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Home > Financial Quotes > Executives

Financial Quotes

Executives Quotes

  • "The nature of the job is you only hear problems—I guess that's what a CEO's job is."
    William Clay Ford, Jr (1957–), US executive chairman and former CEO of Ford Motor Company
    Source: Interview, Fortune (November 2002)
  • "Their problem is that they play a lot of golf, which is right up there with heroin abuse as a killer of our nation's productivity. The only difference is that golf is more expensive."
    Dave Barry (1947–), US humorist
    Referring to executives.
    Source: Interview, Fortune (July 7, 1997)
  • "The biggest change in the workplace of the future will be the widespread realization that having one idiot boss is a much higher risk than having many idiot clients."
    Scott Adams (1957–), US cartoonist and humorist
    Source: The Dilbert Principle (1996)
  • "Some years back, a CEO friend of mine—in jest, it must be said—described the pathology of many big deals … With an impish look, he simply said: Aw, fellas, all the other kids have one."
    Warren Buffett (1930–), US entrepreneur and financier
    Source: Chairman’s letter to shareholders (March 7, 1995)
  • "There is nothing more short term than a 60-year-old CEO holding a fistful of share options."
    Gary Hamel (1954–), US academic, business writer, and consultant
    Source: Competing for the Future (cowritten with C. K. Prahalad, 1994)
  • "Successful executives are great askers."
    Warren Bennis (1925–), US educator and writer
    Source: Beyond Leadership: Balancing Economics, Ethics and Ecology (cowritten with Jagdish Parikh and Ronnie Lessem, 1994)
  • "From now on, choosing my successor is the most important decision I'll make. It occupies a considerable amount of thought almost every day."
    Jack Welch (1935–), US former CEO and chairman of General Electric
    Source: Quoted in The New GE (Robert Slater, 1993)
  • "The trouble with corporate America is that too many people with too much power live in a box (their home), travel the same road every day to another box (their office)."
    Faith Popcorn (1947–), US trend expert and founder of BrainReserve
    Source: The Popcorn Report (1991)
  • "An overburdened, stretched executive is the best executive, because he or she doesn't have time to meddle, to deal in trivia, to bother people."
    Jack Welch (1935–), US former CEO and chairman of General Electric
    Source: “Quotes of the Year,” Financial Times (London) (December 30, 1989)
  • "I always say to executives that they should go and see King Lear, because they'll be out there one day, wandering on the heath without a company car."
    Charles Handy (1932–), Irish business executive and author
    Source: Interview, The Times (London) (April 12, 1989)
  • "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."
    Jean Baudrillard (19292007), French philosopher
    Source: Cool Memories (1987)
  • "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."
    T. Boone Pickens (1928–), US oil company executive and financier
    Source: Harvard Business Review (May–June 1986)
  • "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."
    Harold S. Geneen (19101997), US telecommunications entrepreneur and CEO of ITT
    Source: Managing (cowritten with Alvin Moscow, 1984)
  • "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."
    Mark McCormack (19302003), US entrepreneur, founder and CEO of International Management Group
    Source: What They Don't Teach You at Harvard Business School (1984)
  • "The salary of the chief executive of the large corporation is not a market reward for achievement. It is frequently in the nature of a warm personal gesture by the individual to himself."
    J. K. Galbraith (19082006), US economist and diplomat
    Source: Annals of an Abiding Liberal (1979)
  • "One lesson a man learns from Harvard Business School is that an executive is only as good as his health."
    Jeffrey, Lord Archer (1940–), British novelist and politician
    Source: Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less (1976)
  • "The chief executive … like a juggler keeps a number of projects in the air: periodically one comes down, is given a new burst of energy, and is sent back into orbit."
    Henry Mintzberg (1939–), Canadian academic and management theorist
    Source: “The Manager’s Job: Folklore and Fact,” Harvard Business Review (July–August 1975)
  • "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 clichés."
    Robert Townsend (19201998), US business executive and author
    Source: Up the Organization (1970)
  • "When I’ve had a rough day, before I go to sleep I ask myself if there’s anything more I can do right now. If there isn’t, I sleep sound."
    L. L. Colbert (19051995), US chairman of Chrysler Corporation
    Source: Newsweek (1955)
  • "A molehill man is a pseudo-busy executive who comes to work at 9 a.m. and finds a molehill on his desk. He has until 5 p.m. to make this molehill into a mountain. An accomplished molehill man will often have his mountain finished before lunch."
    Fred Allen (18941956), US comedian and satirist
    Source: Treadmill to Oblivion (1954)
  • "Regarded as a means, the businessman is tolerable. Regarded as an end, he is not so satisfactory."
    John Maynard Keynes (18831946), British economist
    Source: Essays in Persuasion (1931)
  • "Executive: A man who can make quick decisions and is sometimes right."
    Frank McKinney Hubbard (18681930), US humorist
    Source: The Roycroft Dictionary (1923)
  • "The heroic role of the captain of industry is that of a deliverer from an excess of business management. It is a casting out of businessmen by the chief of businessmen."
    Thorstein Veblen (18571929), US economist and social scientist
    Source: The Theory of Business Enterprise (1904)
  • "Executive ability is deciding quickly and getting somebody else to do the work."
    John G. Pollard (18711937), US politician
    Source: Attributed

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