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Management Quotes: Management Wisdom

  • Lots of folks confuse bad management with destiny. Kin Hubbard US journalist, humorist
  • Most of what we call management consists of making it difficult for people to get their jobs done- Peter Drucker
  • Lead and inspire people. Don't try to manage and manipulate people. Inventories can be managed but people must be lead. - Ross Perot
  • "The secret of business is to know something that nobody else knows." -Aristotle Onassis.
  • "Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity." -- George S. Patton, military leader

  • I have learned the novice can often see things that the expert overlooks. All that is necessary is not to be afraid of making mistakes, or of appearing naive. Abraham Maslow, psychologist

  • "One machine can do the work of fifty ordinary men. No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man." -- Elbert Hubbard

  • "In every operation there is an above the line and a below the line. Above the line is what you do by the book. Below the line is how you do the job." -- from A Perfect Spy by John Le Carre, espionage novelist

  • "Some regard private enterprise as if it were a predatory tiger to be shot. Others look upon it as a cow that they can milk. Only a handful see it for what it really is - the strong horse that pulls the whole cart." -- Winston Churchill

  • "We must open the doors of opportunity. But we must also equip our people to walk through those doors." -- Lyndon B. Johnson

  • "Take away my people, but leave my factories, and soon grass will grow on the factory floors. Take away my factories, but leave my people, and soon we will have a new and better factory." -- Andrew Carnegie

  • "Conducting your business in a socially responsible way is good business. It means that you can attract better employees and that customers will know what you stand for and like you for it." -- M. Anthony Burns

  • Anyone can do any amount of work provided it isn't the work he's supposed to be doing at the moment. -- Robert Benchley

  • When people go to work, they shouldn't have to leave their hearts at home. -- Betty Bender

  • Only positive consequences encourage good future performances. -- Kenneth H. Blanchard

  • There is no future in any job. The future lies in the man who holds the job. -- George Crane

  • If I had only known, I would have been a locksmith. -- Albert Einstein

  • 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. -- Robert Frost

  • Good hours, excellent pay, fun place to work, paid training, mean boss. Oh well, four out of five isn't bad. -- Help Wanted Ad, PA newspaper,

  • My father taught me to work; he did not teach me to love it. -- Abraham Lincoln

  • Executive ability is deciding quickly and getting someone else to do the work. -- John G. Pollard

  • Of course, it is very important to be sober when you take an exam. Many worthwile careers in the street-cleansing, fruit-picking and subway-guitar-playing industries have been founded on a lack of understanding of this simple fact. -- Terry Pratchett, Moving Pictures

  • Disbelief in magic can force a poor soul into believing in government and business. -- Tom Robbins

  • Whenever you are asked if you can do a job, tell 'em, "Certainly, I can!" Then get busy and find out how to do it. -- Theodore Roosevelt

  • In a hierarchy, every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence. Therefore: 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. -- The Peter Principle

  • Work is a four-letter word. -- The Smiths (Morrissey)

  • Work is the refuge of people who have nothing better to do. -- Oscar Wilde

  • The majority of business men are not capable of an original thought,
    simply because they cannot escape the tyranny of reason.- David Ogilvy

  • It is not the purpose of the ad or commercial to make the reader or listener say 'My, what a clever ad.' It is the purpose of advertising to make the reader or listener say, 'I believe I'll buy one when I'm shopping tomorrow' - Morris Hite

  • No agency is better than its account executives.- Morris Hite

  • There is no such thing as 'soft sell' and 'hard sell.' There is only 'smart sell' and 'stupid sell.
    Charles Browder

  • An image . . . is not simply a trademark, a design, a slogan or an easily remembered picture. It is a studiously crafted personality profile of an individual, institution, corporation, product or service. - Daniel Boorstin

  • Paralysis by Analysis - Take Action! 

  • For the desert, a camel is better than a horse. On selecting leadership qualities and personalities for different business environments - Med Jones

  • The trouble with the rat race is that even if you win you are still a rat! -Lily Tomlin

  • What's the going price on integrity this week?- Orson Welles

  • Hating people is like burning down your own house to get rid of a rat.- Harry Emerson Fosdick

  •  It is impossible to make anything foolproof, because fools are so ingenious. - Roger Berg

  • The certain proof that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe 
    is that no one has bothered to make contact with us - Anonymous

  • I haven't failed, I've found 10,000 ways that don't work. - Ben Franklin

  • I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to death your right to say it - Voltaire

  • My dear child, you must believe in God despite what the clergy tells you.- Benjamin Jowett

  • Impossible only means that you haven't found the solution yet. -Unknown "

  • A company is known by the people it keeps. - Unknown

  • Few great men could pass Personnel.- Paul Goodman

  • A recent government publication on the marketing of cabbage contains, according to one report, 26,941 words. It is noteworthy in this regard that the Gettysburg Address contains a mere 279 words while the Lord's Prayer comprises but 67. Norman Augustine author, business executive 

  • A single idea, if it is right, saves us the labor of an infinity of experiences. Jacques Maritain philosopher 

  • A strange, horrible business, but I suppose good enough for Shakespeare's day. Queen Victoria royalty

  • A theory has only the alternative of being right or wrong. A model has a third possibility - it may be right but irrelevant. Manfred Eigen British royalty 

  • A thousand things advance; nine hundred and ninety-nine retreat: that is progress. Henri Frederic Amiel writer 

  • Ability is nothing without opportunity. Napoleon Bonaparte soldier, emperor 

  • Action without study fatal. Study without action is futile. Mary Ritter Beard historian, writer 

  • Advertising is legalized lying. H. G. Wells writer 

  • Advertising is the rattling of a stick inside a swill bucket. George Orwell novelist, critic 

  • Advertising isn't a science. It's persuasion. And persuasion is an art. William Bernbach advertising executive, copywriter 

  • After an instrument has been assembled, extra components will be found on the work bench. Arthur Bloch 

  • All I say is, nobody has any business to go around looking like a horse and behaving as if it were all right. You don't catch horses going around looking like people, do you? Dorothy Parker author, poet, journalist, humorist 

  • All business depends upon men fulfilling their responsibilities. Mahatma Gandhi  philosopher 

  • All business sagacity reduces itself in the last analysis to a judicious use of sabotage. Thorstein Veblen economist, social scientist 

  • All business success rests on something labeled a sale, which at least momentarily weds company and customer. Tom Peters consultant, author

  • All that I know I learned after I was thirty. Georges Clemenceau  statesman 

  • All that non-fiction can do is answer questions. It's fiction's business to ask them. Richard Hughes  author, dramatist 

  • Amateurs hope. Professionals work. Garson Kanin playwright

  • America looks 10 minutes ahead; Japan looks 10 years. Akio Morita, playwright, producer 

  • American business has just forgotten the importance of selling. Barry Goldwater, politician 

  • An executive is someone who makes a decision quickly and gets somebody else to do the work. Joe Moore

  • Most economists understand the behavior of individual market forces, but few understand the complex dynamics of their interactions. A good economist is not the one who understands factors of production or supply and demand, but the one who can formulate economic policies to shape the driving forces behind them- Med Jones

  • Money does motivate but only for a short time and only as long as it serves as a measure of worth or of power or of victory. James L. Hayes  Leadership

  • Most companies spend all their time looking for another management concept and very little time following up the one they have just taught their managers. Kenneth Blanchard 

  • My objective as Secretary of Labor is to look through the 'glass ceiling' to see who is on the other side, and to serve as a catalyst for change . . . . Elizabeth Dole government official, business executive 

  • Never inject a man into the top, if it can be avoided. In a big organization, to have to do that, I think, is a reflection on management, Of course there are always exceptional cases. Alfred P. Sloan, Jr.  auto executive 

  • People fail forward to success. Mary Kay Ash businesswoman 

  • The first myth of management is that it exists. The second myth of management is that success equals skill. Robert Heller editor 

  • The highest art of professional management requires the literal ability to 'smell' a 'real fact' from all others. Harold S. Geneen  businessman Managing

  • The kind of people I look for to fill top management spots are the eager beavers, the mavericks. These are the guys who try to do more than they're expected to do -- they always reach. Lee Iacocca auto business executive 

  • The secret to winning Is constant, consistent management. Tom Landry  football coach 

  • The worst disease which can afflict business executives in their work is not, as popularly supposed, alcoholism; it's egotism. Harold S. Geneen businessman 

  • Theatre director: a person engaged by the management to conceal the fact that the players cannot act. James Agate  critic, author 

  • There were times when it seemed to him that the different parts of him were not all under the same management. Russell Hoban  novielist, children's book author, artis 

  • Those why try to paint a management picture 'by the numbers' will always be amateurs. James L. Hayes Leadership

  • Unless people can express themselves well in ordinary English, they don't know what they are talking about. Russell Ackoff 

  • We aim to give a 'wake-up call' to businesses, to alert them to the fact that the next 'fair-haired boy' of their organization just might be a woman. Elizabeth Dole US government official, business executive 

  • When a management with a reputation for brilliance tackles a business with a reputation for bad economics, it is the reputation of the business that remains intact. Warren Buffett business executive 

  • When it comes to housework the one thing no book of household management can ever tell you is how to begin. Or maybe, I mean why. Katharine Whitehorn  writer

  • "Little girls, I am in the business of putting old heads on young shoulders, and all my pupils are the cr me de la cr me. Give me a girl at an impressionable age and she is mine for life." Maggie Smith actress 

  • "Look at me: I worked my way up from nothing to a state of extreme poverty." Groucho Marx comedian 

  • "She wished to find out about this hazardous business of "passing," this breaking away from all that was familiar and friendly to take one's chances in another environment, not entirely strange, perhaps, but certainly not entirely friendly." Nella Larsen novelist 

  • 'Tis the business of little minds to shrink; but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death. Thomas Paine philosopher

  • 'Tis the part of a wise man to keep himself today for tomorrow, and not venture all his eggs in one basket. Miguel de Cervantes novelist, dramatist, poet 

  • A "tired businessman" is one whose business is usually not a successful one. Joseph Grundy novelist, dramatist, poet 

  • A celebrity is a person who works hard all his life to become well known, then wears dark glasses to avoid being recognized. Fred Allen comedian

  • A computer does not substitute for judgment any more than a pencil substitutes for literacy. But writing without a pencil is no particular advantage. Robert McNamara politician

  • A desk is a dangerous place from which to watch the world. John LeCarre novelist 

  • A failure will not appear until a unit has passed final inspection. Arthur Bloch 

  • A farmer, a hunter, a soldier, a reporter, even a philosopher, may be daunted; but nothing can deter a poet, for he is actuated by pure love. Who can predict his comings and goings? His business calls him out at all hours, even when doctors sleep. Henry David Thoreau essayist, poet, naturalist 

  • A first-rate soup is more creative than a second rate painting. Abraham Maslow psychologist, philosopher 

  • A friendship founded on business is better than a business founded on friendship. John D. Rockefeller, Jr. oil magnate, philanthropist 

  • A good listener is not only popular everywhere, but after a while he knows something. Wilson Mizner playwright, author 

  • A great wind is blowing, and that gives you either imagination or a headache. Catherine the Great empress 

  • A leader has to 'appear' consistent. That doesn't mean he has to be consistent. James Callaghan labour ,party leader 

  • A leader must have the courage to act against an expert's advice. James Callaghan labour party leader 

  • A leading New York cultural institution was to undertake a costly study to find out which of its exhibits was the most popular. Just before the consulting contract was signed, a committee member suggested asking the janitor where he had to mop the most. Marilyn Machlowitz labour party leader 

  • A little inaccuracy sometimes saves tons of explanation. Saki  short-story writer 

  • A man is not old until regrets take the place of dreams. John Barrymore  actor 

  • A man to carry on a successful business must have imagination. He must see things as in a vision, a dream of the whole thing. Charles Schwab manufacturer 

  • A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way. Mark Twain novelist, journalist, river pilot 

  • A person who is too nice an observer of the business of the crowd, like one who is too curious in observing the labor of bees, will often be stung for his curiosity. Alexander Pope  poet 

  • A professional is a man who can do his best at a time when he doesn't particularly feel like it. Alistair Cooke journalist, broadcaster 

  • A reader who quarrels with postulates, who dislikes Hamlet because he does not believe that there are ghosts or that people speak in pentameters, clearly has no business in literature. Northrop Frye literary critic, educator

  • Management learning starts as science then transforms into art. Begins as psychology and matures as a philosophy - Med Jones

  • "I'd like to ask each and every one of you how many remarkable people, or people of any kind, you personally have discovered or brought in in the last year. That's a job that I think is too vital for you to delegate... what kind of people should you discover and hire? Well, policemen and tobacco farmers, not MBAs! Clients have got MBAs! Hire the kind of people clients don't have and wouldn't dream of hiring. Don't go to the clients with a lot of guys who are like theirs, only not so good -- you have to remember that clients can afford to pay far more than we can for MBAs."- David Ogilvy

  • A mediocre idea that generates enthusiasm will go further than a great idea that inspires no one. Mary Kay Ash

  • British management doesn't seem to understand the importance of the human factor. Prince of Wales Charles

  • Concentration is the secret of strength in politics, in war, in trade, in short in all management of human affairs. Ralph Waldo Emerson

  • Effective management always means asking the right question.

  • Effective managers live in the present -- but concentrate on the future. James L. Hayes

  • Events that are predestined require but little management. They manage themselves. They slip into place while we sleep, and suddenly we are aware that the thing we fear to attempt, is already accomplished.

  • Good management consists in showing average people how to do the work of superior people.

  • Good management consists of showing average people how to do the work of superior people. John D. Rockefeller

  • Good management is better than good income. Portuguese Proverb

  • I definitely am going to take a course on time management . . . just as soon as I can work it into my schedule. Louis Boone

  • If a sufficient number of management layers are superimposed on top of each other, it can be assured that disaster is not left to chance. Norman Augustine, author 

  • It is an immutable law in business that words are words, explanations are explanations, promises are promises but only performance is reality. Harold S. Geneen, businessman On why management sometimes accepts underachievement, "Managing," with Alvin Moscow.

  • It will generally be found that men who are constantly lamenting their ill luck are only reaping the consequences of their own neglect, mismanagement, and improvidence, or want of application. Samuel Smiles, author

  • Management is about arranging and telling. Leadership is about nurturing and enhancing. Tom Peters consultant, author

  • Management is efficiency in climbing the ladder of success; leadership determines whether the ladder is leaning against the right wall. Stephen R. Covey consultant, author

  • Management manages by making decisions and by seeing that those decisions are implemented. Harold S. Geneen businessman

  • Management must speak with one voice. When it doesn't management itself becomes a peripheral opponent to the team's mission. Pat Riley basketball coach

  • Many people equate good management with perfection. This is a fallacy. If perfection could be achieved, there would be no need for management. James L. Hayes Leadership

  • An economic forecaster is like a cross-eyed javelin thrower: they don't win many accuracy contests, but they keep the crowd's attention. -- Anonymous
  • Teach a parrot the terms "supply and demand" and you've got an economist. -- Thomas Carlyle
  • In all recorded history there has not been one economist who has had to worry about where the next meal would come from. -- Peter F. Drucker.
  • An economist is a man who states the obvious in terms of the incomprehensible. -- Alfred A. Knopf
  • If all economists were laid end to end, they would not reach a conclusion. -- George Bernard Shaw
  • A good economist is
  • Door meten tot weten. (knowledge by measurement) Kammerlingh

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 Last Updated: November 22, 2018.