Quotations To Ponder

The following represent some quotations I tend to live by. Where the author is known, attribution is given. If the quote is anonymous, I so say. Otherwise they are mine, and you are free to use them. Other people already have.

I am always fond of saying that most of what I've learned about leadership and management I learned from raising two children and from flying airplanes. That will become evident as you read the quotes.


It is of little comfort to me that it is not my end of the boat that is sinking.

Flying is a calculated risk, do it often enough, and it will kill you. Your objective is to stack the odds so much in your favor that something else, preferably old age, will kill you first.

Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence in the world - Mark Twain.

Thinking is such a wearisome task, I prefer to leave it to someone else. - Average American consulting his labor union, preacher, or news anchor on how to vote.

Life's not fair. Once you accept that fact, life's still not fair, but you have the proper attitude to do something about it.

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The key to success isn't about not losing; it's about not staying lost.

On "the media": News reporters seldom lie, and rarely tell the truth.

On "the media": Never let the facts get in the way of a good story.

Sometimes silence is the most eloquent argument.

We cannot always choose our path, but we can choose how to walk it.

Ultimate knowledge is knowing it all. Ultimate wisdom is what you learn after you know it all.

Man is the only animal that blushes ... or needs to. - Mark Twain.

You can't humiliate a humble man.

If you believe first in yourself, then it doesn't matter what others believe of you.

The problem with computers, good dogs, and second lieutenants is that they do exactly what you tell them to do, not what you want them to do.

There is nothing as dangerous as an enemy without passion.

For to win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill. - Sun Tzu

What is of supreme importance in war is to attack the enemy's strategy. Next best is to disrupt his alliances. The next best is to attack his army. - Sun Tzu

The brave man carves out his fortune, and every man is the son of his own works. Cervantes.

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The problem with most political jokes is that they get elected. - Anonymous.

When he stands up to speak, battalions of words march out of his mouth scouring the countryside for an idea ... and when they find it, promptly trample it to death. - Anonymous member of Warren G. Harding's Cabinet.

Seek first to understand, then be understood. - Steven Covey.

It's difficult to hear with your mouth.

The problem with common sense is, it isn't. - Ben Franklin

I think a lot about the future; it's where I'll be spending the rest of my life. - Anonymous

Always in motion is the future. - Yoda

The future ain't what it used to be. - Yogi Berra.

When logic and common sense fail, lawyers take over.

Why is it, if we can have artificial intelligence, stupidity is always so real?

People who like sausage and respect the law shouldn't watch either being made. - Otto Von Bismarck.

People who like sausage, respect the law and rely on software shouldn't watch either being made.

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Avoid arguments with men carrying automatic weapons.

We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately. - Benjamin Franklin: At the signing of the Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776.

Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? - Patrick Henry.

I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death! - Patrick Henry

A mugwump is a person educated beyond his intellect. - Horace Porter

Anyone under 20 who isn't a liberal, doesn't have a heart Anyone over 40 who isn't a conservative, doesn't have a brain. - Winston Churchill

If you are not master of yourself, somebody else will be.

I cannot trust a man to control others who cannot control himself. - Robert E. Lee.

Of all the skills it takes to fly an airplane, discipline is the most important. There is more to being a pilot than wiggling the stick.

Don't let your ego outrun your capabilities.

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Never beat a man at his own game. Make him play your game and beat him there.

No sane person would ever run for President of the United States. I think this explains a lot of things.

Be an example to your men in your duty and in private life. Never spare yourself, and let the troops see that you don't in your endurance of fatigue and privation. Always be tactful and well-mannered, and teach your subordinates to be the same. Avoid excessive sharpness or harshness of voice, which usually indicates the man who has shortcomings of his own to hide. - Field Marshall Erwin Rommel

When the eagles are silent, the parrots will begin to jabber. - Winston Churchill

Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity - General George Patton

A good plan, violently executed now, is better than a perfect plan next week. - General George Patton

Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power. - Abraham Lincoln

People are just as happy as they make up their minds to be. - Abraham Lincoln

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. - Aristotle

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. - Aristotle

We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms - to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances - to choose one's own way. -Viktor Frankl

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Occam's Razor: The more simple the explanation, the more likely it is to be true. Flak's Blunt Instrument: The more convoluted and conspiritual the explanation, the more likely people are to believe it.

Releasing software should be like releasing a criminal from prison; it should only get out if it demonstrates good behavior.

A terrorist is not a martyr; martyrs die so that others may live. Terrorists are just plain murderers; sometimes plain dead, murderers.

In war, having the home field advantage is not necessarily a good thing.

War is a negative sum game. Nobody ever wins a war. One side merely loses less than the other.

You can reach higher standing on one man's shoulders than you can standing on a heap of the corpses of the vanquished.

What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world, but loses his soul? - Jesus

Winning is not a sometime thing; it's an all time thing. You don't win once in a while, you don't do things right once in a while, you do them right all the time. Winning is habit. Unfortunately, so is losing. - Vince Lombardi

Beyond the barricade, is there a world you want to see? - Les Mis (Victor Hugo)

Handle turbulence in an organization the same way as you would handle turbulence in an aircraft: Maintain your attitude, stay on course, and don't react to every little bump.

The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible. - Arthur C. Clarke

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. - Arthur C. Clarke

If truth be the first casualty of war, then it is stillborn in politics.

It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. - Robert E. Lee.

Do your duty in all things. You cannot do more, you should never wish to do less. - Robert E. Lee

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The flame of passion burns brightest in those who lead.

Life without passion is merely existance.

Yelling at stupid people doesn't make them any smarter.

That if gold ruste, what shal iren do? - Chaucer (The Parson's Portrait)

If you think the purpose of fishing is to catch fish, you're missing the point.

Life is a comedy for those who think and a tragedy fot those who feel. Horace Walpole

If everyone is thinking alike, no one is thinking. General George S. Patton, Jr.

One World. One Web. One Program. Microsoft promotional advertisement
Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Fuhrer! Adolf Hitler

We should be careful to get out of an experience only the wisdom that is in it, and stop there; lest we be like the cat that sits down on a hot stove-lid. She will never sit down on a hot stove-lid again, and that is well; but also she will never sit down on a cold one anymore. Mark Twain

If you understand what you're doing, you're not learning anything. Abraham Lincoln

If I had thought about it, I wouldn't have done the experiment. The literature was full of examples that said you can't do this. Spencer Silver on the work that led to the unique adhesives for 3-M "Post-It" Notepads

We have two ears and one mouth, so we may listen twice as much as we speak. Epictetus

I'm inclined to think that caffeine, sugar, fat and alcohol are the four basic food groups. This means that an Irish coffee is the most nourishing drink ever made, because it contains all four. Dave Brown

When you are outnumbered, outgunned, and outmaneuvered there is only one logical thing to do - ATTACK.

How small the universe is when it is contained entirely within one's own skin!

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Never trust a fact until you know where it's been.

Around here, we don't push the panic button; it's hardwired on.

Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who matter don't mind, and those that mind, don't matter.- Dr. Seuss (Theodor Seuss Geisel)

They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. - Benjamin Franklin

Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty. - John F. Kennedy

When I was a little boy I used to believe that anyone could grow up to be president. Now I'm sure.