Quote: Leadership vs management

Ross Perot is 78 years old today. He is a successful businessman (founder of both Electronic Data Systems and Perot Systems), one of the wealthiest people in America, and a former presidential candidate (1992 and 1996).

“Lead and inspire people. Don’t try to manage and manipulate people. Inventories can be managed but people must be led.”

Ross Perot (b. 6.27.1930)

Quote: What is genius?

In honor of his birthday (2/11/1847), a quote from Thomas Alva Edison:

“Genius is one percent inspiration, and ninety-nine percent perspiration.”

Quote: Character

Woodrow Wilson (no relation) was born 151 years ago today.

If you lose your wealth, you have lost nothing. If you lose your health, you have lost something. But if you lose your character, you have lost everything.

Woodrow Wilson

28th President of the United States (b. 12.28.1856 – d. 02.03.1924)

Quote: Seeking

Today we celebrate the birthday of my all-time favorite teacher, who once said:

Keep looking, and you will find… Everyone who seeks, finds.

Quote: Finding truth

Today’s quote comes from Sir Winston Churchill, former British Prime Minister (1940 to 1945, and 1951 to 1955), prolific author, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature (1953), and one of the greatest orators of the 20th century.

Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing ever happened.

The Right Honorable Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill

(b. 11.30.1874 – d. 1.24.1965)

I found this quote to be particularly provocative from many perspectives:

  • The frequency of the encounter – Churchill suggests that we encounter truth only occasionally.
  • The serendipitous nature of the encounter – Churchill suggests that truth is “stumbled upon.”
  • Our unawareness of the encounter – Churchill suggests that we often don’t recognize truth when we see it.

Is truth so elusive?

Perhaps it’s not that truth is so elusive, but that we spend little energy in seeking Truth.

Quote: You can’t do it all

One thing I’ve learned in life is that I am not designed to work alone. Two people working together can accomplish far more than those two people working independently. This is one of those truths that almost everybody readily acknowledges, yet quickly forgets. There lurks within me a streak of independence that loathes to ask for help, so I often end up spending too much time on a project, doing sloppy work on the project, or not completing the project.

Trying to do everything myself not only robs me, but it also had a negative affect on those around me.

  • My stress increases, so I have less patience for those around me.
  • Other people have to work on or complete projects that I might otherwise be able to work on.
  • I’m not transferring skills to others.
  • I’m not building relationships with others.

Yes, these seem like obvious points, but perhaps I needed a little reminder, courtesy of Andrew Carnegie. Carnegie founded and built Carnegie Steel Company (later US Steel) into one of the world’s largest companies, and in the process became one of the world’s wealthiest men. He was born 172 years ago today.

No man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself, or to get all the credit for doing it.

Andrew Carnegie (b. 11.25.1835 – d. 8.11.1919)

Quote: Commitment

Peter Drucker — business professor, management consultant, author of 39 books and countless journal articles — influenced a whole generation (at least) of business leaders and managers. He was born 98 years ago today.

Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes… but no plans.

Peter F. Drucker (b. 11.19.1909 – d. 11.11.2005)

Quote: Creating leaders

Happy Birthday, Tom!

Today’s birthday quote honors one of my (well, shoot — one of everybody’s) favorite business writers and thinkers, Tom Peters.

Leaders don’t create followers, they create more leaders.

Tom Peters (b. 11.7.1942)

Quote: Don’t sit there

Growing up just a few miles from Will Rogers’ hometown in Oklahoma, we were frequently regaled with his wit and wisdom. His legend loomed large over the local culture, and his name graced everything from streets to schools to buildings.

One of my favorite quotes from Will Rogers:

Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.

Will Rogers (b. 11/4/1879 – d. 8/15/1935)

Quote: Success

Bill Gates celebrates his 52nd birthday today. As the world’s richest man for 13 years running (Forbes “400 List” 1993-2006), Gates has certainly earned the right offer a bit of wisdom about about success.

Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.

- Bill Gates (b. 10/28/1955)

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