Leadership quotes for today

Leadership

“Great leaders are almost always great simplifiers, who can cut through argument, debate, and doubt to offer a solution everybody can understand.”   — General Colin Powell

 “Leadership is the ability to establish standards and manage a creative climate where people are self-motivated toward the mastery of long term constructive goals, in a participatory environment of mutual respect, compatible with personal values.”  — Mike Vance

“Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be.”  — Ralph Waldo Emerson

“A good manager doesn’t try to eliminate conflict; he tries to keep it from wasting the energies of his people. If you’re the boss and your people fight you openly when they think that you are wrong – that’s healthy.”  – Robert Townsend

Never say never

Never say never

Next time you doubt yourself, think about a few of these doomsday statements that turned out to be gloriously, wonderfully, wrong:

“This ‘telephone’ has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us.” – Western Union internal memo, 1876.

“The wireless music box has no imaginable commercial value. Who would pay for a message sent to nobody in particular?” – David Sarnoff’s associates in response to his urgings for investment in the radio in the 1920’s.

“The concept is interesting and well-formed, but in order to earn better than a ‘C,’ the idea must be feasible.” – A Yale University management professor, in response to Fred Smith’s paper proposing reliable overnight delivery service. Smith went on to found Federal Express Corporation.

“Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?” – H.M. Warner, Warner Brothers, 1927.

“I’m just clad it’ll be Clark Gable who’s falling on his face and not Gary Cooper.” – Gary Cooper on his decision not to take the leading role in “Gone With the Wind.”

“A cookie store is a bad idea. Besides, the market research reports say America likes crispy cookies, not soft and chewy cookies like you make.” – Response to Debbie Fields’ idea of starting Mrs. Fields’ Cookies.

“We don’t like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out.” – Decca Recording Company rejecting the Beatles, 1962.

“Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible.” – Lord Kelvin, president, Royal Society, 1895.

“If I had thought about it, I wouldn’t have done the experiment. The literature was full of examples that said you can’t do this.” – Spencer Silver on the work that led to the unique adhesives for 3-M “Post-It” Notepads.

“So we went to Atari and said, ‘Hey, we’ve got this amazing thing, even built with some of your parts, and what do you think about funding us? Or we’ll give it to you. We just want to do it. Pay our salary, we’ll come work for you.’ And they said, ‘No.’ So then we went to Hewlett-Packard, and they said, ‘Hey, we don’t need you. You haven’t got through college yet.” – Apple Computer, Inc. founder Steve Jobs on attempts to get Atari and Hewlett-Packard interested in his and Steve Wozniak’s personal computer.

“Professor Goddard does not know the relation between action and reaction and the need to have something better than a vacuum against which to react. He seems to lack the basic knowledge ladled out daily in high schools.” – 1921 New York Times editorial about Robert Goddard’s revolutionary rocket work.

“You want to have consistent and uniform muscle development across all of your muscles? It can’t be done. It’s just a fact of life. You just have to accept inconsistent muscle development as an unalterable condition of weight training.” – Response to Arthur Jones, who solved the “unsolvable” problem by inventing Nautilus.

“Drill for oil? You mean drill into the ground to try and find oil? You’re crazy.” – Drillers who Edwin L. Drake tried to enlist to his project to drill for oil in 1859.

“I think there’s a world market for about five computers.” – Thomas J. Watson, Chairman of the Board, IBM.

“The bomb will never go off. I speak as an expert in explosives.” – Admiral William Leahy, U.S. Atomic Bomb Project.

“This fellow, Charles Lindbergh, will never make it. He’s doomed.” – Harry Guggenheim, millionaire aviation enthusiast.

“Stocks have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau.” – Irving Fisher, Professor of Economics, Yale University, 1929.

“Airplanes are interesting toys but of no military value.” – Marechal Ferdinand Foch, Professor of Strategy, Ecole Superieure de Guerre.

“Everything that can be invented has been invented.” – Charles H. Duell, Commissioner, U.S. Office of Patents, 1899.

“Man will never reach the moon regardless of all future scientific advances.” – Dr. Lee De Forest, inventor of the vacuum tube and father of television.

World Champions – Phinally!

Phinally!
Phinally!

What does it take to be a champion?  Here are excerpts from just a few everyday heroes who outta know:

 

Jim Loy: “Most great athletes will tell you that to get where they are took practice, practice, practice, work, work, work.” 

Zig Ziglar: “Learn the importance of:

  • Replacing bad habits with good habits.
  • Seeing the best in people.
  • Taking time to reflect.
  • Meeting challenges with assurance.
  • Greeting others with confidence and enthusiasm.
  • Balanced living.”

Stephen Downes: “Decide what’s worth doing. If you don’t decide what is worth doing, someone will decide for you, and at some point in your life you will realize that you haven’t done what is worth doing at all. So spend some time, today, thinking about what is worth doing. You can change your mind tomorrow. But begin, at least, to guide yourself somewhere.” 

The Philadelphia Phillies proved tonight that they can do all of the above. Congratulations, Phils!

2008 World Champions!

Safety to fail

To err is human; to forgive, divine. – Alexander Pope

Forgiveness is a gift that costs nothing.

There is tremendous power in forgiveness. We pardon mistakes or wrong choices of others as a means of growing, healing, learning and moving on. The power of forgiveness has long been documented. Think of the role it plays in self-esteem, interpersonal relations, philosophy, sports, child-rearing, education, and law.  Forgiveness brings closure and resolution. Forgiveness frees us to make better choices next time.

So, where does forgiveness fit into training and leadership?

There is no greater learning opportunity than the chance to make a decision that carries the risk of failing. When we provide a safe environment in which learners can try, fail, and try again, we open up a world of learning opportunities. 

How have you incorporated forgiveness into your training and leadership?

Susan Hendrich