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Financial Quotes

Leadership Quotes

  • "Leadership used to be about ideas, setting an example and doing the right thing. Today, if you make enough money for the firm (and are not currently an ax murderer) you will be promoted into a position of influence."
    Greg Smith (1978–), US businessman, former executive director of Goldman Sachs
    Resigning from executive director position at Goldman Sachs.
    Source: New York Times (March 14, 2012)
  • "Leadership comes through respect, and a large part of respect is liking someone."
    Carol Leonard, British director of Whitehead Mann
    Source: The Times (London) (September 26, 2005)
  • "Charisma becomes the undoing of leaders. It makes them inflexible, convinced of their own infallibility, unable to change."
    Peter F. Drucker (19092005), US management consultant and academic
    Source: The Essential Drucker (2003)
  • "The function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers."
    Ralph Nader (1934–), US lawyer, consumer-rights campaigner, and presidential candidate
    Source: Crashing the Party (2002)
  • "Challenge the mind and capture the heart."
    Carly Fiorina (1954–), US former CEO of Hewlett-Packard
    Source: Forbes (October 2000)
  • "A company is an organic, living, breathing thing, not just an income sheet and balance sheet. You have to lead it with that in mind."
    Carly Fiorina (1954–), US former CEO of Hewlett-Packard
    Source: “Secrets of the Fastest Rising Stars,” Fortune (Patricia Sellers, 2000)
  • "The first lesson is: To hell with centralized strategic planning. If you don't have a good leader, it's all nothing; it's just a bunch of papers flying around."
    Robert Townsend (19201998), US business executive and author
    Source: “Townsend's Third Degree in Leadership,” The Conference Board Challenge to Business: Industry Leaders Speak Their Minds (Peter Krass and Richard E. Cavanagh, eds, 2000)
  • "A leader is one who ventures and takes the risks of going out ahead to show the way and whom others follow, voluntarily, because they are persuaded that the leader's path is the right one—for them, probably better than they could devise for themselves."
    Robert Greenleaf (19041990), US director of Management Research for AT&T and author
    Source: “Servant: Retrospect and Prospect,” The Power of Servant Leadership (Larry Spears, ed, 1998)
  • "Without some element of leadership, the many at the bottom will be paralyzed with choices."
    Kevin Kelly (1952–), US cofounder and former editor of Wired magazine
    Source: New Rules for the New Economy: 10 Radical Strategies for a Connected World (1998)
  • "Consensus is the negation of leadership."
    Margaret, Baroness Thatcher (1925–), British former prime minister
    Source: Quoted in Woodbury Reports Archives (June 1997)
  • "I think you have a rocket up your ass and I want to point it in the right direction."
    Harry E. Figgie, Jr (1923?2009), US founder of Figgie International
    Exemplifying Figgie's aggressive management style.
    Source: Quoted in Dangerous Company (James O'Shea and Charles Madigan, 1997)
  • "The hierarchical manager of yesterday ran the Industrial Age company with “Yes Sir! Yes Sir!” … When you're running an Information Age company, you've got to allow a lot of dissent."
    Bill Campbell (1940–), US chairman of Intuit
    Source: Quoted in Giant Killers (Geoffrey James, 1996)
  • "Leaders with unruly, lowly minds will project and create turbulent and contaminated environments in their spheres of action."
    S. K. Chakraborty (1957–), Indian academic
    Source: Ethics in Management: Vedantic Perspectives (1995)
  • "The difference between a leader and a boss is the difference between good and bad management."
    Joe Klock (1949–), US writer
    Source: Like Klockwork: The Whimsy, Wit, and (Sometime) Wisdom of a Key Largo Curmudgeon (1995)
  • "The art of leadership is saying no, not yes. It is very easy to say yes."
    Tony Blair (1953–), British former prime minister
    Source: Daily Mail (London) (October 1994)
  • "Leadership is all hype. We've had three great leaders in this century—Hitler, Stalin, and Mao."
    Peter F. Drucker (19092005), US management consultant and academic
    Source: Fortune (February 1994)
  • "A leader is a person you will follow to a place you wouldn't go by yourself."
    Joel A. Barker, US futurologist
    Source: Paradigms (1994)
  • "I'm the boss. I'm allowed to yell."
    Ivan Boesky (1937–), US financier convicted of insider dealing in 1987
    Source: Quoted in Den of Thieves (James B. Stewart, 1991)
  • "The manager does things right; the leader does the right thing."
    Warren Bennis (1925–), US educator and writer
    Source: “Managing the Dream,” Training Management (1990)
  • "Managers have been brought up on a diet of power, divide and rule. they have been pre-occupied with authority, rather than making small things happen."
    Charles Handy (1932–), Irish business executive and author
    Source: The Age of Unreason (1989)
  • "You just have to be the kind of guy to get people to do things."
    Donald J. Trump (1946–), US real estate developer and TV personality
    Source: US News & World Report (April 1987)
  • "Either lead, follow, or get out of the way."
    Sign on the desk of broadcasting executive Ted Turner.
    Source: Fortune (January 5, 1987)
  • "They have a particular drive, a desire to bring order out of chaos, or if something is too cosy, to create chaos in order to bring change."
    Sir Michael Owen Edwardes (1930–), South African-born British company executive
    On leaders.
    Source: Quoted in The New Elite (Berry Ritchie and Walter Goldsmith, 1987)
  • "If we're going to run this business on viscera, it's going to be my viscera."
    Thomas J. Watson, Jr (19141993), US president of IBM and ambassador to the Soviet Union
    Source: Quoted in CEO (Harry Levinson and Stuart Rosenthal, 1984)
  • "Most people in big companies are administered, not led. They are treated as personnel, not people."
    Robert Townsend (19201998), US business executive and author
    Source: Further Up the Organization (1984)
  • "The most effective leader is the one who satisfies the psychological needs of his followers."
    David Ogilvy (19111999), British advertising executive, founder and chairman of Ogilvy & Mather
    Source: Ogilvy on Advertising (1983)
  • "The task of the leader is to get people from where they are to where they have not been."
    Henry Kissinger (1923–), German-born US diplomat and winner of the 1973 Nobel Peace Prize
    Source: Time (October 1980)
  • "A leader is a man who has the ability to get other people to do what they don't want to do and like it."
    Harry S. Truman (18841972), US president
    Source: Quoted in Leadership Is Not a Bowler Hat (P. Prior, 1977)
  • "Teach me to smile if it kills me. Make me a better leader … by helping develop larger and greater qualities of understanding, tolerance, sympathy, wisdom, perspective, equanimity, mind-reading, and second sight."
    Source: Quoted in “A Leader's Prayer,” Understanding Organisations (Charles Handy, 1976), pt. 1, ch. 4
  • "I'll tell you what leadership is. It's persuasion and conciliation, and education, and patience."
    Dwight D. Eisenhower (18901969), US president and general of the army
    Source: Quoted in Handbook of Leadership (R. M. Stogdill, 1974)
  • "In order for an ideal to become a reality, there must be a person, a personality to translate it."
    Jesse Jackson (1941–), US churchman, civil rights activist, and presidential candidate
    Source: Eulogy (October 1972)
  • "The leader must know, must know that he knows, and must be able to make it abundantly clear to those about him that he knows."
    Clarence B. Randall (18911967), US industrialist and government adviser
    Source: Making Good in Management (1964)
  • "In essence leadership appears to be the art of getting others to want to do something you are convinced should be done."
    Vance Packard (19141996), US journalist and writer
    Source: The Pyramid Climbers (1962)
  • "At a rehearsal I let the orchestra play as they like. At the concert I make them play as I like."
    Sir Thomas Beecham, Bt (18791961), British conductor
    Source: Quoted in Sir Thomas Beecham (Neville Cardew, 1961)
  • "The final test of a leader is that he leaves behind him in other men the conviction and the will to carry on."
    Walter Lippmann (18891974), US political commentator, editor, and writer
    Source: “Roosevelt Has Gone,” New York Herald Tribune (April 14, 1945)
  • "I have never issued an order since I have been the operating head of the corporation."
    Alfred P. Sloan (18751966), US president of General Motors
    Referring to the benefits of decentralized management.
    Source: “The Most Important Things I Learned About Management,” System (August 1924)
  • "Here lies one who knew how to get around him men who were cleverer than himself."
    Andrew Carnegie (18351919), US industrialist and philanthropist
    Source: Epitaph (1919)
  • "Drive thy business, let not that drive thee."
    Benjamin Franklin (17061790), US politician, inventor, and journalist
    The Poor Richard’s Almanack series (1732–58) were originally published under the pseudonym Richard Saunders.
    Source: Poor Richard’s Almanack (1758)
  • "When the effective leader is finished with his work, the people say it happened naturally."
    Laozi (570?490? bc), Chinese philosopher, reputed founder of Daoism
    Source: Daode Jing (6th century bc), ch. 17

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