Quotations about   command

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DAVE BOWMAN: Open the pod bay doors, HAL.

HAL 9000: I’m sorry, Dave. I’m afraid I can’t do that.

Stanley Kubrick (1928-1999) American film director, screenwriter, producer
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) [with Arthur C. Clarke]
Added on 20-Mar-18 | Last updated 20-Mar-18
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A lot of companies — I know it sounds crazy — but a lot of companies … hire people to tell them what to do. We hire people to tell us what to do. We figure we’re paying them all this money; their job is to figure out what to do and tell us.

Steve Jobs (1955-2011) American computer inventor, entrepreneur
“Steve Jobs: ‘Computer Science Is A Liberal Art’,” interview with Terry Gross, Fresh Air, NPR (1996)
    (Source)

There are a number of variants on this quotation. A common one: "It doesn't make sense to hire smart people and then tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do."
Added on 23-Aug-17 | Last updated 23-Aug-17
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You can lead an organization through persuasion or formal edict. I have never found the arbitrary use of authority to control an organization either effective or, for that matter, personally interesting. If you cannot persuade your colleagues of the correctness of your position, it is probably worthwhile to rethink your own.

Greenspan - persuasion or edict - wist_info quote

Alan Greenspan (b. 1926) American economist, bureaucrat
“Federal Reserve’s Chairman Blends Eye for Politics with Economic Skills,” New York Times (26 Jul 1990)
Added on 8-Feb-16 | Last updated 8-Feb-16
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The leader holds his position purely because he is able to appeal to the conscience and to the reason of those who support him, and the boss holds his position because he appeals to fear of punishment and hope of reward. The leader works in the open, and the boss in covert. The leader leads, and the boss drives.

Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) US President (1901-1909)
Speech, Binghamton, New York (24 Oct 1910)
Added on 23-Nov-15 | Last updated 23-Nov-15
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Your position never gives you the right to command. It only imposes on you the duty of so living your life that others can receive your orders without being humiliated.

Dag Hammarskjöld (1905-1961) Swedish diplomat, author, UN Secretary-General (1953-61)
Markings (1955) [tr. Sjoberg & Auden (1964)]
Added on 2-Nov-15 | Last updated 2-Nov-15
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Be the chief but never the lord.

Lao-tzu (604?-531? BC) Chinese philosopher, poet [also Lao-tse, Laozi]
The Way of Life, ch. 10 [tr. Blakney (1955)]
Added on 21-Sep-15 | Last updated 21-Sep-15
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What you cannot enforce,
Do not command!

Sophocles (496-406 BC) Greek tragic playwright
Oedipus at Colonus, l. 839 [tr. Fitzgerald (1941)]
Added on 31-Aug-15 | Last updated 31-Aug-15
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But finally, there is one other quality I would mention among these that I believe will fit you for difficult and important posts. This is a healthy and lively sense of humor.

Dwight David Eisenhower (1890-1969) American general, US President (1953-61)
Commencement Address, US Naval Academy (4 Jun 1958)
Added on 25-Jun-15 | Last updated 25-Jun-15
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The objection to Puritans is not that they try to make us think as they do, but that they try to make us do as they think.

H.L. Mencken (1880-1956) American writer and journalist [Henry Lewis Mencken]
A Little Book in C Major, 5.22 (1916)
Added on 23-Sep-14 | Last updated 23-Sep-14
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Formerly there were those who said: You believe things that are incomprehensible, inconsistent, impossible because we have commanded you to believe them; go then and do what is unjust because we command it. Such people show admirable reasoning. Truly, whoever is able to make you absurd is able to make you unjust. If the God-given understanding of your mind does not resist a demand to believe what is impossible, then you will not resist a demand to do wrong to that God-given sense of justice in your heart. As soon as one faculty of your soul has been dominated, other faculties will follow as well. And from this derives all those crimes of religion which have overrun the world.

[Il y a eu des gens qui ont dit autrefois: Vous croyez des choses incompréhensibles, contradictoires, impossibles, parce que nous vous l’avons ordonné; faites donc des choses injustes parce que nous vous l’ordonnons. Ces gens-là raisonnaient à merveille. Certainement qui est en droit de vous rendre absurde est en droit de vous rendre injuste. Si vous n’opposez point aux ordres de croire l’impossible l’intelligence que Dieu a mise dans votre esprit, vous ne devez point opposer aux ordres de malfaire la justice que Dieu a mise dans votre coeur. Une faculté de votre âme étant une fois tyrannisée, toutes les autres facultés doivent l’être également. Et c’est là ce qui a produit tous les crimes religieux dont la terre a été inondée.] 

Voltaire (1694-1778) French writer [pseud. of Francois-Marie Arouet]
Questions sur les miracles (1765)

Alt trans.: "Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities."

Added on 11-Jun-08 | Last updated 17-Jul-15
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Children have more need of models than of critics.

Joseph Joubert (1754-1824) French moralist
Pensées, # 261 (1838) [tr. Attwell (1877)]

(also attrib. Carolyn Coats)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 13-May-16
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When trouble arises and things look bad, there is always one individual who perceives a solution and is willing to take command. Very often, that individual is crazy.

Dave Barry (b. 1947) American humorist
“25 Things I Have Learned In 50 Years,” #23 (1997)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 20-Oct-14
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He who imposes his argument by bravado and command shows that it is weak in reason.

Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592) French essayist
“Of Cripples,” Essays (1588) [tr. D. Frame (1958)]

Alt. trans.: "He who establishes his argument by noise and command shows that his reason is weak."
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 20-Jan-16
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