I have never compared myself to my managers ... although I have made some big financial decisions on my own and decided on new investments, I have never involved myself in managerial decisions.
A mediocre idea that generates enthusiasm will go further than a great idea that inspires no one.
For every failure, there's an alternative course of action. You just have to find it. When you come to a roadblock, take a detour.
If you think you can, you can. And if you think you can't, you're right.
Sandwich every bit of criticism between two layers of praise.
When you apply the word power to a man, it means strong and bold - very positive attributes. When you use it to describe a woman, it suggests bitchy, insensitive, hard.
You can't permit a honeymoon of small changes over a year or two. A long series of small changes just prolongs the pain.
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.
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?
Grand business plans are all very well, but nothing beats dipping your toe in the water.
Only through curiosity can we discover opportunities, and only through gambling can we take advantage of them.
The one thing computers have done is let us make bigger mistakes. We have to be careful not to depend on our machines.
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.
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.
I believe in benevolent dictatorships, provided I am the dictator.
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.
The kinds of people we employ are not afraid of taking risks. If someone mucks up, they don't get a bollocking from me. They know they've mucked up and they redouble their efforts.
We spend most of our lives working. So why do so few people have a good time doing it?
I don't pay attention to what the stock does. If the business does well, the stock eventually follows.
I've learned the perimeter of my circle of confidence.
Of one thing be certain: if a CEO 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.
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 fact that people will be full of greed, fear, or folly is predictable. The sequence is not predictable.
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.
A good manager is a man who isn't worried about his own career but rather the careers of those who work for him. My advice: Don't worry about yourself. Take care of those who work for you and you'll float to greatness on their achievements.
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.
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.
Men who continue hoarding great sums all their lives, the proper use of which for the public ends would work good to the community, should be made to feel that the community, in the form of the state, cannot thus be deprived of its proper share. By taxing estates heavily at death the state marks its condemnation of the selfish millionaire's unworthy life.
Never speculate ... if you have savings, invest them in solid securities, lands, or property. The man who gambles upon the exchanges is in the condition of the man who gambles at the gaming table. He rarely, if ever, makes a permanent success.
The man who dies rich dies disgraced.
I say what I mean, you hear what I say. That is the end of it.
How many cares one loses when one decides not to be something but to be someone.
Success is often achieved by those who don't know that failure is inevitable.
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.
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.
Ideas are a commodity. Execution of them is not.
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.
It's fun to do things that people don't think are possible or likely.
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.
Of all the things I've done, the most vital is coordinating the talents of those who work for us and pointing them towards a certain goal.
If you look after the customers and look after the people who look after the customers, you should be successful.
Imagine life as a game in which you are juggling five balls in the air. You name them - work, family, health, friends, and spirit - and you're keeping all of these in the air. You will soon understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. But the other four balls - family, health, friends, and spirit are made of glass. If you drop one of these, they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged, or even shattered. They will never be the same. You must understand that and strive for balance in your life.
First get in, then get rich, then get respectable.
People are the lifeblood of any airline, and it is the people of BA who will deliver its future success.
Failing is good as long as it doesn't become a habit.
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.
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.
The decision to do that extra bit must be embedded in the company's culture.
Business shouldn't be like sports, separating the men from the women.
I realised that if you want to change something, nine times out of ten you can change it more effectively from within.
If you don't drive your business, you will be driven out of business.
Education's purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one.
To measure the man, measure his heart.
Growth is like creativity, it doesn't go along very neat, precise plans. You get clogged highways before you figure out a way to open up capacity. You get pollution before you figure out a way to fight it.
A business that makes nothing but money is a poor business.
A handful of men have become very rich by paying attention to details that most others ignored.
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.
Sometimes it is the menhigher upwho most need revamping - and they themselves are the last to recognize it.
There are only two fools in this world. One is the millionaire who thinks that by hoarding money he can somehow accumulate real power, and the other is the penniless reformer who thinks that if only he can take the money away from one class and give it to another, all the world's ills will be cured.
Whether you believe you can, or whether you believe you can't, you're absolutely right.
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.
A little blindness is necessary when you undertake risk.
I'm not an educator ... I'm a learner.
If the 1980s were about quality and the 1990s were about reengineering, then the 2000s will be about velocity.
Passionate leadership won't succeed if contradictory signals are sent out.
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.
We rely on skilled foreign workers for their math, science, and creative abilities as well as their cultural knowledge, which helps when localizing products for world markets.
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.
It is practically impossible for a top management man, or even middle management, to be doing the degree and level of work that he should be doing and, at the same time, have a clean desk.
You can know a person by the kind of desk he keeps ... If the president of a company has a clean desk ... then it must be the executive vice president who is doing all the work.
There is a misconception that small is always more beautiful than big.
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.
The truly successful businessman is essentially a dissenter, a rebel who is seldom if ever satisfied with the status quo.
Praise should always be given in public, criticism should always be given in private.
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.
It is extremely important that you show some insensitivity to your past in order to show the proper respect for the future.
The world is first a Coke world, then an orange world, then a lemon-lime world.
You can only stumble if you're moving.
A verbal contract isn't worth the paper it's written on.
Bromidic though it may sound, some questions don't have answers, which is a terribly difficult lesson to learn.
If one is rich and one's a woman, one can be quite misunderstood.
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.
You can't treat your people like an expense item.
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.
You have to penetrate a woman's defenses. Getting into her head is a prerequisite to getting into her body.
Bury your ego. Don't be the star. Be the star maker!
Failure is a learning experience. It can be a gravestone or a stepping stone.
Greed is even more contagious than fear.
When it's time to make a decision about a person or problem ... trust your intuition ... act.
I'm not an entrepreneur. I like rules too much and entrepreneurs break rules.
Change is an attitude of mind and the place to start is within ourselves.
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.
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.
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.
The real impediment to producing a higher-quality product more efficiently isn't the workers, union or nonunion, it's management.
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.
We have a very simple, clear organization. It's very easy to know who has authority for what, who has responsibility for what. There's no politics about it, they're virtually politics-free organizations.
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.
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.
What did it for me? It wasn't my education or experience. It was my passion.
Customers provide you with the most accurate barometer of what's right and wrong.
I think leadership is valuing the time you spend with your people more than anything else you do.
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.
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 see nothing wrong with power as long as I am the fellow who has it.
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.
What do you do when your competitor's drowning? Get a live hose and stick it in his mouth.
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 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!
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.
You're fired!No other words can so easily and succinctly reduce a confident, self-assured executive to an insecure, groveling shred of his former self.
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.
Big things and little things are my job. Middle level management can be delegated.
The tail tracks the head. If the head moves fast the tail will keep up the same pace. If the head is sluggish, the tail will drop.
Shifting toward management meant greater responsibility and influence, but it also meant giving up programming day-to-day in my role, which was hard because it took me out of my comfort zone.
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.
If you aren't afraid to fail, then you probably don't care enough about success.
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.
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.
We're not going global because we want to or because of any megalomania, but because it's really necessary.
Human resources are the greatest assets of any company. You can raise tariffs or prevent MNCs from entering, but one can't stop the employees from leaving if they are dissatisfied.
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.
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.
The best way to guarantee a steady stream of new ideas is to make sure that each person in your organization is as different as possible from the others. Under these conditions, and only these conditions, will people maintain varied perspectives and demonstrate their knowledge in different ways.
Show me a man who enjoys firing people and I'll show you a charlatan or sadist.
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.
A chairman who never wanders about his agency becomes a hermit, out of touch with his staff.
Advertising is only evil when it advertises evil things.
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.
If it doesn't sell, it isn't creative.
Anyone can build market share and, if you set your prices low enough, you can get the whole damn market.
We have a technique at Hewlett-Packard for helping managers and supervisors know their people and understand the work their people are doing ... Management by Walking About.
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.
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.
Having money is rather like being a blond. It is more fun but not vital.
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.
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 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.
To run this business ... you need ... optimism, humanism, enthusiasm, intuition, curiosity, love, humour, magic and fun, and that secret ingredient - euphoria.
To succeed you have to believe in something with such a passion that it becomes a reality.
I believe in hard work. It keeps the wrinkles out of the mind and spirit.
People who are successful simply want it more than people who are not.
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.
It's better to be the head of a chicken than the tail of a cow.
Leadership is the process of achieving a dream together, especially when that dream seems impossible to achieve.
Whenever we have compromised on our principles, we and our customers have been the losers.
Of all business activities, 99% are routine ... The entire 100% can be handled by managing the 1% of exceptions.
Administrators are cheap and easy to find and cheap to keep. Leaders - risk takers: they are in very short supply. And ones with vision are pure gold.
I would say that hardware is the bone of the head, the skull. The semiconductor is the brain within the head. The software is the wisdom and data is the knowledge.
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 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.
There should be some professional exam for these analysts. Most of the time they talk through their backsides.
Don't be afraid to be unique or speak your mind because that's what makes you different from everyone else.
Whether it's choosing a career or deciding what charity to get involved with, the choice should come from your heart. Ultimately, you are the one who has to get up every morning and enjoy what you are doing, so make sure it matters to you.
Nobody should be chief executive officer of anything for more than five or six years. By then he's stale, bored, and utterly dependent upon his own cliches.
No manufacturing company will ever do well if they are concerned only with calculating profits.
I wasn't satisfied just to earn a good living. I was looking to make a statement.
If you don't have passion ... you might as well give up ... you have no chance of making it. Passion is the essence of life, and certainly the essence of success.
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.
If you have an olive, you want an olive tree. You want a little more. You want the whole tree.
The more good I do, the more money has come in. You have to learn to give. You're not born to give. You're born selfish.
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.
I like to dress egos.
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.
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.
An environment which calls for perfection is not likely to be easy. But aiming for it is always good for progress.
I want to begin with what I think is the most important factor: our respect for the individual. This is a simple concept, but in IBM it occupies a major portion of management time.
If you stand up and be counted, from time to time you may get yourself knocked down. But remember this: A man flattened by an opponent can get up again. A man flattened by conformity stays down for good.
Look, you can take anything away from IBM ... but leave our people and this business will re-create itself overnight.
There aren't any categories of problems here. There's just one problem. Some of us aren't paying enough attention to our customers.
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.
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.
Insecure managers create complexity.
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 own success was attended by quite a few failures along the way. But I refused to make the biggest mistake of all: worrying too much about making mistakes.
Sometimes the first step is the hardest: coming up with an idea. Coming up with an idea should be like sitting on a pin - it should make you jump up and do something.
The most successful people are those who take pride in their work, pride in their family ... It is great to attain wealth, but money is really just one way - and hardly the best way - to keep score.
Not everyone is capable of being a CEO. 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.
I believe in my own possibilities, and I feel I can do it all.
I was like a hit album waiting to be released. I knew my day would come.
You have to surround yourself with people you trust, and people that are good. But they also have to be people who will tell the emperor you have no clothes.
A few yes men may be born, but mostly they are made. Fear is a great breeder of them.
Real salesmen stick until the buyer has used up his lastNo.
When two men always agree, one of them is unnecessary.
From leaders, we need clear, consistent and honest attention to the identity of the organization. Identity shows up in our actions, our visions, our relationships inside and out of the organization. Identity gets deepened as we do the work.
Jugment comes from experience - and experience comes from bad judgment.
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.