A memorandum is written not to inform the reader but to protect the writer.
Count that day won when, turning on its axis, this earth imposes no additional taxes.
Consultants eventually leave, which makes them excellent scapegoats for major management blunders.
Creativity is allowing oneself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.*
Good advertising can make people buy your product even if it sucks ... A dollar spent on brainwashing is more cost-effective than a dollar spent on product improvement.
Informed decision-making comes from a long tradition of guessing and then blaming others for inadequate results.
Remind people that profit is the difference between revenue and expense. This makes you look smart.
Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats.
Giving up your core business in search of a phantom audience is not wise.
An advertising agency is 85 percent confusion and 15 percent commission.
The incestuous relationship between government and big business thrives in the dark.
I was told to avoid the business all together because of the rejection. People would say to me,Don't you want to have a normal job and a normal family?I guess that would be good advice for some people, but I wanted to act.
The codfish lays ten thousand eggs
The homely hen lays one.
The codfish never cackles
To tell you that she's done.
And so we scorn the codfish,
While the humble hen we prize,
Which only goes to show you
That it pays to advertise.
I rate enthusiasm even above professional skill.
One lesson a man learns from Harvard Business School is that an executive is only as good as his health.
A mediocre idea that generates enthusiasm will go further than a great idea that inspires no one.
Nothing interferes with my concentration. You could put on an orgy in my office and I wouldn't look up. Well, maybe once.
This is not an age of castles, moats, and armor where people can sustain a competitive advantage for very long.
Every banker knows that if he has to prove that he is worthy of credit, however good may be his arguments, in fact his credit is gone.
We don't have a monopoly. We have market share. There's a difference.
What we've gone through in the last several years has caused some people to questionCan we trust Microsoft?
You can't permit a honeymoon of small changes over a year or two. A long series of small changes just prolongs the pain.
Ultimately, the job of the manager is to get ordinary people to create extraordinary results.
Executives are like joggers. If you stop a jogger, he goes on running on the spot. If you drag an executive away from his business, he goes on running on the spot, pawing the ground, talking business.
The largest profits go to those businesses which most devotedly follow a policy of insisting on a competitive advantage, no matter how small, for every product or service they market.
Every young man would do well to remember that all successful business stands on the foundation of morality.
Normally, people give up parliament because they want to do more business or spend more time with family. My wife saidwhy don't you say you're giving up to devote more time to politics?. And it is what I have done.
Standards are always out of date. That is what makes them standards.
The rough broad difference between the American and the European business man is that the latter is anxious to leave his work, while the former is anxious to get to it.
Copying other organizations' activities sounds like industrial espionage to some people, but the truth is that benchmarking is perfectly legal and ethical.
The leader ... is rarely the brightest person in the group. Rather, they have extraordinary taste, which makes them more curators than creators. They are appreciators of talent and nurturers of talent and they have the ability to recognize valuable ideas.
The only way many companies can attract and keep the best people is by offering them more than merely money or prestige - they offer them the chance to make history.
Accounting issues did not cause Enron's stock price to fall - its failed business model did.
Anyone who has lost track of time when using a computer knows the propensity to dream, the urge to make dreams come true and the tendency to miss lunch.
Web users ultimately want to get at data quickly and easily. They don't care as much about attractive sites and pretty design.
If someone thinks they are being mistreated by us, they won't tell 5 people, they'll tell 5000.
The common question that gets asked in business is,why?That's a good question, but an equally valid question is,why not?
There are two kinds of companies, those that work to try to charge more and those that work to charge less. We will be the second.
COMMERCE, n. A kind of transaction in which A plunders from B the goods of C, and for compensation B picks the pocket of D of money belonging to E.
Corporation: An ingenious device for obtaining profit without individual responsibility.
The gambling known as business looks with austere disfavor upon the business known as gambling.
Grand business plans are all very well, but nothing beats dipping your toe in the water.
The wheel that squeaks the loudest is the one that gets the grease.
The first steps to becoming a really great manager are simply common sense; but common sense is not very common.
Not for nothing is their motto TGIF -Thank God It's Friday.They live for the weekends, when they can go do what they really want to do.
Doing the things we do now and doing them better, cheaper and faster will take us so far. But it will not take us far enough. We're going to have to do new things in new ways.
The big danger in mega-mergers is that they are seen as a mating of dinosaurs.
Start with your own money and value your intuition. It's all about endurance in the beginning. Your dream and passion to succeed must be stronger than your fear of failure.
Growth does not always lead a business to build on success. All too often it converts a highly successful business into a mediocre large business.
In a restless, creative business with an emphasis on experiment and development, ideas are the lifeblood.
No one has ever accused us of lagging behind. In fact, I am willing to turn an entire company upside down if it's time to do that. We're in perpetual evolution.
It's easy to make a buck. It's a lot tougher to make a difference.
You are educated. Your certification is in your degree. You may think of it as the ticket to the good life. Let me ask you to think of an alternative. Think of it as your ticket to change the world.
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.
I don't pay attention to what the stock does. If the business does well, the stock eventually follows.
Of one thing be certain: if a C.E.O. is enthused about a particularly foolish acquisition, both his internal staff and his outside advisors will come up with whatever projections are needed to justify his stance. Only in fairy tales are emperors told that they are naked.
One's objective should be to get it right, get it quick, get it out, and get it over ... your problem won't improve with age.
Our favorite holding period is forever.
Take Wrigley's Chewing Gum. I don't think the Internet is going to change how people chew gum.
The attitude of disrespect that many executives have today for accurate reporting is a business disgrace. And auditors ... have done little on the positive side. Though auditors should regard the investing public as their client, they tend to kowtow instead to the managers who choose them and dole out their pay.
The market will pay better to entertain than educate.
The true investor welcomes volatility ... a wildly fluctuating market means that irrationally low prices will periodically be attached to solid businesses.
The truly big investment idea can usually be explained in a short paragraph. We like a business with enduring competitive advantages that is run by able and owner-oriented people. When these attributes exist, and when we can make purchases at sensible prices, it is hard to go wrong.
Wall Street is the only place people ride to in a Rolls Royce to get advice from people who take the subway.
Your goal as an investor ... to purchase, at a rational price, a part interest in an easily-understandable business whose earnings are virtually certain to be materially higher ... years from now. Over time, you will find only a few companies that meet these standards - so when you see one ... buy a meaningful amount of stock.
If you are having as much fun running a big corporation as you did running a piece of it, then you are probably interfering too much with the people who really make it happen.
Any fool can paint a picture, but it takes a wise man to be able to sell it.
IBM is like the Stepford Wives. It takes the best people from the best universities and colleges and then snips out some part of the brain so that they become mindless clones.
You cannot acquire experience by making experiments. You cannot create experience. You must undergo it.
Blessed is he who has found his work; let him ask no other blessedness.
The work an unknown good man has done is like a vein of water flowing hidden underground, secretly making the ground green.
And while the law of competition may be sometimes hard for the individual, it is best for the race, because it ensures the survival of the fittest in every department.
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.
There are two ways to compete - in stable conditions, you plan and you compete on scale. In unstable times, you live by your wits.
There are two parties involved in every corrupt transaction, typically a government official and a business person. Yet those who pay bribes are often depicted as innocent victims ... The reality is that both parties conspire to defraud the public.
Innovation! One cannot be forever innovating. I want to create classics.
There is no time for cut and dried monotony. There is time for work. And time for love. That leaves no other time!
I am certainly not one of those who need to be prodded. In fact, if anything, I am the prod.
The best measure of a man's honesty isn't his income tax return. It's the zero adjust on his bathroom scale.
I find it rather easy to portray a businessman. Being bland, rather cruel and incompetent comes naturally to me.
In every era, society must strike the right balance between the freedom businesses need to compete for a market share and to make profits and the preservation of family and community values.
Too many companies, especially large ones, are driven more and more narrowly by the need to ensure that investors get good quarterly returns and to justify executives' high salaries. Too often, this means that they view most employees as costs.
It is only the very wisest and the very stupidest who cannot change.
The man of virtue makes the difficulty to be overcome his first business, and success only a subsequent consideration.
Accountants and market researchers may be brilliant at examining and analysing facts about the past, but they have no forward vision.
That's what I say about restaurants - the back part is manufacturing, the front part is retailing, the theatre is what holds the whole thing together.
It's a well-known proposition that you know who's going to win a negotiation: it's he who pauses the longest.
Lies, damned lies, and statistics.
Government in the U.S. today is a senior partner in every business in the country.
A cardinal principle of Total Quality escapes too many managers: you cannot continuously improve interdependent systems and processes until you progressively perfect interdependent, interpersonal relationships.
Effective leadership is putting first things first. Effective management is discipline, carrying it out.
For many businesses, the Internet is still a technology in search of a strategy.
Just aslocation, location, locationdefines value in real estate, in business today it's connectivity that equals competitiveness.
Money, it has been said, has two properties. It is flat so that it can be piled up. But it is also round so that it can circulate.
I'm not a driven businessman, but a driven artist. I never think about money. Beautiful things make money.
It's called a pen. It's like a printer, hooked straight to my brain.
The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you. In between, the leader is a servant.
I believe that you have to understand the economics of a business before you have a strategy, and you have to understand your strategy before you have a structure. If you get these in the wrong order, you will probably fail.
If you limit a company by its structure or by the people in the company, you will, by definition, limit the full potential of that business. It sounds basic, but a lot of companies don't follow the idea that the structure should be last and not first.
We're fast approaching the point at which there is really no distinction between the .com companies and traditional businesses. The only distinction will be between the winners and losers, and of course, the pace of change at which companies become winners or losers.
Profit in business comes from repeat customers, customers that boast about your project or service, and that bring friends with them.
Small opportunities are often the beginning of great enterprises.
Here's the rule for bargains:Do other men, for they would do you.That's the true business precept.
When dealing with complexity and uncertainty, trust and openness become critical.
Business, that's easily defined - it's other people's money.
Decisions of the kind the executive has to make are not made well by acclamation. They are made well only if based on the clash of conflicting views ... The first rule in decision-making is that one does not make a decision unless there is disagreement.
Most of what we call management consists of making it difficult for people to get their work done.
Organizations that are change leaders are designed for change. But people need continuity ... they do not function well if the environment is not predictable, not understandable, not known.
If you have one good idea, people will lend you twenty.
You can't trust thespecialslike the old timecopperswhen you can't find your way home.
First get in, then get rich, then get respectable.
Some of them think they have me by the balls, but their hands aren't big enough.
Hell, there are no rules here - we're trying to accomplish something.
Just because something doesn't do what you planned it to do doesn't mean it's useless.
No organizational action has more power for motivating employee behavior change than feedback from credible work associates.
The hardest thing to understand in the world is the income tax.
I find that no matter how long a meeting goes on, the best ideas always come during the final five minutes, when people drop their guard and I ask them what they really think.
Blameless people are always the most exasperating.
We will ship them our garbage. We believe in full disclosure.
You can't win without being completely different. When everyone else says we are crazy, I say, gee we really must be on to something.
Definition of a Statistician: A man who believes figures don't lie, but admits than under analysis some of them won't stand up either.
Definition of Statistics: The science of producing unreliable facts from reliable figures.
Statistics: The only science that enables different experts using the same figures to draw different conclusions.
An expert is someone called in at the last minute to share the blame.
Contracts are agreements made up of big words and little type.
To win against opponents, companies need strategies for three related tasks: outwitting, outmaneuvering, and outperforming competitors.
The decision to do that extra bit must be embedded in the company's culture.
A budget tells us what we can't afford, but it doesn't keep us from buying it.
Ask five economists and you'll get five different answers - six if one went to Harvard.
If you have to forecast, forecast often.
The herd instinct among forecasters makes sheep look like independent thinkers.
Anytime you have a fiercely-competitive, change-oriented growth business where results count and merit matters, women will rise to the top.
Business shouldn't be like sports, separating the men from the women.
No grand idea was ever born in a conference, but a lot of foolish ideas have died there.
At office-managerial level ... you do not read more than the first two sentences of any given report. You believe that anything which cannot be put into two sentences is not worth attending to.
No one has a greater asset for his business than a man's pride in his work.
If the career you have chosen has some unexpected inconvenience, console yourself by reflecting that no career is without them.
If you don't drive your business, you will be driven out of business.
Real riches are the riches possessed inside.
A business that makes nothing but money is a poor business.
A manufacturer is not through with his customer when a sale is completed. He has then only started with his customer.
Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it is black.
Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.
Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.
The man who will use his skill and constructive imagination to see how much he can give for a dollar, instead of how little he can give for a dollar, is bound to succeed.
A company needs smart young men with the imagination and the guts to turn everything upside down if they can. It also needs old figures to keep them from turning upside down those things that ought to be rightside up.
Don't simply retire from something; have something to retire to.
A little neglect may breed mischief ... for want of a nail the shoe was lost.
He that is of the opinion money will do everything may well be suspected of doing everything for money.
In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.
Remember that time is money.
Inflation is one form of taxation that can be imposed without legislation.
By working faithfully eight hours a day you may eventually get to be boss and work twelve hours a day.
The brain is a wonderful organ. It starts working the moment you get up in the morning, and does not stop until you get into the office.
Those who invest only to get rich will fail. Those who invest to help others will probably succeed.
Change is inevitable, but it is in us to control its content and directions.
It is possible for a business venture to be an island of efficiency in a sea of sloth.
It is difficult but not impossible to conduct strictly honest business. What is true is that honesty is incompatible with the amassing of a large fortune.
Seven social sins: politics without principles, wealth without work, pleasure without conscience, knowledge without character, commerce without morality, science without humanity, and worship without sacrifice.
Whosoever controls the volume of money in any country is absolute master of all industry and commerce.... And when you realize the entire system is very easily controlled, one way or another, by a few powerful men at the top, you will not have to be told how periods of inflation and depression originate.
A little blindness is necessary when you undertake risk.
If the 1980s were about quality and the 1990s were about reengineering, then the 2000s will be about velocity.
Take our 20 best people away, and I will tell you that Microsoft would become an unimportant company.
The CEO's role in raising a company's corporate IQ is to establish an atmosphere that promotes knowledge sharing and collaboration.
Every company has two organizational structures: The formal one is written on the charts; the other is the everyday relationships of the men and women in the organization.
In the business world, everyone is paid in two coins: cash and experience. Take the experience first; the cash will come later.
There is a misconception that small is always more beautiful than big.
I buy when other people are selling.
I think a man is a business failure who lets his family life interfere with his business record ... business is no place for him.
If businessmen always made the right decisions, business wouldn't be business.
If you can count your money, you don't have a billion dollars.
If you owe the bank $100 that's your problem. If you owe the bank $100 million, that's the bank's problem.
The meek shall inherit the Earth, but not its mineral rights.
The truly successful businessman is essentially a dissenter, a rebel who is seldom if ever satisfied with the status quo.
It's the classic case of being at the party too early. Nobody was there yet and nobody had had a drink. By the time we got there, the party was raging.
Our work is the presentation of our capabilities.
If you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work.
One of the true tests of leadership is the ability to recognize a problem before it becomes an emergency.
Everything which is properly business we must keep separate from life. Business requires earnestness and method; life must have a freer handling.
The world is first a Coke world, then an orange world, then a lemon-lime world.
A verbal contract isn't worth the paper it's written on.
Everything is always impossible before it works. That is what entrepreneurs are all about - doing what people have told them is impossible.
Even the frankest and bravest of subordinates do not talk with their boss the same way they talk with colleagues.
Columbus didn't have a business plan when he discovered America.
I believe in the value of paranoia. Business success contains the seeds of its own destruction. The more successful you are, the more people want a chunk of your business and then another chunk and then another until there is nothing left.
Let chaos reign, then rein in chaos.
The essence of a company like Intel is execution and strategy. Intel, looked at in another way, is a three-legged stool. One leg is technology - design and silicon technology - another leg is manufacturing, and the third leg is marketing. Whenever Intel did well it was because the three legs were equal. Whenever one of those legs was shorter than the others, we wobbled.
The new environment dictates two rules; first everything happens faster; second, anything that can be done will be done, if not by you, then by someone else, somewhere.
Without an appropriate vision, a transformation effort can easily dissolve into a list of confusing, incompatible and time-consuming projects that go in the wrong direction or nowhere at all.
Bury your ego. Don't be the star. Be the star maker!
When it's time to make a decision about a person or problem ... trust your intuition ... act.
Globalization is an opportunity. Well managed, it will help drive forward efforts to build prosperity and eliminate poverty. Badly managed it will increase the divide between rich and poor.
Never corner an opponent, and always assist him to save his face ... Avoid self-righteousness like the devil - there is nothing so self-blinding.
Keeping dreams alive and trying to make them come true is crucial in the watch business. We're in the business of selling emotional products.
Most of the information we use now is obtained free ... and there is no way of knowing anymore whether the information on which we base our own information for distribution is true or false. But that doesn't seem to matter; all that matters is that the information comes from a reputable source.
People in the company are almost never fired ... they are encouraged to retire early or are eased aside into hollow, insignificant positions with fake functions and no authority where they are sheepish and unhappy for as long as they remain.
People in the Market Research Department ... are not expected to change reality but merely to find it if they can and suggest ingenious ways of disguising it ... converting whole truths into half truths and half truths into whole ones.
The market has no morality.
Others appear frozen in the headlights - aware of the likely impact, yet paralysed by the fear of major transformations.
Effort only fully releases its reward after a person refuses to quit.
The majority of men meet with failure because of their lack of persistence in creating new plans to take the place of those which fail.
To me success can only be achieved through repeated failure and introspection. In fact, success represents 1 per cent of your work which results from the 99 per cent that is called failure.
About the time we can make the ends meet, somebody moves the ends.
Economic depression cannot be cured by legislative action or executive pronouncement. Economic wounds must be healed by the action of the cells of the economic body - the producers and consumers themselves.
The Japanese are masters at making you peel the onion. You get through one layer and you are looking at another one just like it.
Your legacy should be that you made it better than it was when you got it.
Don't study the idea to death with experts and committees. Get on with it and see if it works.
It's not your salary that makes you rich, it's your spending habits.
Stock prices have been quoted in fractions for two centuries, based on a system descended from Spanish pieces of eight. Each dollar was cut into eight bits worth 12.5 cents each.
Whales only get harpooned when they come to the surface, and turtles can only move forward when they stick their neck out, but investors face risk no matter what they do.
Banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies.
I found that there were these incredibly great people at doing certain things, and you couldn't replace one of these people with 50 average people. They could just do stuff that no number of average people could do.
I want to put a ding in the universe.
Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.
Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations.
When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn't really do it, they just saw something ... That's because they were able to connect experiences they've had and synthesize new things.
Too seldom does the world pause to consider how much kinder and more humane business has become since women invaded the market-place.
Well-ventilated, well-lighted, and sanitarily kept workrooms, rest-rooms and other creature comforts provided in factories, stores, and office buildings are largely the results of women's presence in industry.
If you're not happy with yourself, how can you make the customer happy?
People are ambitious and unrealistic. They set targets for themselves that are higher than what you would set for them. And because they set them, they hit them.
The way to get things done is not to mind who gets the credit for doing them.
The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct acting from inner necessity. The creative mind plays with the objects it loves.
Companies that stay ahead of change are ones in which their people see change as something they themselves accomplish and not something that is imposed on them. They see lots of opportunities to take initiative.
The power of the position is giving way to the power of the person. A formal title and its placement on an organization chart have less to do with career prospects and success ... than the skills and ideas a person brings to that work.
There's nothing more demoralizing than having nobody notice good performance ... the successful culture is one that provides constant recognition and applause. At the same time, it breeds a restless dissatisfaction that keeps you challenging yourself to a higher and higher performance.
To stay ahead, you must have your next idea waiting in the wings.
You can always buy something in English, you can't always sell something in English.
Inside every working anarchy, there's an Old Boy Network.
Customers provide you with the most accurate barometer of what's right and wrong.
The more time I spend with our people, the more I find out about our business.
I feel sorry for those who live without competition ... fat, dumb, and unhappy in cradle-to-grave security.
Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate.
High achievement always takes place in the framework of high expectation.
An entrepreneur assumes the risk and is dedicated and committed to the success of whatever he or she undertakes.
Entrepreneurs are risk takers, willing to roll the dice with their money or reputation on the line in support of an idea or enterprise. They willingly assume responsibility for the success or failure of a venture and are answerable for all its facets.
Entrepreneurs are simply those who understand that there is little difference between obstacle and opportunity and are able to turn both to their advantage.
I don't like to hire consultants. They're like castrated bulls: all they can do is advise.
I'd rather sell my shaver myself than pay a fee to some actor to stand up there and sell it when he'll be back next night selling someone else's chocolates or wrist watches.
In business, the competition will bite you if you keep running, if you stand still, they will swallow you.
Information is a negotiator's greatest weapon.
Procrastination is opportunity's assassin.
When my wife bought me a Remington shaver, I was so impressed I bought the company.
You can hype a questionable product for a little while, but you'll never build an enduring business.
Philanthropy is commendable, but it must not cause the philanthropist to overlook the circumstances of economic injustice which make philanthropy necessary.
Quality is not a program that can be simply imposed on an operation; instead it is a way of operating that permeates a business and the thinking of its employees.
Our vision controls the way we think and, therefore, the way we act ... the vision we have of our jobs determines what we do and the opportunities we see or don't see.
True creativity often starts where language ends.
The fastest way to succeed is to look as if you're playing by somebody else's rules, while quietly playing by your own.
Companies worry too much about the cost of doing something. They should worry about the cost of not doing it.
Good customers are an asset which, when well managed and served, will return a handsome lifetime income stream for the company.
What do you do when your competitor's drowning? Get a live hose and stick it in his mouth.
Media people should have long noses like an elephant to smell out politicians, mayors, prime ministers and businessmen. We need to know the reality, the good and the bad, not just the appearance.
Observing your own and your competitor's successes and failures makes your inner business voice more sure and vivid.
Business today is about making decisions amid ambiguity.
The great leaders are like the best conductors - they reach beyond the notes to reach the magic in the players.
The leader who exercises power with honor will work from the inside out, starting with himself.
What we actually learn, from any given set of circumstances, determines whether we become increasingly powerless or more powerful.
Now I have finished with all earthly business, and high time too. Yes, yes, my dear child, now comes death.
Do not trust people. They are capable of greatness.
The man who whispers down a well
About the goods he has to sell
Will not make as many dollars
As the man who climbs the tree and hollers!
We sometimes take for granted the freedom and power of independent thought and action. And only after it's been compromised, do we fully realize how fundamental it is to the pursuit of economic opportunity.
A powerful new idea can kick around unused in a company for years, not because its merits are not recognized, but because nobody has assumed the responsibility for converting it from words to action.
People will buy anything that isone to a customer.
I've found that when it came to doing something I loved and fighting for it, things worked out. If you're going to kill yourself to develop something, you've got to enjoy it.
Business, more than any other occupation, is a continual dealing with the future; it is a continual calculation, an instinctive exercise in foresight.
In business a reputation for keeping absolutely to the letter and spirit of an agreement, even when it is unfavorable, is the most precious of assets, although it is not entered in the balance sheet.
Management is a calling and people ought to be dedicated to it. British managers have far too much security. A poor manager should be dumped. What's at stake is the happiness of society, not the comfort of managers.
It is better to be impetuous than circumspect. Experience shows that (fortune) is more often subdued by men who do this than by those who act coldly.
No enterprise is more likely to succeed than one concealed from the enemy until it is ripe for execution.
If you follow your passion, the money will follow. But if you chase the almighty dollar, you can easily lose that and end up with nothing.
Punctuality is one of the cardinal business virtues: always insist on it in your subordinates.
Successful people are the ones who can think up stuff for the rest of the world to keep busy at.
Business is a combination of war and sport.
The most important quality in a leader is that of being acknowledged as such. All leaders whose fitness is questioned are clearly lacking in force.
The time has now definitely come when every intelligent individual must learn to think globally, beyond the horizon of a narrow nationalist point of view.
The fundamentals of America's economy are strong.
I can tell more about how someone is likely to react in a business situation from one round of golf than I can from a hundred hours of meetings.
If new ideas are the lifeblood of any thriving organization ... managers must learn to revere, not merely tolerate, the people who come up with the ideas.
Make a suggestion or assumption and let them tell you you're wrong. People also have a need to feel smarter than you are.
Never wrestle with a pig. You get dirty and only the pig enjoys himself.
Today, if someone showed me a five-year plan, I'd toss out the pages detailing Years Three, Four, and Five as pure fantasy ... Anyone who thinks he or she can evaluate business conditions five years from now, flunks.
We seriously undervalue the passion ... a person brings to an enterprise. You can rent a brain, but you can't rent a heart.
Only a monopolist could study a business and ruin it by giving away products.
When I find an employee who turns out to be wrong for a job, I feel it is my fault because I made the decision to hire him.
I don't give a damn what the media critics say. It's what your readers say. If you haven't got any readers, you're only talking to yourself.
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.
Monopoly is a terrible thing, till you have it.
The buck stops with the guy who signs the checks.
We're not going global because we want to or because of any megalomania, but because it's really necessary.
I do not really understand the stock market.
It is better to underpromise and overdeliver than vice versa. For this one need not break the law of the land. One has to only think global. Otherwise success will disappear like the dew in the morning sun.
Organizations with decision-making speed and imagination will thrive as nobody can claim to have a monopoly over creativity.
You do not have to be the son of a rich man to be an entrepreneur. Today kids are far more willing to take risks because they've seen high rewards.
I don't think meals have any business being deductible. I'm for separation of calories and corporations.
Generally, large companies are so inwardly directed that staff memorandums about growing bureaucracy get more attention than the dwindling competitive advantage of being big in the first place. David, who has a life, needn't use a slingshot. Goliath, who doesn't, is too busy reading office memos.
Never apologize, mister. It's a sign of weakness.
Truly great brands are far more than just labels for products; they are symbols that encapsulate the desires of consumers; they are standards that are held aloft under which the masses congregate.
Bureaucratic time ... slower than geologic time but more expensive than time spent with Madame Claude's girls in Paris.
Advertising is only evil when it advertises evil things.
Fear leads to self-doubt, which is the worst enemy of creativity.
If it doesn't sell, it isn't creative.
In the modern world of business, it is useless to be a creative, original thinker unless you can also sell what you create.
The more prospects you talk to, the more sales you expose yourself to, the more orders you will get. But never mistake quantity of calls for quality of salesmanship.
You don't stand a tinker's chance of producing successful advertising unless you start doing your homework. I have always found this extremely tedious, but there is no way around it.
In business as on the battlefield, the object of strategy is to bring about the condition most favorable to one's own side.
In Japan, organizations and people in the organization are synonymous.
The secret of business is to know something that nobody else knows.
Every day I get up and look through the Forbes list of the richest people in America. If I'm not there, I go to work.
Decision making by consensus has been the subject of a great deal of research ... evidence strongly suggests that a consensus approach yields more creative decisions and more effective implementation than does individual decision making.
Anyone can build market share and, if you set your prices low enough, you can get the whole damn market.
There are plenty of recommendations on how to get out of trouble cheaply and fast. Most of them come down to the same thing. Deny your responsibility.
I come from an environment where, if you see a snake, you kill it. At General Motors, if you see a snake, the first thing you do is hire a consultant on snakes.
An economist is an expert who will know tomorrow why the things he predicted yesterday didn't happen today.
In a hierarchy every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence ... in time every post tends to be occupied by an employee who is incompetent to carry out its duties ... Work is accomplished by those employees who have not yet reached their level of incompetence.
Almost all quality improvement comes via simplification of design, manufacturing ... layout, processes, and procedures.
The common wisdom is that ... managers have to learn to motivate people. Nonsense. Employees bring their own motivation.
You have a responsibility to shape the vision of a company, and you know whatever process you choose will determine ultimately the well-being of the organization.
Chief executives, who themselves own few shares of their companies, have no more feeling for the average stockholder than they do for baboons in Africa.
We Bishops, in our proper dress, originated the mini-skirt. But we allowed Mary Quant to steal the thunder and make three million quid out of it last year.
Quality is not a thing. It is an event.
Stop competing on price; compete on value. Deliver total consumer solutions, rather than just your piece of the solution.
Women are becoming enormously successful ... They're running their businesses on what we call a familial model, a family, instead of a hierarchical top-down military model. They work with, not over or for.
Competitive strategy is about being different. It means deliberately choosing a different set of activities to deliver a unique mix of values.
Don't let your ego get too close to your position, so that if your position gets shot down, your ego doesn't go with it.
Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.
There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.
Company policymeans there's no understandable reason for this action.
The trouble with opportunity is that it always comes disguised as hard work.
I doubt if there is any occupation which is more consistently and unfairly demeaned, degraded, denounced, and deplored than banking.
But markets today are moving targets. The only way to hit them is to launch your business like a cruise missile.
A friend of mine was asked to a costume ball a short time ago. He slapped some egg on his face and went as a liberal economist.
Inflation is as violent as a mugger, as frightening as an armed robber, and as deadly as a hit man.
So little done, so much to do.
Wages should be left to the fair and free competition of the market, and should never be controlled by the interference of the legislature.
In a small company, one person's hunch can be enough to launch a new product. In a big company, the same concept is likely to be buried in committee for months.
The customer is never wrong.
We should never be allowed to forget that it is the customer who, in the end, determines how many people are employed and what sort of wages companies can afford to pay.
Risk is what an entrepreneur eats for breakfast. It's what she slips into bed with at night. If you have no appetite for this stuff, or no ability to digest it, then get out of the game right now.
A friendship founded on business is better than a business founded on friendship.
By creating conversation, we let our customers spread our message by word of mouth.
If I had to name a driving force in my life, I'd name passion every time.
The cosmetics industry should be promoting health and well-being; instead it hypes an outdated notion of glamour and sells false hopes and fantasies.
The kind of brain-dead, gum chewing assistant you find in so many shops drives me wild. I want everyone who works for me to feel the same excitement that I feel.
Three components make an entrepreneur: the person, the idea and the resources to make it happen.
To run this business ... you need ... optimism, humanism, enthusiasm, intuition, curiosity, love, humour, magic and fun, and that secret ingredient - euphoria.
An economist's guess is liable to be as good as anybody else's.
Don't gamble; take all your savings and buy some good stock and hold it till it goes up, then sell it. If it don't go up, don't buy it.
If you can build a business up big enough, it's respectable.
It's not what you pay a man, but what he costs you that counts.
The invisible hand of the market always moves faster and better than the heavy hand of government.
First-rate people hire first-rate people; second-rate people hire third-rate people.
A banker is a man who lends another man the money of a third man.
To be a leader in this new economy, you have to love risk - which means patterning your life on the heroic, not on the strategic. Acting boldly is better than acting knowingly.
The man who accepts the laissez-faire doctrine would allow his garden to grow wild so that roses might fight it out with the weeds and the fittest might survive.
Behind all its global responsibilities and impersonal style banking is still apeople business... it may be the most personal business of all for it always depends on the original concept of credit, meaning trust.
Profits are the lifeblood of the economic system, the magic elixir upon which progress and all good things depend ultimately. But one man's lifeblood is another man's cancer.
The consumer, so it is said, is the king ... each is a voter who uses his money as votes to get the things done that he wants done.
Finance is the art of passing currency from hand to hand until it finally disappears.
You can never be an entrepreneur if you're afraid to lose money. It's like being a pilot who is afraid of bad weather.
People who are successful simply want it more than people who are not.
One can't say that figures lie. But figures, as used in financial arguments, seem to have the bad habit of expressing a small part of the truth forcibly, and neglecting the other part, as do some people we know.
Success or failure in business is caused more by the mental attitude even than by mental capacities.
Instead of giving contracts to strangers, we decided we could just as well give contracts to our own employees. We would encourage them to leave ... and start their own satellite enterprises.
Quality control 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.
Information is like an oyster. It has its greatest value when it is fresh.
Positive feedback makes the strong grow stronger and the weak grow weaker.
If all the economists were laid end to end, they'd never reach a conclusion.
Leadership is the process of achieving a dream together, especially when that dream seems impossible to achieve.
For lots of big companies, their brand is worth so much to them that they can't endanger their reputation for being a quality company without really endangering their business performance.
Whenever we have compromised on our principles, we and our customers have been the losers.
The work of the individual still remains the spark that moves mankind ahead even more than teamwork.
It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest.
As an anonymous participant in financial markets, I never had to weigh the social consequences of my actions ... I felt justified in ignoring them on the grounds that I was playing by the rules.
Financial markets ... resent any kind of government interference but they hold a belief deep down that if conditions get really tough the authorities will step in.
I am cautious about going against the herd. I am liable to be trampled on.
The prevailing wisdom is that markets are always right. I take the opposite position. I assume that markets are always wrong.
It depends entirely upon the image of you that people have in their minds whether you will climb the ladder slowly, painfully, or with a rapidity that will surprise - and appall - your friends.
Never make concessions.
Bad administration, to be sure, can destroy good policy; but good administration can never save bad policy.
There was a time when a fool and his money were soon parted, but now it happens to everybody.
Try, try, try, and keep on trying is the rule that must be followed to become an expert in anything.
There are two kinds of statistics, the kind you look up and the kind you make up.
The priority in life is to keep an eye on the business and not to get lured into the high social life with groupie-type poseurs who wish to be seen with the new blue-eyed boy.
Reason and judgment are the qualities of a leader.
The religion of economics is where we should above all try to bring about this union of ours ... If this field ceases to be one of warfare, if there we can prove, that not competition but cooperation is the real truth, then indeed we can reclaim from the hands of the Evil One an immense territory for the reign of peace and goodwill.
Be careful, be cautious, do not rush into negotiations ... be careful what you give away now, you may wish you had not done so should in future the balance of forces turn in your favour.
I think that there is nothing, not even crime, more opposed to poetry, to philosophy, ay, to life itself than this incessant business.
We succeed in enterprises which demand the positive qualities we possess, but we excel in those which can also make use of our defects.
To think that the new economy is over is like somebody in London in 1830 saying the entire industrial revolution is over because some textile manufacturers in Manchester went broke.
Sooner or later, those who win are those who think they can.
If you don't do it excellently, don't do it at all. Because if it's not excellent, it won't be profitable or fun, and if you're not in business for fun or profit, what the hell are you doing there?
One of the most important tasks of a manager is to eliminate his people's excuses for failure.
No manufacturing company will ever do well if they are concerned only with calculating profits.
It's a recession when your neighbour loses his job; it's a depression when you lose yours.
I wasn't satisfied just to earn a good living. I was looking to make a statement.
If you're going to be thinking only one thing, you might as well be thinking big.
In the end, you're measured not by how much you undertake but by what you finally accomplish.
My style of dealmaking is quite simple and straightforward. I just keep pushing and pushing to get what I'm after.
Sometimes your best investments are the ones you don't make.
Every few seconds it changes - up an eighth, down an eighth - it's like playing a slot machine. I lose $20 million, I gain $20 million.
My son is now anentrepreneur.That's what you're called when you don't have a job.
It usually takes me more than three weeks to prepare a good impromptu speech.
The timid man yearns for full value and asks a tenth. The bold man strikes for double value and compromises on par.
Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.
Economists report that a college education adds many thousands of dollars to a man's lifetime income - which he then spends sending his son to college.
Business doesn't have to choose between making profit and protecting the environment, between economic success and ethical responsibility, between satisfying the customer and meeting the demands of other stakeholders. In other words, we don't have to make a choice between profits and principles.
I didn't realize it then, but everything I ever needed to know about selling I was learning at my kitchen table: I was learning how to identify, find, and keep customers.
It's one of life's ironies that the more you can prove that you don't need a loan, the better your chances usually are of getting one. This is especially true for start-up businesses.
What's the subject of life - to get rich? All of those fellows out there getting rich could be dancing around the real subject of life.
There is no royal flower-strewn path to success. And if there is, I have not found it for if I have accomplished anything in life it is because I have been willing to work hard.
We need a can-do, vibrant, innovation-driven culture. Not wearing a tie is just a snippet of that.
Our philosophy is that management's role is simply to get the right people in the right places to do a job, and to encourage them to use their own inventiveness to accomplish the task at hand.
There is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else.
We learned from everybody else's book and added a few pages of our own.
Success is more a function of consistent common sense than it is of genius.
Wise are those who learn that the bottom line doesn't always have to be their top priority.
Employees make the best dates. You don't have to pick them up and they're always tax-deductible.
There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. Nobody. You built a factory out there - good for you! But I want to be clear. You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate. You were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for.
Look, you can take anything away from IBM ... but leave our people and this business will re-create itself overnight.
If you aren't playing well, the game isn't as much fun. When that happens I tell myself just to go out and play as I did when I was a kid.
Nothing so conclusively proves a man's ability to lead others as what he does from day to day to lead himself.
There aren't any categories of problems here. There's just one problem. Some of us aren't paying enough attention to our customers.
Whenever an individual or a business decides that success has been attained, progress stops.
You cannot be a success in any business without believing that it is the greatest business in the world ... You have to put your heart in the business and the business in your heart.
You have to put your heart in the business and the business in your heart.
However many people complain about thered tape, it would be sheer illusion to think for a moment that continuous administrative work can be carried out except by means of officials working in offices ... The choice is only that between bureaucracy and dilettantism in the field of administration.
I don't like the word empowerment. I think the word we're really talking about is involvement ... We want everyone to have a say.
The only ideas that count areAideas. There is no second place. That means we have to get everybody in the organization involved. If you do that right, the best ideas will rise to the top.
The point of work-out is to give people better jobs. When people see that their ideas count, their dignity is raised. Instead of feeling numb, like robots, they feel important.
When the rate of change outside exceeds the rate of change inside, the end is in sight.
My rule is always to do the business of the day in the day.
Look at growth, look at how much time people spend on the Net and look at the variety of things that they are doing. It's all really good, so I am actually encouraged by the fundamentals that underlie usage growth on the Net.
As a small businessperson, you have no greater leverage than the truth.
Carpe per diem.
Seize the check.
One man's wage increase is another man's price increase.
Remember, a person who wins success may have been counted out many times before. He wins because he refuses to give up.
Not everyone is capable of being a C.E.O. It means you don't get to pal around with all your employees and that you leave the sorority/fraternity approach to life behind, and you take on a role that is, in some respects, lonely.
In modern business it is not the crook who is to be feared most, it is the honest man who doesn't know what he is doing.
Regard it as just as desirable to build a chicken house as to build a cathedral.
Real salesmen stick until the buyer has used up his lastNo.
They have this wonderful process of learning from direct experience calledAfter Action Review,in which everyone who was involved sits down and the three questions are: What happened? Why do you think it happened? And what can we learn from it? If you were ... able to get those three questions as part of your process, you could become a learning organization.
When you retire ... you go from who's who to who's that, like stepping off the pier (or) achieving statutory senility.
If you want to understand entrepreneurs, you have to study the psychology of the juvenile delinquent. They don't have the same anxiety triggers that we have.
You don't have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.
Founding a company is hard. Most of it isn't smooth. You'll have to make very hard decisions. You have to fire a few people. Therefore, if you don't believe in your mission, giving up is easy. The majority of founders give up. But the best founders don't give up.