D. Eisenhower

Plants don’t close from poor workmanship, but from poor management.
—W. Edward Deming

The aim of the laborer should be, not to get his living, to get ‘a good job,’ but to perform well a certain work. Do not hire a man who does your work for money, but him who does it for love of it.

–Henry David Thoreau


It is not work that men object to, but the element of drudgery. We must drive out drudgery wherever we find it. We shall never be wholly civilized until we remove the treadmill from the daily job.

–Henry Ford

Try not to make hard divisions between work and play. Figure out how to make your job fun, creative and inspiring for you and for others. And don’t underestimate everyone’s need to be affirmed. That includes: co-workers, suppliers, the janitor, messengers, advertisers, saints and sinners.

–Helen Tworkov

Unless you are willing to drench yourself in your work beyond the capacity of the average person, you are just not cut out for positions at the top.

–J. C. Penny

To feel valued, to know, even if only once in a while, that you can do a job well is an absolutely marvelous feeling.

–Barbara Walters

We’ve made undeniable progress. In the United States, women now earn more college and graduate degrees then men do. We make up half the workforce, and we are closing the gap in middle management. Half a dozen global studies, conducted by the likes of Goldman Sachs and Columbia University, have found that companies employing women in large numbers outperform their competitors on every measure of profitability. Our competence has never been more obvious. Those who closely follow society’s shifting values see the world moving in a female direction.

–Katty Kay and Claire Shipman

It is change, continuing change, inevitable change, that is the dominant factor in society today. No sensible decision can be made any longer without taking into account not only the world as it is, but the world as it will be.

–Isaac Asimov

I must report that even excellent institutions run by excellent human beings are inherently sluggish, not hungry for innovation, not quick to respond to human need, not eager to reshape themselves to meet the challenge of the times.

–John W. Gardner


The challenge for every organization is to build a feeling of oneness, of dependence on one another, because the question is usually not how well each person works, but how well they work together.

–Vince Lombardi

Some people can never be fearless; maybe it’s part of their personality. As a CEO, I can’t let those people go very far in the organization. We demote them down to their level of competence and decision-making ability.

–Tim Day

Hire for passion. You can teach anyone to do virtually anything. You cannot teach passion.

—Ivanka Trump

Your job gives you authority. Your behavior earns you respect.
–Irwin Federman

Respect people with less power then you. I don’t care if you’re the most powerful cat in the room, I will judge you on how you treat the least powerful. So there.

Divide responsibility and nobody is responsible.

—Tim Minchin

—W. Edwards Deming

What we still need to do is to infiltrate the mainstream with feminine values. Allow women to think and behave like women. There is no point in having women Cabinet ministers or managing directors or editors if they think and behave exactly like men. Their whole value lies in their difference.

–Lesley Garner

There are horrible people who, instead of solving a problem, tangle it up and make it harder to solve for anyone who wants to deal with it. Whoever does not know how to hit the nail on the head should be asked not to hit it at all.

—Friedrich Nietzsche

Failing organizations are usually over-managed and under-led.
—Warren G. Bennis

To become truly great, one has to stand with people, not above them.

—Charles de Montesquieu


Good management is the art of making problems so interesting and their solutions so constructive that everyone wants to get to work and deal with them.

—Paul Hawken

If we didn’t start to learn how to integrate our personal, social, and professional lives, we were about five years away from morphing into the angry woman on the other side of a mahogany desk who questions her staff’s work ethic after standard 12-hour workdays, before heading home to eat moo shoo pork in her lonely apartment.

–Kerry Rubin and Lia Macko

She divides her past female managers into ‘Dragon Ladies and ‘Softies Who Nice Their Way Upwards.’ She’d rather work for men because, she says, they’re more forthright. With the women, I’m partly being judged on my abilities and partly be- ing judged on whether or not I’m ‘a friend’ or ‘nice,’ or ‘fun,’ she told me. That’s some playground BS.’

—Olga Khazan

Large surveys by Pew in Gallup as well as several academic studies show that when women have a preference as to the gender of their bosses and colleagues, that pref- erence is largely for men. A 2009 study published in the journal Gender in Management found, for example, that although women believe other women make good managers, ‘the female workers did not actually want to work for them.’ The longer a woman had been in the workforce, the less likely she was too want a female boss.

—Olga Khazan

In 2011, Kim Ellesser, a lecturer at UCLA, analyzed responses from more than 60,000 people and found that women —even those who were managers them- selves—were more likely to want a male boss than a female one. The participants explained that female bosses are ‘emotional,’ ‘catty,’ or ‘bitchy.’ (Men preferred male bosses too, but by a smaller margin than the female participants did.)

—Olga Khazan

The skillful employer of men will employ the wise man, the brave man, the covetous man, and the stupid man.

—Sun Tzu

Nothing is particularly hard if you divide it into small jobs.
—Henry Ford


One day on her way to work, Rozenfeld tripped on the parking garage steps and twisted her ankle. It swelled as the day wore on, and she worried that it would get even worse. She wasn’t particularly busy, so she knocked on her boss’s door and asked whether she could leave early to see a doctor. Her boss asked Rozenfeld to come in and close the door.

‘You know, I had high hopes for you,’ Rozenfeld remembered her saying. Her boss questioned why ‘you feel like you can leave when things like this happen.’
‘But I feel like I’m not going to be able to walk,’ Rozenfeld said.
‘I will tell you something about my career and how I got to be where I am today,’ her boss continued. ‘Do you know how many times I worked with men who basically sexually harassed me? Do you know that man over there missed his kid’s high- school graduation because he was working on a proposal? And you have a sprained ankle and you think it’s okay to leave?’

As tears welled in her eyes, Rozenfeld realized that she was never going to be the kind of worker her boss wanted. Six months later, she quit.

—Olga Khazan

System Justification: a psychological concept in which long-oppressed groups, struggling to make sense of an unfair world, internalize negative stereotypes. Women simply don’t have the same status in American life that men do. So when people think, Who do I want to work with?, they subconsciously leap to the default, the historically revered—the man. Some women look around, see few women running things, and assume that there must be something wrong with women them- selves.

—Laurie Rudman

Copenhagen’s Happiness Research Institute surveyed 2,600 Danish workers, from every sector and type of job, about the sources of professional contentment. The winner, by a sizable margin, was a sense of purpose, which contributed twice as much to an individual’s job satisfaction as did the runner-up, having a high-quality manager. Maik Wiking, the institute’s CEO, notes that Aristotle recognized the close connection between happiness and a sense of purpose. The good life—what the philosopher called eudaimonia—is not an easy life, but rather one filled with mean- ing and striving toward a goal. ‘We need a sense of purpose,’ Wiking says.

—Barbara Bradley Hagerty

Attempting too big a change and / or changing things too quickly can create an adverse reaction and alienate the very people you want to make allies. Learn the context, culture and past before trying to make changes. Unless a crisis situation is apparent realise effective change requires a lot of effort and time.

—George Robotham


8 steps for successful large scale change—Increase urgency, Build the guiding team, Get the vision right, Communicate for buy-in, Empower action, Create short-term wins, Do not let up, Make change stick. These steps provide useful, practical guidance.

—John P. Kotter

Internal change is successful only when the people involved approve of the

• They understand the need for change.
• They believe the change is good for the enterprise and for them.

• They agree that the change being undertaken is the right one.

—George Robotham

If you are the proprietor or managing director of a company, you are ultimately responsible for the health and safety in all aspects of the business.

—Forum of Private Business

Candidates for school board should be hooked up to a lie detector and asked if he’s read a book from start to finish since graduating from high school.

—Kurt Vonnegut

To supervise people, you must either surpass them in their accomplishments or despise them.

—Benjamin Disraeli

The computer will not make a good manager out of a bad manager. It makes a good manager better faster and a bad manager worse faster.


—Edward M. Esber

I was successful because you believed in me.

–Ulysses S. Grant to Abraham Lincoln

I’m not the smartest fellow in the world, but I can sure pick smart colleagues.

—Franklin D. Roosevelt

The subordinate needs to be willing to tell the truth to power, but the boss needs to be big enough to recognize that person is actually trying to help them.

—Robert Gates

It is a mistake to hire huge numbers of people to get a complicated job done. Numbers will never compensate for talent in getting the right answer (two people who don’t know something are no better than one), will tend to slow down progress, and will make the task incredibly expensive.

—Elon Musk

I’ve come loaded with statistics, for I’ve noticed that a man can’t prove anything without statistics.

—Mark Twain

No one ever promised that the fastest horse in the race was the easiest one to ride. (On managing talented people)

—EricJ. Joiner, Jr.

One of the most important tasks of a manager is to eliminate his people’s excuses for failure.

—Robert Townsend

It’s easy to come up with new ideas; the hard part is letting go of what worked for you two years ago, but will soon be out-of-date.

—Roger von Oech

Do first what you don’t want to do most. 

—Clifford Cohen

Organizations can’t change their culture unless individual employees change their behavior—and changing behavior is hard. 

—Keith Ferrazzi

The professional must learn to be moved and touched emotionally, yet at the same time stand back objectively: I’ve seen a lot of damage done by tea and sympathy.

—Anthony Storr


It is better to sleep on things beforehand than lie awake about them afterward.

—Baltasar Gracian

A weak man has doubts before a decision, a strong man has them afterwards.

—Karl Kraus


• Teach and remind students of behavior you expect for class in general and for specific activities. Occasionally during the lesson remind students of the behavior you expect, and as often as possible recognize and praise appropriate behavior (particularly with the most difficult students—‘I like the way Nico is paying attention and ready to start the song,’ ‘Jane is quiet and ready to go,’ ‘I like the way you all lined up.’ (You can even set a goal for yourself to provide during class 5 positive comments each for your misbehavers.) It makes your day as a teacher much more pleasant to be giving out positive comments as opposed to yelling and being upset.

• One of the most effective approaches with most students is to communicate frequently with parents and enlist their help in managing the students’ behavior. This takes work, and many teachers don’t communicate as often as they should, but if you can develop an ongoing dialogue with the parents of difficult students, it can ease your classroom management workload tremendously. Call every week, and call also to offer praise for improved behavior. If you’re dealing with 15 nasty students, that’s only 15 calls per week. You might work out a contract with parents. If the student behaves well in class, they can have some special privilege at home—pick a movie for weekend viewing, a McDonald’s meal, stay up a half hour later than usual, play a video game for longer than usual—whatever the parent thinks will best motivate the student to behave in music class. If parents use e-mail, you can also communicate with them via e-mail. If you put a lot of effort into ongoing parent communication, it can make a difference.

• You can even ask parents who are available during the day to attend your class while their child is present to oversee their child’s behavior. The parent can just check into the main office and say they have a meeting with you and then come down to the classroom.

• As a teacher you can also make a special arrangement with a mis- behaving student to earn privileges in class for proper behavior. For instance, if you have to reprimand them about proper behavior more than twice, they lose their privilege. After about three class sessions, you can change the criteria to no reprimands about proper behavior. Privileges can be ‘sitting at the teacher’s desk or in a special place,’ ‘being first in line,’ or ‘choosing an activity,’ for instance. You can also use tangible rewards such as stickers, school supplies, decals, colored pencils, bookmarks, pencil toppers, or discount coupons for locals merchants. With your school ID, you could talk to store managers at McDonald’s, Target, Burger King, etc. to get a supply of discount coupons to use as incentives.

You can also have the misbehaving student keep a behavior chart. Make up a chart with check boxes for every five minutes of class. The student gets to mark a box for every five minutes of good behavior. (Monitor or nod or smile to the student if she silently seeks your approval or acknowledgment.) If the student has all boxes checked at the end of the period, and you concur with the checks, the student earns a reward.

• Use peer pressure by offering class rewards for good behavior and following proper procedures. Recognize and praise good behavior frequently, and have some criteria for the class earning their reward.

• Teach and demonstrate and even give bad examples of the behavior you want students to demonstrate—general classroom behavior, lining up behavior, behavior for a specific activity, etc. Many teachers just expect good behavior but don’t actually teach it. It is just as important to teach behavior as it is to teach music. You must have student attention and engagement for your lesson to be successful and for students to learn.

• Move the misbehaving student right next to you as you teach so you can closely monitor behavior and so you can praise positive behavior more easily.

• Set up a tape recorder or use a smart phone in the classroom and explain to the students that you will turn on the recorder when someone starts misbehaving. You will then play the recorded audio for the parent and the principal. (In reality you need only play it for the parent during a conference or phone conference.) To affect behavior, many times you need only to threaten to turn on the recorder. But if you do turn it on, follow through with playing it during a phone conference or personal conference so students know it’s not an idle threat. You can also use a video recorder for this procedure.

• Hold a private one-on-one conference with the student. Many teachers yell at students and consequence students but never really sit down to have a personal discussion with the student. During the conference make expectations clear but also listen to any concerns the student may have and solicit conversation from the student on how the two of you can work together to have a pleasant classroom experience without misbehavior.

—Dan L. Miller

Every manager is faced with a yes-man phenomenon—people who will do or say anything to please you. Even if it means lying about what they really think. Other common forms of lying by staffers are overpromising and claiming to have done things that have not yet been accomplished.

Helpful: Good managers are inwardly analytic and skeptical of everything they hear. They also realize that employees tend to lie primarily in response to the first question and will not be prepared to lie beyond that.

The trick is to act in a trusting manner while subtly prodding for deceit by asking more questions. Good managers also routinely examine their own unconscious wishes is to be deceived and flattered, especially when seeking feedback about their own ideas.

Example: Instead of presenting your solution to a problem and asking for an opinion, say you have a possible solution and would appreciate hearing alternative.

—Charles V. Ford, MD

The deflective technique is a method you can use during meetings to cope with criticism regarding something you did. Rather than get into an argument or expose your emotions, simply and quickly—and without a hint of sarcasm—ask the questions, ‘Honestly, how would you have done better?’ Or ‘How would you have done it differently?’ Learning the answers to these questions before you address the criticism from your own point of view will allow you to find out exactly what the person expected. This technique gives you time to think before responding and lets you more fully understand your critic’s point of view before you respond. It can quickly level the playing field—and give you an advantage you wouldn’t have otherwise.

—Robert L. DeBruyn

Always behave like a duck—keep calm and unruffled on the surface but paddle like the devil underneath.

—Jacob Braude

The higher educated they are the bigger hoodlums they are and the harder to manage. The illiterate ones will all work. And you will have no trouble with them. Watch the ones that are smart for they have been taught in school they are to live off the others.

—Will Rogers

Who, indeed, is the dean? Is he or she an authoritarian figure respected in the school and community for his or her dynamic leadership and fair policies? Is he or she an individual parents and students turn to for direction and guidance? In most cases the dean is seen as the individual who manages the detention center, who determine suspensions, and who lectures students on their behavior. The image of the dean within the school and within the community is far from positive. The position of dean can in image and in fact be the most negative in the high school, but is this negativism the only alternative? Must it be this way? Certainly not.

Today more than ever the position of high school dean must be elevated to one of strong, positive leadership. Being responsible for the effective management of a large group of young people, the dean is in an ideal position, in most cases, to make the most significant contribution to the high school student’s education. In fact, rather than wallowing in negativism of the position and feeling crushed by the endless flow of problems and confrontations, the dean should be envisioning his role as the single most dynamic and challenging position in the school. The dean should be able to broaden the scope of the job beyond that of the ‘enforcer,’ the one who manages the school’s system of detention, who decides which students are to be suspended and for how long they are to be denied the right to an education, and who delivers lectures which often fall on deaf ears or who scolds or counsels students and fails to provide substantial, positive input needed by the student for the student’s effective readjustment.

The dean, while maintaining an educational atmosphere conducive to the teaching and learning process, can and should be viewing the role as the single most dynamic curricular position in the school. There is no time more right for learning than when a student is in trouble or has a problem. Times when the student is troubled or when the student exhibits deviant school behavior are the perfect moments for the dean to step in and make a positive contribution to the development of that student’s character. The dean can do that most effectively not in the narrow, one-dimensional role of the authoritarian behind the desk but as the administrator who understands the motivation behind the student’s behavior, provides the student with the facts and information he or she needs to solve his or her problems, and helps the student plan and carry through a constructive course of action.

—Dan L. Miller


A well-conceived and relevant curriculum attuned closely to the needs of young people can generate a mood of positivism within a school and thusly reduce the need for rigid administrative control. So also does the classroom teacher stand as a major deterrent to infringements against school order. Although a dynamic curriculum and a professional staff can certainly reduce behavioral deviations, guidelines for student behavior are mandatory. Adolescents at the high school level are fast approaching adulthood. Indeed, many of them have physically reached adulthood by the time they graduate, but in reference to emotional growth and maturity they are several years removed from adulthood. Inherent in the teenager is the desire and often passion for freedom from authority. A large part of maturity is the responsible control of one’s emotions and urges, and many adolescents have not yet reached that stage of maturity. Those excesses of the adolescent, therefore, which do not succumb to controls from within must be modified from without.

Limits for student behavior must be clearly understood and accepted within the school. Adelaide Johnson attributes ‘a sizable incidence of juvenile delinquency to the inability or refusal of adult authority figures to establish clear limits for youth to operate within.’ Such limits are needed by all, in differing degrees depending on maturity levels. For the insecure teenager in a world of conflicting values, interests, and behavior these limits are mandatory. Just as our American society bases its order on the Constitution of United States of America so must the school prepare a carefully written code of behavioral management. The purpose and procedure of this code should reflect the school’s philosophy of education and the worthwhile values of the community. This codification of the laws of the school should serve as a guide for the educational program in that it makes discipline a working part of the school’s philosophy of education, clarifies each student’s status, minimizes hasty and emotionally influenced action, and establishes a clear-cut support for teachers and administrators. Once a well-defined philosophy of discipline is in hand and clearly understood, the school community has a strong base from which to work toward the positive emotional growth of the student body.

—Dan L. Miller

Writing therapy can serve as an ancillary vehicle for self-insight. During a disciplinary interview a student may be defensive and actually more worried about saving himself or herself or covering up his or her errors than in taking a thoughtful look at himself or herself and his or her behavior. During a writing session, however, he or she will have time to think and reflect, and while still perhaps trying to cover up his or her actions, the writing may prove cathartic and start in motion the process of self-evaluation and self-insight. The student, unhampered by the dean, now has time to cool down, reflect, and express his or her feelings in a comfortable atmosphere. Rather than battling the dean in an interview, the student is only struggling with himself or herself and his or her own problem. He or she may very well, during the writing, even solve the problem or realize the counter productivity of his or her behavior.

—Dan L. Miller

Another important function of writing therapy may also help the dean counsel students in need of help. A student who has no friends, is immature and being teased by other students, or for any reason has a strong need to communicate with someone in a position to help him or her, may be able to keep in close and constant touch with the dean through emails. At any time at home or at school when the student feels troubled and needs to communicate with a friend, he or she should feel free to do so through an email to the dean. The dean should have established with the student a positive relationship that would promote this type of correspondence, and, in fact, the dean could build a large portion of his or her counseling around this particular system of communication. Realistically, the dean cannot spend as much time in counseling as many students would want or as much time as many students may need. A student taking advantage of this system of communication would write as long an email as he or she needed. Many students are discouraged when they want to talk with the dean or their counselor but can’t because the dean is out or busy. If the student does get in to see the dean, the dean may be rushed because he or she has other work to attend to. By writing an email, the student is free to say whatever he or she wants and to communicate for as long as he or she wants. The dean, of course, should also make it a point to keep in personal contact with these types of students and to counsel them as often as possible. The email writing system of communication can, moreover, spread the services of the dean over a larger portion of the student body and extend the length of therapy and counseling.

—Dan L. Miller


Teachers are faced and always will be faced with the problem of students reporting to class with no pencil, no pen, no paper, no textbook, etc. There are a number of reasons for students reporting to class unprepared, but in many cases it is a student who has chosen to fail. We could take the attitude of ignoring the student and allowing him/her to fail, but this is unprofessional, not in the student’s best interest, and the student’s idleness will soon turn into behavior that will upset your teaching and instruction for the rest of the class.

Therefore, I would recommend the following procedures for dealing with no-material students:

Keep a supply of scratch paper—old forms, the backs of used paper, discards from the copy machine, etc. (Do not stock good paper because students will rely on it and even take it for use in other classes.) When students show up without paper, give them whatever scratch paper they need or direct them to take it from the supply you have in a box or tray.

Keep a supply of pencils stubs that are good enough to make a readable copy but so undesirable that they won’t be stolen. These can be found abandoned in students’ desks or on the floor of the classroom or in the hallways. Also, collect pens that are left behind by students.

Keep one to three textbooks in the classroom for loan. These also could be ragged, discard textbooks.

When students shows up without pen or pencil or other needed supplies, help them out after attending to other students’ needs by loaning them materials for collateral. Exchange your pencil stub for a student’s ID card, ring, watch, or shoe—something they will be unlikely to leave class without. At the end of class make sure the student returns your item in exchange for the collateral.

For chronic offenders make sure parents are aware of their child’s lack of preparation by sending a progress report and also by holding at least a phone conference. You also may request that parents purchase a packet of supplies for their child for your class so that when the child reports to class unprepared, you have a spare set of supplies with which to provide him or her.

When students report to class without a text, loan them one for the period for collateral. Do not let them take texts from the classroom.

When students claim they have lost their text, continue to loan them a text for collateral on a daily basis for classroom use only and also tell them they must pay the school secretary for a new textbook. When the student presents you with a receipt for a purchased text, issue them a new textbook and be sure to record the textbook number. If the student hasn’t purchased a new text within a week, call the parent and notify them of the situation. Also tell the parents you can only loan the student a book for another week—that the student must either find the lost book or purchase a new one.

Never make it easy for a student to fail. Too many students choose this path—deliberate failure—for any number of reasons. The greatest service you can do these immature and not-very-wise students is to put every obstacle in the way of their achieving their goal of failure. Your time will be limited and you will not be able to overcome all the obstacles, but you should at least be able to take care of the materials problem.

—Dan L. Miller

The discipline of writing something down is the first step toward making it happen. 

Lee Iacocca

A poorly planned project (or piece of writing) takes four time longer to complete than expected. A well planned project only takes twice as long.

—Lawrence J. Peter

Avoid the No. 1 Sin: Jargon—Just because you work for an institution, you don’t have to sound like one. As parents we want to think of the men and women who are running our children’s schools as people not unlike ourselves. I don’t want to give my school my ‘input’ and get its ‘feedback,’ though I’d be glad to exchange ideas and options, and even offer some complaints….The message is simple: Avoid sentences that sound like ‘informed academic writing.’

—William Zinsser

Nothing […] will ever be attempted, if all possible objections must be first overcome.  

—Samuel Johnson

Look at the tasks you are doing throughout your day and ask yourself if these things are bringing you closer to your goals?  

—Richie Norton

Multitasking is actually a hindrance to productivity. Focus on one thing and get it done.  

—Del Suggs

If you want to achieve anything you must first see the result in your own mind before it will become a reality.  

—Donny Ingram

The reason why most of your goals are probably not achieved is because you do not break down your goals into smaller units of work.  

—Sunday Adelaja

If you have gone a whole week without being disobedient, you are doing yourself and your organization a disservice.

—Tom Peters

The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.

—Hans Hofmann

SCHOOL SECRETARY noun [skool sek-ri-ter-ee] Someone who solves a problem you did not know you had in a way you do not understand. See also wizard, magician.

First Grade Fun Times

Coach and encourage, don’t berate, least of all in public. Public humiliation does not change our friends’ behavior or attitudes in a positive way.

—James Mattis

Ninety-two percent [of 1,6000 managers and professionals surveyed] reported putting in 50 or more hours of work a week, and a third of those logged 65 hours or more. That doesn’t include the twenty to twenty-five hours per week most of them reported monitoring their work while not actual working.

—Leslie Perlow

If there’s one word that sums up everything that’s gone wrong since the war, it’s Workshop.

—Kingsley Amis

I…view…the workshop as a sly instrument of regimentation, a technique of smiley-faced uniformity, a venue for mandatory ‘sharing’ and ostentation empathy. For a grump, the workshop’s ties to group therapy make it immediately suspect. Its implementation in aid to the trendy causes of human-resources departments confirms the worst suspicions. The sight of easels and flip charts and fat Sharpies has the power, for some of us, to induce feelings of deep trauma.

—Andrew Ferguson

I’ve interviewed people who are literally looking over my shoulder, out the door. Whenever I saw that, my feeling was ‘fine, keep looking, ’cause that’s where you’re headed.

—Joan Hickman

Studies have shown that it takes us 20 minutes to return to our task with full concentration after checking email one time.

—Dana Shavin

The ability to deal with people is as purchasable a commodity as sugar or coffee, and I pay more for that ability than for any other under the sun.

—John D. Rockefeller

He hired talented people as found, not as needed.

—Ron Chernow

Often the best way to develop workers—when you are sure they have character and think they have ability—is to take them to a deep place, throw them in and make them sink or swim. They will not fail.

—John D. Rockefeller

Nobody does anything if he can get anybody else to do it….As soon as you can, get some one whom you can rely on, train him in the work, sit down, cock up your heels, and think out some way…to make some money.

—John D. Rockefeller

I never felt the need of scientific knowledge, have never felt it. A young man who wants to succeed in business does not require chemistry or physics. He can always hire scientists.

—John D. Rockefeller


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Explore and access Dan L. Miller’s Complete Works at: Dan L. Miller’s Works

Explore the Books by Dan L. Miller section at: Books by Dan L. Miller



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Description: In addition to the ‘Optimism’ topic, another topic title could be ‘Positive Quotes.’