Quotations that motivate me


“Organization doesn’t really accomplish anything. Plans don’t accomplish anything either. Theories of management don’t much matter. Endeavours succeed or fail because of the people involved. Only by attracting the best people will you accomplish great deeds”       General Colin Powell

 Leadership … is just plain you”   Viscount Slim of Burma


“We learn from history that we do not learn from history”       Georg Willhelm Friedrich Hegel

 “Persistence: nothing can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; Unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and Determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan “Press on” has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race” – Calvin Coolidge. ~1920

“Firms that follow a strategy like a train on a track will be more immune to political interests of managers and prevent personalities from clouding decisions, both of which can pull a firm off the rails” Bob Battye, Business Mentor

“It is the lazy person, using his or her creativity to avoid

work, that drives all progress in society,” Fred Gratzon, co-author of The Lazy Way to Success.

“Make the product the hero.”  David Ogilvy

Your product is only heroic if it gives your customer a tangible “Before & After” benefit (ideally in a niche that is all your own).

Sure, slogans like “Before And After My 90lb Weight Loss” and “Give Me One Evening And I’ll Give You A Better-Than- Photographic Memory” may sound cheesy, but they work because the product they promote is heroic.

The acid test: Can you write a cheesy “Before & After” advert for your product? (Not necessarily for public Consumption.) For the most heroic products – think iPod, Dyson, Google – the exercise is blindingly easy.

“Even If you are on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there” Will Rogers

“Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration” – Thomas Edison

“An innovative business is not just good ideas, it is good ideas, motivated staff and understanding what your customer wants” – Richard Branson

 “More ideas come from the shopfloor than anywhere else” – John Mileham (TR Europe Ltd)

“We are now far keener on innovation and more inspired to take risks. We now actively encourage innovation and are far less risk adverse. Innovation has become perhaps one of the most important company key values” – Colin Fancourt (BAE Systems

 “Any scientific endeavour is of no use until it is put to the benefit of mankind” – Michael Faraday

David Ogilvy – founder of Ogilvy & Mather, and inarguably

the most successful adman of all-time – wrote this: ” Success in running an agency depends on your ability to hire men and women of exceptional talent, to train them thoroughly, and to make the most of their talents . . .

” When someone is made head of an office in the Ogilvy & Mather chain, I send him a Matrioshka doll from Gorky. If he has the curiosity to open it, and keep opening it until he comes to the inside of the smallest doll, he finds this

message:  ” 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.

Quotations from Albert Einstein

  • Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not too simple
  • The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science.
  • The important thing is not to stop questioning.
  • Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.
  • “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”
  • It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education.
  • The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits.
  • “The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.”
  • “The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.”

Other Quotations:

“When you row another person across the river, you get there yourself.” — Fortune Cookie (?)

“If you always do what you always did, you’ll always get what you always got!”   – Author Unknown

“If you don’t know where you are going – you will never get there”   – Author Unknown

“Whether You Think You Can or Can’t, You’re Right”    – Henry Ford

“I’d rather get paid 1% of 100 people’s efforts than 100% of my own!”    – J. Paul Getty

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”    – Eleanor Roosevelt

“That which does not kill us makes us stronger.”  Friedrich Nietzsche

“It is not the employer who pays the wages. Employers only handle the money. It is the customer who pays the wages.” Henry Ford

“Few people think more than two or three times a year; I have made an international reputation for myself by thinking once or twice a week.” George Bernard Shaw

“The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources.” Albert Einstein

“Look for the ridiculous in everything and you will find it.” Jules Renard

“Computers make it easier to do a lot of things, but most of the things they make it easier to do don’t need to be done.” – Andy Rooney

“Money frees you from doing things you dislike. Since I dislike doing nearly everything, money is handy.” Groucho Marx

“The point to remember about selling things is that, as well as creating atmosphere and excitement around your products, you’ve got to know what you’re selling.” Stuart Wilde

“If you’re not failing every now and again, it’s a sign you’re not doing anything very innovative.” Woody Allen

“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.” Mark Twain

“It is the mark of an educated mind to entertain a thought without accepting it.” Aristotle

“Many a small thing has been made large by the right kind of advertising.” Mark Twain

Don’t worry about what people think, they don’t do it very often.

Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian anymore than standing in a garage makes you a car.

Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.

If you must choose between two evils, pick the one you’ve never tried before.

Not one shred of evidence supports the notion that life is serious.

If you look like your passport picture, you probably need the trip.

A conscience is what hurts when all of your other parts feel so good.

Men are from earth. Women are from earth. Deal with it.

Opportunities always look bigger going than coming.

Junk is something you’ve kept for years and throw away three weeks before you need it.

Experience is a wonderful thing. It enables you to recognise a mistake when you make it again.

People who want to share their religious views with you almost never want you to share yours with them.

“I am an optimist. But I am an optimist who takes his rain coat.” Harold Wilson

You should not confuse your career with your life.

Nobody cares if you can’t dance well. Just get up and dance.

The most destructive force in the universe is gossip.

The one thing that unites all human beings, regardless of age, gender, religion, economic status or ethnic background, is that, deep down inside, we ALL believe that we are above average drivers.

A person, who is nice to you, but rude to the waiter, is not a nice person.

Your friends love you anyway.

“Quality is remembered long after the price is forgotten.” Gucci family slogan

“Reality can be beaten with enough imagination.” Anonymous

“Leadership I business is about being able to respond to whatever is required by the situation. If you’ve got the four key characteristics, Judgement, Empathy, dive and initiative, and if you are proactive, persistent and acknowledge others; I’m willing to bet that you’ll be a pretty effective leader.” Noel Penrose, Chairman of Juniper 2

“Build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door” is a phrase attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson* in the late nineteenth century.

In fact Emerson has been misquoted, not least because the mousetrap was not invented until seven years after his death. For those of you who crave correctness the actual comment was

“If a man has good corn or wood, or boards, or pigs, to sell, or can make better chairs or knives, crucibles or church organs, than anybody else, you will find a broad hard-beaten road to his house, though it be in the woods.”

i.e. being different by delivering quality or being better is the way to a successful business.

Innovation Demands a Different Kind of Leader

The most effective leaders will lead from behind,

It’s a matter of harnessing people’s collective genius, because most innovation is the result of a collaborative effort by a diverse group.

Innovation should not be the exclusive purview of an individual or the domain of a management or dedicated function; it should be the shared responsibility of everyone in the company.

Breakthroughs happen when “ordinary’ people make extraordinary contributions,”

A leader drives innovation by making it safe and possible for people to innovate,

Organizations are complex social systems that by their nature often suppress or at least inhibit the trust and freedom needed for innovation to thrive.

To drive innovation, leaders must foster three key organizational competencies:
1. Creative abrasion (the ability to generate ideas through discourse and debate)
2. Creative agility (the ability to test and refine ideas rapidly)
3. Creative resolution (the ability to make decisions in an integrative way)

People want to be associated with organizations that serve as positive forces in the world, Dr. Magee from Operation Smile

38 Quotes to Help You Become a Change Agent BY John Brandon 

Want to embrace change? Start with your own attitude about what it means to adapt.

In business, your ability to adapt and change is often what separates successful entrepreneurs from those who are stuck in obscurity.

Some are good at spotting trends, some are good to adapting to them, but a few highly successful entrepreneurs have learned how to become an agent of change, someone who embraces the idea of adaptability and even encourages it as a way to push his or her business forward.

When you become an agent of change, you realize that your own ability to adapt starts with changing your own attitude, the world around you, your employees, and your product.

Here are a few quotes on how to make it happen, taken from well-known change agents.

“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” Mother Teresa

“We cannot change our past. We can not change the fact that people act in a certain way. We can not change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude.” Chuck Swindoll

“Our days are a kaleidoscope. Every instant a change takes place. New harmonies, new contrasts, new combinations of every sort. The most familiar people stand each moment in some new relation to each other, to their work, to surrounding objects.” Henry Ward Beecher

“For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been no for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.” Steve Jobs

“There is a certain relief in change, even though it be from bad to worse; as I have found in traveling in a stagecoach, that it is often a comfort to shift one’s position and be bruised in a new place.” Washington Irving

“Profound and powerful forces are shaking and remaking our world. And the urgent question of our time is whether we can make change our friend and not our enemy.” Bill Clinton

“Change is the process by which the future invades our lives.” Alvin Toffler

“In times of change learners inherit the Earth while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.” Eric Hoffer

“People underestimate their capacity for change. There is never a right time to do a difficult thing.” John Porter

“I have accepted fear as part of life, specifically the fear of change. I have gone ahead despite the pounding in the heart that says: Turn back.” Erica Jong

“Incredible change happens in your life when you decide to take control of what you do have power over instead of craving control over what you don’t.” Steve Maraboli

“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.” Apple Inc. motto

“We can’t be afraid of change. You may feel very secure in the pond that you are in, but if you never venture out of it, you will never know that there is such a thing as an ocean, a sea. Holding on to something that is good for you now may be the very reason why you don’t have something better.” C. JoyBell C.

“You must constantly ask yourself these questions: Who am I around? What are they doing to me? What have they got me reading? What have they got me saying? Where do they have me going? What do they have me thinking? And most important, what do they have me becoming? Then ask yourself the big question: Is that OK? Your life does not get better by chance; it gets better by change.” Jim Rohn

“My first-grade teacher told me I was the dumbest student she’d ever had. She did me a favour. If she had told me I was very smart, I wouldn’t have tried to improve.” Ernest Gallo

“The people who resist change will be confronted by the growing number of people who see that better ways are available, thanks to technology.” Bill Gates

“If you want to make enemies, try to change something.” Woodrow Wilson

“Our dilemma is that we hate change and love it at the same time; what we really want is for things to remain the same but get better.” Sydney J. Harris

“It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: It would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg.” C. S. Lewis

“The key to change is to let go of fear.” Rosanne Cash

“Change before you have to.” Jack Welch

“Change is hard because people overestimate the value of what they have and underestimate the value of what they may gain by giving that up.” James Belasco and Ralph Stayer

“One of the things I learned when I was negotiating was that until I changed myself I could not change others.” Nelson Mandela

“People don’t resist change. They resist being changed!” Peter Senge

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” Harriet Tubman

“Life is change. Growth is optional. Choose wisely.” Unknown

“The world is changing very fast. Big will not beat small anymore. It will be the fast beating the slow.” Rupert Murdoch

“Any change, even for the better, is always accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts.” Arnold Bennett

“If you feel like it’s difficult to change, you will probably have a harder time succeeding.” Andrea Jung

“If you don’t like something, change it; if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it.” Mary Engelbreit

“A corporation is a living organism; it has to continue to shed its skin. Methods have to change. Focus has to change. Values have to change. The sum total of those changes is transformation.” Andrew Grove

“He who rejects change is the architect of decay. The only human institution which rejects progress is the cemetery.” Harold Wilson

“The voyage of discovery is not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.” Marcel Proust

“Your success in life isn’t based on your ability to simply change. It is based on your ability to change faster than your competition, customers, and business.” Mark Sanborn

“Change has a bad reputation in our society. But it isn’t all bad–not by any means. In fact, change is necessary in life–to keep us moving…to keep us growing…to keep us interested. Imagine life without change. It would be static…boring…dull.” Dr. Dennis O’Grady

“As you navigate through the rest of your life, be open to collaboration. Other people and other people’s ideas are often better than your own. Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you, spend a lot of time with them, and it will change your life.” Amy Poehler

“Passionate people, focused on customers instead of layoffs, are essential to a company’s survival and success.”

Paul Spiegelman, the founder and CEO of Beryl, a call-center company in Bedford, Texas,

50 Awesome Innovation Quotes to Share

Nothing works better changing a mindset than a great quote. I made a collection of 50 outstanding quotes on innovation. Use them to inspire others to start a culture for innovation, to think different and to prioritize innovation.  Gijs van Wulfen      

  • Nothing is stronger than habit. [Ovid]

  • Status quo is Latin for, ‘The mess we’re in.’ [Ronald Reagan]

  • Change is inevitable. Except from a vending machine.[Robert C. Gallagher]

  • When the rate of change outside is more than what is inside, be sure that the end is near. [Azim Premji]

  • Details matter, it’s worth waiting to get it right. [Steve Jobs]

  • The future is already here — it’s just not very evenly distributed. [William Gibson]

  • It’s tough when markets change and your people within the company don’t. [Harvard Business Review]

  • They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself. [Andy Warhol]

  • Necessity is the mother of invention. [Anonymous]

  • Learning and innovation go hand in hand. The arrogance of success is to think that what you did yesterday will be sufficient for tomorrow. [William Pollard]

  • When all think alike, then no one is thinking. [Walter Lippmann]

  • The biggest room is the room for improvement. [Anonymous]

  • Minds are like parachutes; they work best when open. [T. Dewar]

  • He who sees things grow from the beginning will have the best view of them. [Aristotle]

  • The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man. [George Bernard Shaw]

  • The future is not what it used to be. [Anonymous]

  • There are no old roads to new directions. [The Boston Consulting Group]

  • You cannot discover new oceans unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore. [Andre Gide]

  • Innovation is anything but business as usual. [Anonymous]

  • The best way to predict the future is to invent it. [Alan Kay]

  • Promotions may win quarters, innovation wins decades. [former P&G CEO Bob McDonald]

  • If at first the idea is not absurd, then there will be no hope for it. [A. Einstein]

  • The more original a discovery, the more obvious it seems afterwards. [Arthur Koestler]

  • An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all. [Oscar Wilde]

  • A discovery is said to be an accident meeting a prepared mind. [A. von Szent-Gyorgyi]

  • Managers say yes to innovation only if doing nothing is a bigger risk. [Gijs van Wulfen].

  • Innovation is the ability to convert ideas into invoices. [L. Duncan]

  • Small opportunities are often the beginning of great enterprises. [Demosthenes]

  • Luck is where the crossroads of opportunity and preparation meet. [Seneca]

  • Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less traveled by and that has made all the difference. [Robert Frost]

  • Stay hungry. Stay foolish. [Steve Jobs]

  • The only way to discover the limits of the possible is to go beyond them into the impossible. [A. Clarke]

  • The key to success is for you to make a habit throughout your life of doing the things you fear. [Vincent Van Gogh]

  • The impossible is often the untried. [J. Goodwin]

  • Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all. [Dale Carnegie]

  • The biggest risk in innovation lies in sticking too closely to your plans. [D. Hills, Walt Disney Company]

  • Ideas are useless unless used. [T. Levitt]

  • If you are not willing to risk the unusual, you will have to settle for the ordinary.[Jim Rohn]

  • It is not how many ideas you have. It’s how many you make happen. [Advertisement of Accenture]

  • The best ideas lose their owners and take on lives of their own. [N. Bushnell]

  • It’s kind of fun to do the impossible. [Walt Disney]

  • Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go. [T.S. Eliot]

  • If you want to go fast – go alone. But if you want to go far – go together. [African proverb]

  • Everything is possible. The impossible just takes longer. [Dan Brown]

  • The person who says it cannot be done, should not interrupt the person doing it. [Chinese saying].

  • And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it. [Paulo Coelho]

  • Nothing is stronger than habit. [Ovid]

  • It’s tough when markets change and your people within the company don’t. [Harvard Business Review]

  • They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself. [Andy Warhol]

  • There are no old roads to new directions. [The Boston Consulting Group]

  • You cannot discover new oceans unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore. [Andre Gide]

  • The more original a discovery, the more obvious it seems afterwards. [Arthur Koestler]

  • Small opportunities are often the beginning of great enterprises. [Demosthenes]

  • Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less traveled by and that has made all the difference. [Robert Frost]

  • The only way to discover the limits of the possible is to go beyond them into the impossible. [A. Clarke]

  • The key to success is for you to make a habit throughout your life of doing the things you fear. [Vincent Van Gogh]

  • The impossible is often the untried. [J. Goodwin]

  • An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all. [Oscar Wilde]

  • Ideas are useless unless used. [T. Levitt]

  • It is not how many ideas you have. It’s how many you make happen. [Advertisement of Accenture]

  • The best ideas lose their owners and take on lives of their own. [N. Bushnell]

  • Research is converting money into ideas, Innovation is converting ideas into money – attributed to someone in Renault

  • Make everything as simple as possible; but not too simple – Albert Einstein

  • Challenge everything and don’t let the buggers put you down

  • “Discovery is the journey; insight is the destination.” – Gary Hamel, founder, Strategos.

  • “Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties.” – Erich Fromm –

  • .Innovation has become the fashion; everyone is doing it. We need more innovative ways to innovate to remain competitive.

  • “The best way to have a good idea is to have lots of ideas” American chemist and Nobel Prize winner Linus Pauling

  • Things only improve when people do things differently

  • Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower. Steve Jobs

  • But innovation comes from people meeting up in the hallways or calling each other at 10:30 at night with a new idea, or because they realized something that shoots holes in how we’ve been thinking about a problem. Steve Jobs

  • “When disruptive innovators begin forming facilitated networks through which professionals and amateurs—students, parents, and teachers —circumvent the existing value chain and instead market their products directly to each other . . . the balance of power in education will shift.” Clayton Christensen

  • The best way to predict the future is to create it. Peter Drucker

  • ‘Never do what your mother tells you to’ Annie MG Schmidt. 😉

  • always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you’ll have to eat them, you can swallow it well. -Oprah Winfrey

25 Most Essential Insights About Innovation – The Forth Method

  • In the long run a company cannot survive on doing the same things better and cheaper.
  • Most managers are like dogs. They bark at what they don’t know.
  • Managers say yes to innovation only if doing nothing is a bigger risk.
  • Continuous innovation is bullshit. You only innovate when you have to.
  • Organizations frustrate innovative employees.
  • Starting innovation is like a child starting to walk. Learn to love the struggle!
  • If there’s no urgency innovation is considered as playtime.
  • Most people only innovate when they have to. Pick the right moment.
  • Innovators need the patience of a hunter to wait for a shot that you’re sure you can make.
  • Never start innovation with an idea. You will fall in love with it. But love is blind.
  • A big idea is a new simple solution for a relevant problem or dream.
  • The best innovators are need seekers.
  • The problem of brainstorms is the inability of people to let go of the old ideas.
  • If you don’t get new insights you won’t get new ideas.
  • For most companies evolutionary ideas are quite revolutionary.
  • You can invent on your own, but in an organization you can never innovate alone!
  • Think outside the box and present your idea inside the box otherwise nothing will happen.
  • Innovators should bring back new business not new ideas.
  • Nobody buys innovation from a clown so bring back a new business case.
  • The voice of the customer is your best support for a new concept.
  • Innovators should stop writing plans. Innovation is learning by doing.
  • Innovation does not stop at the first “No”. That’s the moment it really starts.
  • Less creative ideas are better because they have a higher chance of becoming reality.
  • An organization is just like a herd. Focus on the slowest animals. When they start running too your organization really gets innovative.

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