Notable Quotables

Cupcakes The first time you bake cupcakes, you will certainly follow the recipe with rigor. The third time, you might improvise and screw up. Learning your lesson, you will follow the recipe again and again as closely as you can. At this point, by the fifth time, some people actually learn to bake. They improvise successfully. They understand the science and the outcomes. They develop a kind of gracefulness in the kitchen. Others merely plod along. They’re cooks, not chefs. A cook follows a recipe. A chef invents one. We have too many cooks. The world is begging for chefs.

- Seth Godin

Don’t romance Wall Street. You don’t want investors who are only concerned about the quarter, or who are working on their exit strategy from day one. You want shareholders to own you forever. If we have no trading at all, I consider that a tremendous accomplishment.

- Warren Buffett

There’s always a wine bully. The one person who did read the ‘Wine Spectator,’ who tells you what to drink and why the ’97 is better than the ’98. I want to punch the wine bully in the face. I want to make sure this generation of wine drinkers isn’t elitist and snotty. I want it to be about family and bringing people together.

- Gary Vaynerchuk

Do not be embarrassed by your failures, learn from them and start again.

- Richard Branson

If You Have A Lemon, Make A Lemonade That is what a great educator does. But the fool does the exact opposite. If he finds that life has handed him a lemon, he gives up and says: I’m beaten. It is fate. I haven’t got a chance. Then he proceeds to rail against the world and indulge in an orgy of selfpity. But when the wise man is handed a lemon, he says: What lesson can I learn from this misfortune? How can I improve my situation? How can I turn this lemon into a lemonade?

- Dale Carnegie

We have to find a way to make the aspects of capitalism that serve wealthier people serve poorer people as well.

- Bill Gates

Vince McMahon is one of the greatest storytellers of all time, but WWE’s not striving for the kind of innovation it’s capable of.

- Gary Vaynerchuk

Consider this: you are today what you believed about yourself yesterday. And you will be tomorrow what you believe about yourself right now.

- Joel Olsteen

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

- Theodore Roosevelt

You have to be a crazy guy and a little eccentric to be very successful.

- Tadashi Yanai

The most terrifying phrase in the English language is ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help’

- Ronald Reagan

Art is original. Marcel Duchamp was an artist when he pioneered Dadaism and installed a urinal in a museum. The second person to install a urinal wasn’t an artist, he was a plumber.

- Seth Godin

Let’s realise that criticisms are like homing pigeons. They always return home. Let’s realise that the person we are going to correct and condemn will probably justify himself o herself, and condemn us in return.

- Dale Carnegie

I’m a great believer that any tool that enhances communication has profound effects in terms of how people can learn from each other, and how they can achieve the kind of freedoms that they’re interested in.

- Bill Gates

Another hero was Tom Swift, in the books. What he stood for, the freedom, the scientific knowledge and being and engineer gave him the ability to invent solutions to problems. He’s always been a hero to me. I buy old Tom Swift books now and read them to my own children.

- Steve Wozniak

Results are gained by exploiting opportunities, not by solving problems.

- Peter Drucker

The led must not be compelled. They must be able to choose their own leader.

- Albert Einstein

I try to look on all the great things God’s done, and not focus on the negative. It’s a perspective.

- Joel Olsteen

I’m killing two birds at once, so to speak. Animal-based food kills people. This way, by going vegan… we get healthy and save animals. I’m being selfish, too, because if I can get my employees healthier, we cut down on sick days and gain more productivity.

- Stephen Wynn

Maybe I was accepted to Harvard only because of my tennis skills, since I definitively had no great academic achievements. I was 17 and only thought about surfing and playing tennis. I had almost never left Rio de Janeiro and had never been to the United States.

- Jorge Paulo Lemann

the best possible way to prepare for tomorrow is to concentrate with all your intelligence, all your enthusiasm, on doing today’s work superbly today. That is the only possible way you can prepare for the future.

- Dale Carnegie

We shall not flag nor fail. We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France and on the seas and oceans; we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air. We shall defend our island whatever the cost may be; we shall fight on beaches, landing grounds, in fields, in streets and on the hills. We shall never surrender and even if, which I do not for the moment believe, this island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, will carry on the struggle until in God’s good time the New World with all its power and might, sets forth to the liberation and rescue of the Old.

- Winston Churchill

Motivation is the fuel, necessary to keep the human engine running.

- Zig Ziglar

If Jesus were here today, he wouldn’t be riding around on a donkey. He’d be taking a plane, he’d be using the media.

- Joel Olsteen

Not only was the casual shoe effort a failure, but it was diluting our trademark and hurting us in running.

- Phil Knight

With the intensity of the first three NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series races at Atlanta Motor Speedway, fans have been treated to exciting finishes each race. Fans can expect nothing less than the same for the John Deere 200.

- Ed Clark

Librarians who are arguing and lobbying for clever e-book lending solutions are completely missing the point. They are defending the library-as-warehouse concept, as opposed to fighting for the future, which is librarian as producer, concierge, connector, teacher, and impresario.

- Seth Godin

Autonomy was shopped to us. We looked at the price and thought it was absurdly high.

- Larry Ellison

Most of us have far more courage than we ever dreamed we possessed.

- Dale Carnegie

Basically, our goal is to organize the world’s information and to make it universally accessible and useful.

- Larry Page

Unless a man enters upon the vocation intended for him by nature, and best suited to his peculiar genius, he cannot succeed. I am glad to believe that the majority of persons do find their right vocation.

- P.T. Barnum

I know a lot of people are upset by our decision but it is something we have deliberated for a number of years.

- Sergey Brin

I would summarize the quarter as a solid quarter from a revenue and earnings per share perspective and a strong quarter from an orders perspective.

- John Chambers

The power of this new era is simple: if you want to (need to, must!) lead, then you can. It’s easier than ever and we need you. But if this isn’t the right moment, if this isn’t the right cause, then hold off. Generous and authentic leadership will always defeat the selfish efforts of someone doing it just because she can.

- Seth Godin

Sheepwalking I define “sheepwalking” as the outcome of hiring people who have been raised to be obedient and giving them a brain-dead job and enough fear to keep them in line. You’ve probably encountered someone who is sheepwalking. The TSA “screener” who forces a mom to drink from a bottle of breast milk because any other action is not in the manual. A “customer service” rep who will happily reread a company policy six or seven times but never stop to actually consider what the policy means. A marketing executive who buys millions of dollars’ worth of TV time even though she knows it’s not working—she does it because her boss told her to. It’s ironic but not surprising that in our age of increased reliance on new ideas, rapid change, and innovation, sheepwalking is actually on the rise. That’s because we can no longer rely on machines to do the brain-dead stuff. We’ve mechanized what we could mechanize. What’s left is to cost-reduce the manual labor that must be done by a human. So we write manuals and race to the bottom in our search for the cheapest possible labor. And it’s not surprising that when we go to hire that labor, we search for people who have already been trained to be sheepish. Training a student to be sheepish is a lot easier than the alternative. Teaching to the test, ensuring compliant behavior, and using fear as a motivator are the easiest and fastest ways to get a kid through school. So why does it surprise us that we graduate so many sheep? And graduate school? Since the stakes are higher (opportunity cost, tuition, and the job market), students fall back on what they’ve been taught. To be sheep. Well-educated, of course, but compliant nonetheless. And many organizations go out of their way to hire people that color inside the lines, that demonstrate consistency and compliance. And then they give these people jobs where they are managed via fear. Which leads to sheepwalking. (“I might get fired!”) The fault doesn’t lie with the employee, at least not at first. And of course, the pain is often shouldered by both the employee and the customer. Is it less efficient to pursue the alternative? What happens when you build an organization like W. L. Gore and Associates (makers of Gore-Tex) or the Acumen Fund? At first, it seems crazy. There’s too much overhead, there are too many cats to herd, there is too little predictability, and there is way too much noise. Then, over and over, we see something happen. When you hire amazing people and give them freedom, they do amazing stuff. And the sheepwalkers and their bosses just watch and shake their heads, certain that this is just an exception, and that it is way too risky for their industry or their customer base. I was at a Google conference last month, and I spent some time in a room filled with (pretty newly minted) Google sales reps. I talked to a few of them for a while about the state of the industry. And it broke my heart to discover that they were sheepwalking. Just like the receptionist at a company I visited a week later. She acknowledged that the front office is very slow, and that she just sits there, reading romance novels and waiting. And she’s been doing it for two years. Just like the MBA student I met yesterday who is taking a job at a major packaged-goods company…because they offered her a great salary and promised her a well-known brand. She’s going to stay “for just ten years, then have a baby and leave and start my own gig.…” She’ll get really good at running coupons in the Sunday paper, but not particularly good at solving new problems. What a waste. Step one is to give the problem a name. Done. Step two is for anyone who sees themselves in this mirror to realize that you can always stop. You can always claim the career you deserve merely by refusing to walk down the same path as everyone else just because everyone else is already doing it.

- Seth Godin

Don’t be afraid to assert yourself, have confidence in your abilities, and don’t let the bastards get you down.

- Michael Bloomberg

I believe in that Old Chinese Proverb, When the student is willing, the teacher appears. But I would add, It also doesn’t hurt to be a little proactive about it.

- David Novak

I think the most important thing that I think everyone in America must have is belief that wherever they live, whatever station they have in life, that the American dream is alive and well. I think the fracturing of trust and confidence is in the American dream.

- Howard Schultz

The people of Southwest have always been my pride, my joy and my love. Their indomitable dedication and esprit de corps have taken Southwest from a three-airplane dream to a 500-airplane reality.

- Herb Kelleher

Do you know how many companies have wanted me to do an energy drink for them because I named my book ‘Crush It!’? It might be fun one day, but right now I think it would undermine the personal brand I’ve built.

- Gary Vaynerchuk

I hate politics. What they say and what they do is completely different.

- Tadashi Yanai

Stopped they must be; on this all depends. Only a fully-trained Jedi Knight, with the Force as his ally, will conquer Vader and his Emperor.

- Yoda

The ultimate goal for a business owner is to build a company that he or she can one day sell, continue to scale, or even own passively. Most business owners reach for growth by working harder and personally trying to produce more. This is a flawed model that at best will lead to only moderate growth. At worst this strategy can literally put your entire company at risk.

- Jeff Hoffman

The difference between appreciation and flattery? That is simply. One is sincere and the other insincere. One comes from the heart out, the other from the teeth out. One is unselfish, the other selfish. One is universally admired, the other universally condemned.

- Dale Carnegie

Know your numbers’ is a fundamental precept of business.

- Bill Gates

Your premium brand had better be delivering something special, or it’s not going to get the business.

- Warren Buffett

When you supervise something, it is one thing. When you are in the middle of something, there is a different pace of life.

- Vladimir Potanin

There’s never been a doctor who served many patients who, despite their best efforts, did not lose some of them to death. But they understood that was part of life itself.

- Zig Ziglar

At an early age, my mother gave me this feeling that anything is possible, and I believe that.

- Howard Schultz

You are safer here tonight than you would be on the streets of any other city in the world.

- Michael Bloomberg

When Steve Jobs was at NeXT, he was really getting his head together and taking control and becoming the person that, when he came back to Apple, you know, he was ready to really run the company and keep control of things and watch what was being done and develop new products secretly that were really incredibly great.

- Steve Wozniak

China is likely to sustain its pace of economic growth for the next decade.

- Cheng Yu-tung

The unvarnished truth is that almost all the people you meet feel themselves superior to you in some way, and a sure way to their hearts is to let them realise in some subtle way that you realise their importance, and recognise it sincerely.

- Dale Carnegie

And because no matter who you are, if you believe in yourself and your dream, New York will always be the place for you.

- Michael Bloomberg

What chance does a five-foot-seven billionaire Jew who’s divorced really have of becoming president?

- Michael Bloomberg

So now, having learned from machines, organizations are applying the same logic to people. Letting people in the organization use their best judgment turns out to be faster and cheaper—but only if you hire the right people and reward them for having the right attitude.

- Seth Godin

If you try to make such projects, unseen by others, as perfect as any human could, you’ll develop skills that other professionals don’t have.

- Steve Wozniak

If you don’t have public hangings for bad culture in a company, if you don’t take people out and let them say, they went home to spend more time with the family. It’s crazy.

- Jack Welch

Unwavering courage based upon knowledge of self, and of one’s occupation. No follower wishes to be dominated by a leader who lacks self-confidence and courage. No intelligent follower will be dominated by such a leader very long.

- Napoleon Hill

From the Renaissance and the Enlightenment to the mid-20th century, luck was something to be mastered, dominated, and controlled; everyone agreed that you should do what you could, not focus on what you couldn’t. Ralph Waldo Emerson captured this ethos when he wrote: “Shallow men believe in luck, believe in circumstances.… Strong men believe in cause and effect.

- Peter Thiel

Before Alamein we never had a victory. After Alamein we never had a defeat.

- Winston Churchill

It takes up enough of my time and interest just working on comedy. I just enjoy it and love doing it.

- Jerry Seinfeld

I was taken by the power that savoring a simple cup of coffee can have to connect people and create community.

- Howard Schultz

Look, winning and losing can’t be quantified. They are states of mind, and losing happens only when you give up. Seen that way, then, the world can be filled with winners, and there is room for them all.

- Jack Welch

To be willing to do new things you don’t think you’ll like requires you to prefer the unknown. Not just to tolerate it, but to prefer it. One way to achieve that is to set out to experience things you’re sure you won’t like. To have conversations that are frightening. Becoming generous beyond measure, just to see what happens. And most of all, setting out to fail. Failing helps you see how far is too far, failing helps remind you that failing isn’t fatal, and most of all, failing opens you up to succeeding.

- Seth Godin

You can’t learn in school what the world is going to do next year.

- Henry Ford

Our goal is very simply to become the desktop for e-businesses.

- Larry Ellison

In the years to come, that lure of partnership helped us attract a lot of good managers, but I don’t believe that we ever had one who bought more stock than Willard. And of course he feels pretty good about it today. – Sam Walton (on human resources, hiring, early history of Wal-Mart)

- Sam Walton

Three classes of factors affect what an organization can and cannot do: its resources, its processes, and its values.

- Clayton M. Christensen

Innovation is the specific instrument of entrepreneurship…the act that endows resources with a new capacity to create wealth.

- Peter Drucker

-Gardens, not buildings–Great projects start out feeling like buildings. There are architects, materials, staff, rigid timelines, permits, engineers, a structure.It works or it doesn’t.Build something that doesn’t fall down. On time.But in fact, great projects, like great careers and relationships that last, are gardens. They are tended, they shift, they grow. They endure over time, gaining a personality and reflecting their environment. When something dies or fades away, we prune, replant and grow again.Perfection and polish aren’t nearly as important as good light, good drainage and a passionate gardener.By all means, build. But don’t finish. Don’t walk away.Here we grow.

- Seth Godin

The sweltering summer of the Negro’s legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality.

- Martin Luther King Jr.

Never, give in! Never give in! Never, never, never… In nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions or honor and good sense!

- Winston Churchill

Hewlett Packard Chairman Built Company by Design, Calculator by Chance.

- James C. Collins

God, You said You would restore health unto me and heal me of my wounds. You said I would live and not die. You said what is impossible with men is possible with God. When you pray.

- Joel Olsteen

One day, I’d like to write a book about the worst ads ever run, but my fear is that it would be too long.

- Seth Godin

Even if producing CO2 was good for the environment, given that we’re going to run out of hydrocarbons, we need to find some sustainable means of operating.

- Elon Musk

Success comes from doing the hard part. When the hard part is all you’ve got, you’re more likely to do it.And this is precisely why it’s difficult to focus. Because focusing means acknowledging that you just signed up for the hard part.

- Seth Godin

Don’t let anybody make you think God chose America as His divine messianic force to be a sort of policeman of the whole world.

- Martin Luther King Jr.

I think very early on in life we all learn what we’re good at and what we’re not good at, and we stay where it’s safe.

- Sara Blakely

In early 2009, the property market was still being driven by pessimistic sentiment and a wait-and-see attitude, leading to a further drop in the transaction volume.

- Lee Shau Kee

We want to build technology that everybody loves using, and that affects everyone. We want to create beautiful, intuitive services and technologies that are so incredibly useful that people use them twice a day. Like they use a toothbrush. There aren’t that many things people use twice a day.

- Larry Page

Visibility remains limited, and this should come as no surprise, given that our customers’ visibility is limited.

- John Chambers

I worked with many departments in China to organise a ‘One million farmer’ programme. The scheme trained them to learn professional skills.

- Lee Shau Kee

Excellence isn’t achieved without inspiration and perspiration. You’ve got to have both.

- George Foreman

When people get at each other’s throat, the rich and the poor and the Left and the Right and so on, and you have a basic breakdown, that becomes very threatening.

- Ray Dalio

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