Food for thought from leaders

I was going through some old files recently and found some inspirational quotations I had collected from various books a long time ago, and decided that they deserved to be shared. Enjoy…


When some well-known people were asked what they put their success down to, here is what they had to say:

  • Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence.
  • Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent.
  • Genius will not: unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.
  • Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts.
  • Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.

– Thomas Watson, Founder of IBM

  • I learned that you will never get anywhere if you park yourself comfortably in an easy chair.
  • Choose competent people, place them in key positions and trust their judgement implicitly.
  • If you work with steadfast determination long enough, you will make your dream come true.

– Conrad Nicholson Hilton, Founder of Hilton Hotels

  • Discipline, order, and a faithful account of all debits and credits.
  • The Golden Rule of success is expansion.
  • The ability to handle people is a commodity that can be bought like sugar and coffee, and I’m willing to pay more for it than for any other commodity in the world.
  • Method and organisation.

– John Davison Rockefeller, Oil magnate

  • To succeed, work hard, never give up, and above all cherish a magnificent obsession.
  • To really succeed and be happy you have to do what you enjoy.
  • He secretly swore that he would be successful one day.
  • I learned to be totally self-reliant.
  • To get ahead in a speciality area you must get your foot in the door no matter what it costs.
  • I only work well when I have obstacles to overcome. I worry when things are working too well, fearing a sudden change in this situation.

– Walt Disney, Cartoonist

  • It was an escape for me – a great escape.
  • From then on, he had a single goal; to make movies!
  • I made my dreams a reality.
  • Spielberg had faith. He believed in his talent. He knew he was capable of doing big things even though he was young. He realised, however, that it was up to him alone to create his own lucky break.
  • Do only what you know best and only talk about what you really know!
  • As far as possible, see to everything yourself.

– Steven Spielberg, Film Creator

  • A hatred of failure has always been part of my nature and, I suppose, one of the more pronounced motivating forces in my life.
  • Recognise, seize, and take advantage of market opportunities.
  • Acquire solid background knowledge of your field while steering your thoughts and mental energy towards your goal.
  • Another secret is never to delegate your authority in strictly administrative matters. ‘If you want a thing done well, do it yourself’, said Benjamin Franklin. I do everything myself.
  • He had an abiding faith in the future.
  • Any businessman who goes against popular opinion must expect to be thwarted, scoffed at, and cursed. This is what made my fortune.
  • Once committed I always try never to give up, but do my best to beat my opponent.
  • Whether you like it or not, there is such a thing as a millionaire’s mentality.
  • The best remedy for fear is action.

– Paul Getty, Oil magnate

  • I have always believed that every man creates his own happiness and is responsible for his own problems.
  • Think small and you will stay small.
  • Where there’s not risk, there’s no pride in anything you do, so there can be no happiness in it.

– Ray Kroc, Founder of MacDonalds

  • Interesting work is easy and I am always certain of results.

– Henry Ford, Founder of Ford Motor Company

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