Peter Drucker (1909-2005), writer, management consultant.
Some of the quotes I’ve selected recently have been quite long. Length was not the objective. The message simply resonated with me. To make it up to those who like pithy phrases, this post is for you. Each phrase is meaningful and short ( ten words or less thanks in part to contractions and hyphenated words) making it highly quotable. Try memorizing one or two of these. Then, see what happens when you cleverly slip one into your conversation, especially if it’s one of the Latin phrases. 😉
“Semper fidelis” — U.S. Marine Corp motto meaning “Always Faithful”
“Be prepared.” — Boy Scouts motto
“Jesus wept.” — Bible, John 11:35, shortest verse in the Bible
“Inches make champions.” –- Vince Lombardi
“Underpromise and overachieve.” -– Tom Peters
“Never give up.” — Winston Churchill
“Action conquers fear.” — Pete Zarlenga
“Facta, non verba” — Deeds, not words
“Fear clogs; faith liberates.” — Elbert Hubbard
“Facts are stubborn things.” — Ronald Reagan
“Lead from the front.” — Audie Murphy
“Gloria in excelsis Deo” — Phrase in Christian hymn meaning “Glory to God in the Highest”
“What gets measured gets done.” -– Peter Drucker
“Your attitude determines your altitude!” –- Denis Waitley
“Laughter is an instant vacation.” — Milton Berle
“Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.” — Colin Powell
“Perplexity is the beginning of knowledge.” — Kahlil Gibran
“For fast-acting relief try slowing down.” — Lily Tomlin
“You may delay, but time will not.” — Benjamin Franklin
“Do something wonderful; people may imitate it.” — Albert Schweitzer
“One tequila, two tequila, three tequila, floor.” — George Carlin
“Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.” — Victor Borge
“Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” — John F. Kennedy
“On the one hand, we’ll never experience childbirth.” — Bruce Willis (On the difference between men and women)
“On the other hand, you have different fingers.” — Steven Wright
“‘No’ puts distance between you and the wrong influence.” — Jim Rohn
“Achieving life is not the equivalent of avoiding death.” — Ayn Rand
“There is no distinctly American criminal class – except Congress.” — Mark Twain
“Believe and act as if it were impossible to fail.” — Charles F. Kettering
“Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.” — Thomas Jefferson
“Either this man is dead or my watch has stopped.” — Groucho Marx
“If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.” This expression can be a good reason to keep on doing what has proven to work effectively. Makes sense, right? But, this good advice misapplied can also create problems. Consider someone using this cliché as an excuse to avoid necessary change. A threadbare tire that still holds its air comes to mind. Technically, it is still working. But disaster lurks. Consider also something that works, but is about to fail due to a change in external conditions. This happens in business all the time. Products, services, and business models are constantly being made obsolete by something new and better. In business, continuous change is required to survive.
“Change before you have to.” — Jack Welch
Now, to my main point. Some people will do almost anything to avoid change. Certain kinds of change make people uncomfortable, even fearful. Instead of change being an opportunity for improvement or to experience something new, they gravitate toward the familiar, which they acknowledge could be inferior. Funny thing, this tendency seems to increase as we age.
“The devil we know is better than the devil we don’t know.” — Cliché
“Middle age is when your broad mind and narrow waist begin to change places.” — E. Joseph Cossman
Change should not be something to automatically fear. After all, changing socks is a fantastic idea. Changing lanes is often necessary. Changing keys makes music interesting. Changing colors makes autumn beautiful. People enjoy watching the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace. Finally, this post is the result of many changes. (You should have seen the first 59 drafts.)
Change is more acceptable when seen as a remedy for suffering. Like most elections, the buzzword in the last presidential election cycle was “change.” Most of the candidates have used it or similar words such as reform. For example, Huckabee proposed to “reform” the tax system. Obama’s overall theme was “stand for change.” (This was later changed to “Unite for Change.”) In these and most other cases, the same game plan is in force. Step 1: Convince the people something is terribly wrong or headed in that direction. Step 2: Offer to come and save the day through “change.” (I think I hear the Lone Ranger theme song.) Before taking sides in these matters, some questions we must ask are, “Will the proposed changes really save the day?”, “Which person or group is most qualified to save the day?” and “Does the day even need to be saved?”
Here are some thoughts to help change our attitude toward change.
“If we don’t change direction soon, we’ll end up where we’re going.” — Professor Irwin Corey
“In a time of drastic change, it is the learners who inherit the future.” — Eric Hoffer
“No great improvements in the lot of mankind are possible until a great change takes place in the fundamental constitution of their modes of thought.” — John Stuart Mill
“Only I can change my life. No one can do it for me.” — Carol Burnett
“The most effective way to manage change is to create it.” — Peter Drucker
“Lord, where we are wrong, make us willing to change; where we are right, make us easy to live with.” — Peter Marshall, US Senate chaplain
“If the rate of change on the outside (of the firm) exceeds the rate of change on the inside, the end is near.” — Jack Welch
“I find it fascinating that most people plan their vacations with better care than they plan their lives. Perhaps that is because escape is easier than change.” — Jim Rohn
“We all have big changes in our lives that are more or less a second chance.” — Harrison Ford
“The main dangers in this life are the people who want to change everything – or nothing.” — Nancy Astor (1879 – 1964)
“Human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives.” — William James (1842 – 1910)
“Should you find yourself in a chronically leaking boat, energy devoted to changing vessels is likely to be more productive than energy devoted to patching leaks.” — Warren Buffet
“It’s not that some people have willpower and some don’t. It’s that some people are ready to change and others are not.” — James Gordon, Medical Doctor
© Copyright June 2008, Clancy Cross. All rights reserved.
Read more “Clancy’s Quotes” at: ClancyCross.WordPress.com
There is opportunity everywhere for anyone that knows where to look. But, it requires overcoming a downstream mentality. Generally, people see only the downstream opportunities because that’s where they look. Downstream destinations appear easier to reach. The reality is that most of the best opportunities lie upstream. Paddling upstream might seem to be the harder route when in actuality it can be the easier route. Why? Because most people point their boats downstream. Consequently, there’s less traffic upstream. It’s much easier to compete when the majority has gone in the opposite direction.
“The heights by great men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight, but they while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night.” — Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
“Hard work spotlights the character of people: some turn up their sleeves, some turn up their noses, and some don’t turn up at all.” — Sam Ewing
“The highest reward for a man’s toil is not what he gets for it, but what he becomes.” — John Ruskin (1819 – 1900)
“Plans are only good intentions unless they immediately degenerate into hard work.” — Peter Drucker
“Success in business requires training and discipline and hard work. But if you’re not frightened by these things, the opportunities are just as great today as they ever were.” — David Rockefeller
There is also opportunity galore for those with a hurdler’s mindset. Hurdlers excel by becoming proficient at leaping over barriers. They don’t stop at the hurdles and they don’t turn back. They don’t try to go around, under, or through the hurdles. They know the only way to win the race is to leap over hurdles as fast as possible. In fact, the high achievers don’t even break stride. Life is full of hurdles called sickness, layoff, high interest rates, a weak dollar, a strong dollar, a volatile stock market, high gas prices, a grumpy boss, a whiny neighbor, discrimination, lack of cooperation, an irate customer, a flat tire, a flooded basement, etc. Stuff happens to us all, even our pets.
“My dog is worried about the economy because Alpo is up to 99 cents a can. That’s almost $7.00 in dog money.” — Joe Weinstein
Being a winner in the game of life requires forward momentum and getting over the hurdles quickly. Proficiency takes preparation. A practice regimen involves mastering the small hurdles. This helps make the larger hurdles seem less daunting. Confidence grows and suddenly life’s opportunities appear from the shadows of the conquered hurdles.
“The only thing that overcomes hard luck is hard work.” — Harry Golden (1902 – 1981)
“Each handicap is like a hurdle in a steeplechase, and when you ride up to it, if you throw your heart over, the horse will go along, too.” — Lawrence Bixby
“People always call it luck when you’ve acted more sensibly than they have.” — Anne Tyler (1941 – ), Celestial Navigation
“Luck is what you have left over after you give 100 percent.” — Langston Coleman
“Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome.” — Booker T. Washington (1856 – 1915)
Whenever confronted by one of life’s hurdles, we must “get over it” to finish the race. There’s one more very important thing. It’s not against the rules to help someone else over a life hurdle. In fact, it’s a responsibility.