of the day


Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

Nelson Mandela 1918-, anti-apartheid activist, 1993 Nobel Peace Prize winner and President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999

To do great things is difficult; but to command great things is more difficult

Friedrich Nietzsche 1844-1900, German philosopher

I claim not to have controlled events, but confess plainly that events have controlled me

Abraham Lincoln 1809-1865, sixteenth American president

A leader is a dealer in hope

Napoléon Bonaparte 1769-1821, French General and Emperor


When I am at Milan, I do as they do at Milan; but when I go to Rome, I do as Rome does

St. Augustine 354-430, Roman theologist and philosopher

Speak when you are angry, and you will make the best speech you will ever regret

Ambrose Bierce

If at first the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it

Albert Einstein 1879-1955; German-born American theoretical physicist

The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said

Peter F. Drucker 1909-2005, American management guru

All my life, I’ve always wanted to be somebody, but I see now I should have been more specific

Lily Tomlin (1939-), American actress and comedian as Chrissy in The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe (1985)

Be concise in your writing and talking, especially when giving instructions to others

Epictetus 50-120, Greek stoic philosopher

I wish people who have trouble communicating would just shut up

Tom Lehrer 1928-, American songwriter, satirist, pianist, mathematician and singer

I believe in the discipline of silence, and could talk for hours about it

G.B. Shaw 1856-1950, Irish critic and poet

Think like a wise man but communicate in the language of the people

William Butler Yeats 1865 – 1939

I worry incessantly that I might be too clear

Alan Greenspan

You can have brilliant ideas, but if you can’t get them across, your ideas won’t get you anywhere

Lee Iacocca 1924- , former CEO of Ford and famous for reviving the Chrysler brand


Wisdom lies neither in fixity nor in change, but in the dialectic between the two

Octavio Paz 1914-1998, Mexican poet and essayist

Chaos often breeds life, when order breeds habit

Henry Brooks Adams 1838-1919, American writer and historian

It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change

Charles Darwin 1809-1882, English biologist and father of the evolution theory

One of the things I learnt when I was negotiating was that until I changed myself I could not change others

Nelson Mandela 1918-, Nobel prize winner, South African statesman and President since 1994

It’s been a long time coming. But I know a change is gonna come

Sam Cooke 1931-1964, American musician

Kaizen is like a hotbed that nurtures small and ongoing changes, while innovation is like magma that appears in abrupt eruptions from time to time

Masaaki Imai, Japanese change and quality management guru

Management is, above all, a practice where art, science, and craft meet

Henry Mintzberg 1939- , renowned academic and writer on business and management

Constant dripping hollows out a stone

Lucretius 98-55 BC, Roman poet

Social organizations are flagrantly open systems in that the input of energies and the conversion of output into further energetic input consists of transactions between the organization and its environment

Daniel Katz and Robert L. Kahn in The Social Psychology of Organizations (1966)

Meetings are indispensable when you don’t want to do anything

John Kenneth Galbraith

We started off trying to set up a small anarchist community, but people wouldn’t obey the rules

Alan Bennett

Change is good – you go first

Kenneth F Murphy 1955-, former SVP HR of Altria Group and writer

People don’t resist change. They resist being changed!

Peter Senge, management writer famous for the notion of the learning organization

All things are in a state of flux

Heraclites 540BC-480BC, Greek Philosopher

Be the change you want to see in the world

Mahatma Gandhi 1869-1948, political and spiritual leader of India

Nothing is permanent, but change

Heraclitus 535–475 BCE, pre-Socratic Ionian philosopher

Manager quotes

However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results

Sir Winston Churchill 1874-1965, English statesman

There is always a better strategy than the one you have; you just haven’t thought of it yet

Sir Brian Pitman, former CEO of Lloyds TSB, Harvard Business Review, April 2003

Unless a variety of opinions are laid before us, we have no opportunity of selection, but are bound of necessity to adopt the particular view which may have been brought forward

Herodotus, 5th century BC, Greek historian

The processes used to arrive at the total strategy are typically fragmented, evolutionary, and largely intuitive

James Quinn in Strategic Change: Logical Incrementalism, 1978

In real life, strategy is actually very straightforward. You pick a general direction and implement like hell

Jack Welch in Winning, 2005

How many senior executives discuss the crucial distinction between competitive strategy at the level of a business and competitive strategy at the level of an entire company?

C.K. Prahalad and Gary Hamel, in their article: The core competence of the corporation, 1990

What’s the use of running if you are not on the right road

German proverb

I claim not to have controlled events, but confess plainly that events have controlled me

Abraham Lincoln 1809-1865, sixteenth American president

Perception is strong and sight weak. In strategy it is important to see distant things as if they were close and to take a distanced view of close things

Miyamoto Musashi 1584-1645, legendary Japanese swordsman

Do not repeat the tactics which have gained you one victory, but let your methods be regulated by the infinite variety of circumstances

Sun Tzu c. 490 BC, Chinese military strategist


The only vital value an enterprise has is the experience, skills, innovativeness and insights of its people

Leif Edvinsson, Swedish Intellectual Capital guru in Corporate Longitude (2002)

The soft stuff is always harder than the hard stuff

Roger Enrico, Vice Chairman of PepsiCo, referring to areas like HRM as opposed to quantitative factors in Fortune, November 27th, 1995

I believe in the adage: Hire people smarter than you and get out of their way

Howard Schultze, CEO of coffee chain Starbucks (1994)

Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water or do you want a chance to change the world?

Steve Jobs of Apple Computer, inviting John Scully, then President of PepsiCo, to join Apple in Fortune, September 14th, 1987

The Baring family lost its bank because the management overempowered one individual, Nick Leeson

John Micklethwait in The Witch Doctors (1996)

Take our 20 best people away, and I will tell you that Microsoft would become an unimportant company

Bill Gates, CEO of Microsoft in Fortune, November 25th, 1996

True motivation comes from achievement, personal development, job satisfaction, and recognition

Frederick Herzberg 1923-2000, US psychlogist

If an institution wants to be adaptive, it has to let go of some control and trust that people will work on the right things in the right way

Robert B. Shapiro, CEO of chemical company Monsanto in Harvard Business Review, Jan-Feb 1997

Always recognize that human individuals are ends, and do not use them as means to your end

Immanuel Kant 1724-1804, German philosopher


Know thyself

Plato 428 BC-347 BC, ancient Greek philosopher

If you are not criticized, you may not be doing much

Donald Rumsfeld 1932-, American Republican politician and businessman

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

Peter F. Drucker 1909-2005, American management guru

Anyone can hold the helm when the sea is calm

Publilius Syrus 1st century BC, Latin writer of maxims

All of the great leaders have had one characteristic in common: it was the willingness to confront unequivocally the major anxiety of their people in their time. This, and not much else, is the essence of leadership

John Kenneth Galbraith 1908-2006, influential Canadian-American Keynesian economist

Honest disagreement is often a good sign of progress

Mahatma Gandhi 1869, 1948, Indian deep thinker and constant experimenter

The boss drives people; the leader coaches them.

The boss depends on authority; the leader on good will.

The boss inspires fear; the leader inspires enthusiasm.

The boss says ‘I’; the leader says ‘we.’

The boss fixes the blame for the breakdown; the leader fixes the breakdown.

The boss knows how it is done; the leader shows how.
The boss says ‘go’; the leader says ‘let’s go!’

  1. Gordon Selfridge 1864-1947, American-British retail magnate

A leader is best when people barely know he exists

Lao Tzu 4th century BC, ancient Chinese philosopher

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing

Edmund Burke 1729 – 1797, Irish-born English political writer

Good leaders make people feel that they’re at the very heart of things, not at the periphery. Everyone feels that he or she makes a difference to the success of the organization. When that happens people feel centered and that gives their work meaning

Warren G. Bennis 1925 – , American leadership scholar, consultant and writer

Personal leadership is the process of keeping your vision and values before you and aligning your life to be congruent with them

Stephen Covey, American leadership consultant and writer

Treating people with respect will gain one wide acceptance and improve the business

Tao Zhu Gong 500BC, Assistant to the Emperor of Yue, 2nd Business Principle

Leadership is not about being nice. it’s about being right and being strong

Paul Keating 1944-, Australian statesman and Prime Minister in Time, January 9th, 1995

To the person who does not know where he wants to go there is no favorable wind

Lucius Annaeus Seneca 5BC-65AD, Roman tragedian, philosopher, and counselor to Nero


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