"We all operate in two contrasting modes, which might be called open and closed. The
open mode is more relaxed, more receptive, more exploratory, more democratic, more
playful and more humorous. The closed mode is the tighter, more rigid, more
hierarchical, more tunnel-visioned. Most people, unfortunately spend most of their time
in the closed mode. Not that the closed mode cannot be helpful. If you are leaping a
ravine, the moment of takeoff is a bad time for considering alternative strategies. When
you charge the enemy machine-gun post, don't waste energy trying to see the funny
side of it. Do it in the "closed" mode. But the moment the action is over, try to return to
the "open" mode—to open your mind again to all the feedback from our action that
enables us to tell whether the action has been successful, or whether further action is
need to improve on what we have done. In other words, we must return to the open
mode, because in that mode we are the most aware, most receptive, most creative, and
therefore at our most intelligent."
— John Cleese
"Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has
— Albert von Szent-Gyorgy
The essential part of creativity is not being afraid to fail."
— Edwin H. Land
"Creativity is not the ﬁnding of a thing, but the making something out of it after it is
— James Russell Lowell (1819-1891)
"The things we fear most in organizations—ﬂuctuations, disturbances, imbalances—re
the primary sources of creativity."
— Margaret J. Wheatley
“You have enemies? Good. That means youʼve stood up for something, sometime in your life.”
“Try to learn something about everything and everything about something.”
Thomas H. Huxley
“Life isnʼt about ﬁnding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”
George Bernard Shaw
“The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good.”
“Style is the image of character.”
“I worked hard, and if you work hard you get the goodies.”
“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Nurture your mind with great thoughts; to believe in the heroic makes heroes.”
“Either write something worth reading, or do something worth writing.”
“Fashion passes, style remains.”
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didnʼt do
than by the ones you did.”
“Itʼs not enough to have lived. We should be determined to live for something.”
“Never offend people with style when you can offend them with substance.”
“Nothing succeeds like the appearance of success.”
“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”
“Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say and not giving a damn.”
“A wise man will make more opportunities than he ﬁnds.”
Sir Francis Bacon
“Choose your corner, pick away at it carefully, intensely and to the best of your ability
and that way you might change the world.”
“If you want to have clean ideas, change them as often as you change your shirts.”
“As far as men go, it is not what they are that interests me, but what they can become.”
“There is nothing more frightful than imagination without taste.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
“You can ﬁnd inspiration in everything, and if you canʼt look again”
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Perfection is attained, not when no more can be added, but when no more can be
removed. Antoine de Saint Exupéry
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. ~ Leonardo Da Vinci
I would have written a shorter letter, but I did not have the time. —Blaise Pascal
Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated. - Confucius
In looking for someone to hire, you look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence, and
energy. But the most important is integrity, because if they donʼt have that, the other two
qualities, intelligence and energy, are going to kill you.
"What is left when honor is lost?"
— Publilius Syrus
First Century BC, Maxim 265
"A great man is always willing to be little."
— Ralph Waldo Emerson
"It takes less time to do a thing right than to explain why you did it wrong."
— Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
"He is not wise to me who is wise in words only, but he who is wise in deeds."
— St. Gregory
"Re-examine all that you have been told . . . dismiss that which insults your soul."
— Walt Whitman
"Keep true, never be ashamed of doing right, decide on what you think is right and stick
— George Eliot
"As a leader, you have to not only do the right thing, but be perceived to be doing the
right thing. A consequence of seeking a leadership position is being put under intense
public scrutiny, being held to high standards, and enhancing a reputation that is
constantly under threat."
— Jeffrey Sonnenfeld and Andrew Ward
"Test fast, fail fast, adjust fast.
— Tom Peters
"Living at risk is jumping off the cliff and building your wings on the way down."
— Ray Bradbury
"The secret to my success is that I bit off more than I could chew and chewed as fast as
— Paul Hogan
"Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly."
— Robert F. Kennedy
"Let's make a dent in the universe."
— Steve Jobs
Never ask a barber if you need a haircut.
A public-opinion poll is no substitute for thought.
If you let yourself be undisciplined on the small things, you will probably be undisciplined on the large things as well.
The fact that people are full of greed, fear, or folly is predictable. The sequence is not predictable.
We also believe candor beneﬁts us as managers. The CEO who misleads others in public may eventually mislead himself in private.
What we learn from history is that people don't learn from history.