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Who Date Quote
Democritus ~4th Century BCE ‘Beautiful objects are wrought by study through effort, but ugly things are reaped automatically without toil.’
Dwight Eisenhower 1957 ‘Plans are worthless, but planning is everything.’
Albert Einstein (paraphrased) 1933 ‘Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler.’
Charles Babbage 1864 ‘On two occasions I have been asked, “Pray, Mr Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?” [...] I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question.’
Laozi ~6th Century BCE ‘A leader is best when people barely know he exists, [...] when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves.’
Douglas Adams 1990 ‘Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.’
Laozi ~6th Century BCE ‘Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom.
Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power.’
Sun Tzu ~6th Century BCE ‘Management of many is the same as management of few. It is a matter of organisation.’
Thomas Edison anecdotal (on his invention of the incandescent light) ‘So Mr Edison, how did it feel to fail 10,000 times?’
‘Young man, I didn’t fail, I found 9,999 ways that didn’t work’
Henry Ford 1951 ‘You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do.’
Henry Ford 1922 ‘A manufacturer is not through with his customer when a sale is completed. He has then only started with his customer.’
Theodore Roosevelt anecdotal ‘The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it.’
Winston Churchill ~1960 ‘It is always wise to look ahead, but difficult to look further than you can see.’
Albert Einstein 1946 ‘A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move toward higher levels.’
Lord Selborne 1873 ‘The office of director ... a man ought not to fill without qualification.’
Lawrence J Peter 1977 ‘If you don’t know where you are going, you will probably end up somewhere else.’
W Edwards Deming 1993 ‘A system must be managed. It will not manage itself.’
Sun Tzu ~6th Century BCE ‘Treat your men as you would your own beloved sons. And they will follow you into the deepest valley.’
Sun Tzu ~6th Century BCE ‘A leader leads by example not by force.’
Old Japanese Proverb ‘Fall seven times. Stand up eight.’
Thomas Edison ~1900 ‘Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.’
Ray Bradbury 1995 ‘Sometimes you just have to jump out the window and grow wings on the way down.’
Jon Franklin 1994 ‘Simplicity, carried to the extreme, becomes elegance.’
Henry Ford 1922 ‘Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently. There is no disgrace in honest failure; there is disgrace in fearing to fail.’
Peter Drucker 2003 ‘There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all.’
Socrates ~3rd Century CE ‘There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance.’
Horace Mann 1867 ‘Let us labour for that larger and larger comprehension of truth, that more and more thorough repudiation of error, which shall make the history of mankind a series of ascending developments.’
Winston Churchill anecdotal ‘However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.’
Taiichi Ohno 1988 ‘Costs do not exist to be calculated. Costs exist to be reduced.’
Anonymous ‘There are so many men who can figure costs, and so few who can measure values.’
Abraham Lincoln 1862 ‘I shall try to correct errors when shown to be errors, and I shall adopt new views so fast as they appear to be true views.’
Albert Einstein 1931 ‘Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.’