Most Impactful Book Quotes – Q1 2017

I’m trying something new with this post. Below you will find a series of quotes that I have found particularly impactful over the past three months. Leave a comment to let me know what you think or share your own book quotes that have impacted you recently.

“My job is to not be easy on people. My job is to take these great people we have and to push the and make them even better. How? Just by coming up with more aggressive visions of how it could be.” -Steve Jobs, from The Legacy of Steve Jobs by Fortune Magazine

“True to form, the shepherd to his Apple flock often teaches in parables. One such lesson could be called ‘The Difference Between the Janitor and the Vice President,’ and it’s a sermon Jobs delivers every time an executive reaches the VP level. Jobs imagines his garbage regularly not being emptied in his office, and when he asks the janitor why, he gets an excuse: The locks have been changed, and the janitor doesn’t have a key. This is an acceptable excuse coming from someone who empties trash bins for a living. The janitor gets to explain why something went wrong. ‘When you’re the janitor,’ Jobs has repeatedly told incoming VPs, ‘reasons matter.’ He continues: ‘Somewhere between the janitor and the CEO, reasons stop mattering.’ That ‘Rubicon,’ he has said, ‘is crossed when you become a VP.’” -From The Legacy of Steve Jobs by Fortune Magazine

“I am successful to the degree that who I am and what I live are in alignment.” -Susan Scott, from Fierce Conversations

“As a leader, you get what you tolerate.” -Susan Scott, from Fierce Conversations

“Several years ago I was introduced to the military term ground truth, which refers to what’s actually happening on the ground versus the official tactics. One of the challenges worth going after in any organization–be it a company or a marriage–is getting to ground truth…What is ground truth in your organization? Every day companies falter and fail because the difference between ground truth and the ‘official truth’ is significant.-Susan Scott, from Fierce Conversations

“No matter what he does, every person on earth plays a central role in the history of the world. And normally he doesn’t know it.” -Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

“It seems wrong to call it ‘business’…What we were doing felt like so much more. Each new day brought fifty new problems, fifty tough decisions that needed to be made, right now, and we were always acutely aware that one rash move, one wrong decision could be the end. The margin for error was forever getting narrower, while the stakes were forever creeping higher–and none of us wavered in the belief that ‘stakes’ didn’t mean ‘money.’ For some, I realize, business is the all-out pursuit of profits, period, full stop, but for us business was no more about making money than being human is about making blood. Yes, the human body needs blood. It needs to manufacture red and white cells and platelets and redistribute them evenly, smoothly, to all the right places, on time, or else. But that day-to-day business of the human body isn’t our mission as human beings. It’s a basic process that enables our higher aims, and life always strives to transcend the basic processes of living…I redefined winning, expanded it beyond my original definition of not losing, of merely staying alive. That was no longer enough to sustain me, or my company. We wanted, as all great businesses do, to create, to contribute, and we dared to say so aloud. When you make something, when you improve something, when you deliver something, when you add some new thing or service to the lives of strangers, making them happier, or healthier, or safer, or better, and when you do it all crisply and efficiently, smartly, the way everything should be done but so seldom is–you’re participating more fully in the whole grand human drama. More than simply alive, you’re helping others to live more fully, and if that’s business, all right, call me a businessman.” -Phil Knight, from Shoe Dog

“Any useful statement about the future should at first seem ridiculous.” -Jim Dator, mentioned in Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss

First, figure out what gets your adrenaline going. Next, figure out a way to make a career out of your passion. And finally, outwork everyone around you.” -Anderson Cooper, from Getting There by Gillian Zoe Segal

“The Boston Beer Company has a simple hiring standard–never hire someone unless they will raise the average. Before we employ anyone, we ask, ‘Is this person better than the average of the current people we have working in this position?’ If the answer is no, we don’t make the hire. When you bring someone on board who is below your company’s average, you degrade the quality of your company. If you always hire people who raise your average, your company gets increasingly better.” -Jim Koch, from Getting There by Gillian Zoe Segal

The business gets better when you get better. Never wish it were easier, wish you were better.” -Jim Rohn, mentioned in Good Leaders Ask Great Questions by John Maxwell

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