Most Impactful Book Quotes – Q3 2017

Below you will find a series of quotes I have found particularly impactful over the past three months. Feel free to leave a comment to let me know what you think or share your own book quotes that have recently impacted you.

“When values are clear, decisions are easy.” -Roy Disney, mentioned in The Disney Way by Bill Capidagli and Lynn Jackson

“Not long ago, we were showing an executive from British Petroleum around Disney World. ‘What a pity that Walt Disney did not live to see this place,’ he remarked. ‘But he did see it,’ we said. ‘That’s why it’s here.’” -Bill Capidagli and Lynn Jackson, from The Disney Way

“In many ways, your job as the boss is to set and uphold a quality bar. That can feel harsh in the short term, but in the long run the only thing that is meaner is lowering the bar.” -Kim Scott, from Radical Candor

“The essence of leadership is not getting overwhelmed by circumstances.” -Kim Scott, from Radical Candor

“If you want the truth about what makes us different, it’s this: We are genuinely customer-centric, we are genuinely long-term oriented and we genuinely like to invent. Most companies are not those things. They are focused on the competitor, rather than the customer. They want to work on things that will pay dividends in two or three years, and if they don’t work in two or three years they will move on to something else. And they prefer to be close-followers rather than inventors, because it’s safer. So if you want to capture the truth about Amazon, that is why we are different. Very few companies have all of those three elements.” -Jeff Bezos, mentioned in The Everything Store by Brad Stone

“There are two kinds of retailers: there are those folks who work to figure how to charge more, and there are companies that work to figure how to charge less, and we are going to be the second, full-stop.” -Jeff Bezos, mentioned in The Everything Store by Brad Stone

“All leaders must have two things: they must have a vision of the world that does not exist and they must have the ability to communicate it.” -Simon Sinek, from Start with Why

“Great organizations become great because the people inside the organization feel protected. The strong sense of culture creates a sense of belonging and acts like a net. People come to work knowing that their bosses, colleagues and the organization as a whole will look out for them. This results in reciprocal behavior. Individual decisions, efforts and behaviors that support, benefit and protect the long-term interest of the organization as a whole.” -Simon Sinek, from Start with Why

“Effectiveness is doing the things that get you closer to your goals. Efficiency is performing a given task (whether important or not) in the most economical manner possible. Being efficient without regard to effectiveness is the default mode of the universe…Two rules of effectiveness: (1) Doing something unimportant well does not make it important. (2) Requiring a lot of time does not make a task important.” -Timothy Ferriss, from The 4-Hour Workweek

“What information consumes is rather obvious: it consumes the attention of its recipients. Hence, a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention and a need to allocate that attention efficiently among the overabundance of information sources that might consume it.” -Herbert Simon, mentioned in The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss

“Most endeavors are like learning to speak a foreign language: to be correct 95% of the time requires six months of concentrated effort, whereas to be correct 98% of the time requires 20-30 years. Focus on great for a few things and good enough for the rest.” -Timothy Ferriss, from The 4-Hour Workweek

“I urge you to be curious enough to want to understand how the people who see things differently from you came to see them that way.” -Ray Dalio, from Principles: Life and Work

“In retrospect, my crash was one of the best things that ever happened to me because it gave me the humility I needed to balance my aggressiveness. I learned a great fear of being wrong that shifted my mind-set from thinking ‘I’m right’ to asking myself ‘How do I know I’m right?’ And I saw clearly that the best way to answer this questions is by finding other independent thinkers who are on the same mission as me and who see things differently from me. By engaging them in thoughtful disagreement, I’d be able to understand their reasoning and have them stress-test mine. That way, we can all raise our probability of being right.” -Ray Dalio, from Principles: Life and Work

“Self-reflection is the quality that most differentiates those who evolve quickly from those who don’t. Remember: Pain + Reflection = Progress.” -Ray Dalio, from Principles: Life and Work

“It seems to me that if you look back on yourself a year ago and aren’t shocked by how stupid you were, you haven’t learned much.” -Ray Dalio, from Principles: Life and Work

Most Impactful Book Quotes – Q2 2017

Below you will find a series of quotes that I have found particularly impactful over the past three months. Feel free to leave a comment to let me know what you think or share your own book quotes that have impacted you recently.

“If you possess leadership responsibility in the workplace, you have an effect on the people you lead, every single day. You are a person of influence. Your attitudes, behaviors, choices, words and even facial expressions make a difference in people’s everyday lives.” -Bill Hybels, from Who You Are When No One Is Looking

“We need more people who love others with such devotion that they will risk their current comfort level in the relationship and say whatever needs to be said in order to protect the other person’s well-being.” -Bill Hybels, from Who You Are When No One Is Looking

“The paradox of listening is that by relinquishing power–the temporary power of speaking, asserting, knowing–we become more powerful.” -Amy Cuddy, from Presence

“People do not stop learning and improving because they have reached some innate limits on their performance; they stop learning and improving because, for whatever reasons, they stopped practicing–or never started. There is no evidence that any otherwise normal people are born without the innate talent to sing or do math or perform any other skill.” -Anders Ericsson and Robert Pool, from Peak

“When people assume that talent plays a major, even determining, role in how accomplished a person can become, that assumption points one toward certain decisions and actions. If you assume that people who are not innately gifted are never going to be good at something, then the children who don’t excel at something right away are encouraged to try something else…The prophecy becomes self-fulfilling.” -Anders Ericsson and Robert Pool, from Peak

“The creative, the restless, and the driven are not content with the status quo, and they look for ways to move forward, to do things that others have not. And once a pathfinder shows how something can be done, others can learn the technique and follow. Even if the pathfinder doesn’t share the particular technique…simply knowing that something is possible drives others to figure it out.” -Anders Ericsson and Robert Pool, from Peak

“When you want to change things, you can’t please everyone. If you do please everyone, you aren’t making enough progress.” -Mark Zuckerberg, mentioned in Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg

“[Eric Schmidt] explained that only one criterion mattered when picking a job–fast growth. When companies grow quickly, there are more things to do than there are people to do them…He told me, ‘If you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship, you don’t ask what seat. You just get on.’” -Sheryl Sandberg, from Lean In

“Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence and making sure that impact lasts in your absence.”-Harvard Business School Definition of Leadership, mentioned in Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg

“There’s a reason I devote so much energy to identifying interpersonal challenges in successful people. It’s because the higher you go, the more your problems are behavioral.” -Marshall Goldsmith, What Got You Here Won’t Get You There

“When somebody makes a suggestion or gives you ideas, you’re either going to learn more or learn nothing. But you’re not going to learn less. Hearing people out does not make you dumber. So, thank them for trying to help.” -Marshall Goldsmith, What Got You Here Won’t Get You There

“Too many people spend money they haven’t earned, to buy things they don’t want, to impress people they don’t like.” -Will Rogers, mentioned in Best Job Ever! by Dr. C.K. Bray

“Choose to act and not be acted upon. Deciding to take action instead of being paralyzed by adversity and trials is the true mark of courage and greatness.” -Dr. C.K. Bray, from Best Job Ever!

“As a positive leader you will want to carry a telescope and a microscope with you on your journey. The telescope helps you and your team keep your eyes on your vision, North Star, and big picture. The microscope helps you zoom-focus on the things you must do in the short term to realize the vision in your telescope. If you have only a telescope, then you’ll be thinking about your vision all the time and dreaming about the future but not taking the necessary steps to realize it. If you have only a microscope, then you’ll be working hard every day but set-backs and challenges will likely frustrate and discourage you because you’ll lose sight of the big picture. You need to frequently pull out your telescope to remind yourself and your team where you are going, and you’ll need to look through your microscope daily in order to focus on what matters most and follow through on your commitments. Together they will help you take your team and organization where you want to go.” -Jon Gordon, from The Power of Positive Leadership

 “He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me.” -Thomas Jefferson

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