Quotations about   management

Note that not all quotations have been tagged, so the Search function may find additional quotations on this topic.



Remember, gentlemen, an order that can be misunderstood will be misunderstood.

Helmuth von Moltke (1800-1891) Prussian soldier
Comment as Chief of the Prussian General Staff, Battle of Sedan (Sep 1870)
Added on 22-Nov-17 | Last updated 6-Dec-17
Link to this post | 1 comment
Topics: , , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Von Moltke, Helmuth

You can buy a man’s time; you can buy a man’s physical presence at a given place; you can even buy a measured number of skilled muscular motions per hour or day. But you cannot buy enthusiasm; you cannot buy initiative; you cannot buy loyalty; you cannot buy the devotion of hearts, minds and souls. You have to earn those things.

Clarence Francis (1888-1985) American business executive, food industry consultant
“The Causes of Industrial Peace,” speech, National Association of Manufacturers (4 Dec 1947)
    (Source)

Sometimes titled "Philosophy of Management".
Added on 17-Nov-17 | Last updated 20-Nov-17
Link to this post | 3 comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Francis, Clarence

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
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Jobs, Steve

O let us love our occupations,
Bless the squire and his relations,
Live upon our daily rations,
And always know our proper stations.

Charles Dickens (1812-1870) English writer and social critic
The Chimes, “The Second Quarter” (1844)
Added on 21-Mar-17 | Last updated 21-Mar-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Dickens, Charles

You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
You cannot help small men by tearing down big men.
You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.
You cannot help the poor man by destroying the rich.
You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income.
You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
You cannot establish security on borrowed money.
You cannot build character and courage by taking away men’s initiative and independence.
You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.

William J. H. Boetcker (1873-1962) German-American religious leader, author, public speaker [William John Henry Boetcker]
“The Industrial Decalogue” (1916)

Often referred to as "The Ten Cannots," and also often misattributed to Abraham Lincoln.
Added on 14-Mar-17 | Last updated 14-Mar-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Boetcker, William J. H.

The world is disgracefully managed, one hardly knows to whom to complain.

Firbank - disgracefully managed - wist_info quote

Ronald Firbank (1886-1926) British novelist and playwright
Vainglory (1915)
    (Source)
Added on 29-Feb-16 | Last updated 29-Feb-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Firbank, Ronald

The art consists in making others work rather than in wearing oneself out.

Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821) French emperor, military leader
Letter to Eugène Beauharnais (27 Feb 1806)
Added on 29-Feb-16 | Last updated 29-Feb-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , ,
More quotes by Napoleon Bonaparte

In the discharge of the duties of the office there is one rule of action more important than all others. It consists in never doing anything that someone else can do for you. Like many other good rules, it is proven by its exceptions. But it indicates a course that should be very strictly followed in order to prevent being so entirely to trifling details that there will be little opportunity to give the necessary consideration to policies of larger importance.

Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933) American lawyer, politician, US President (1925-29)
The Autobiography of Calvin Coolidge (1929)
    (Source)

Often given as "One rule of action more important than all others consists in never doing anything that someone else can do for you" or "Don't do anything yourself that someone else can do for you."
Added on 11-Jan-16 | Last updated 11-Jan-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Coolidge, Calvin

Let the Care of one’s business be committed but to one Person; for otherwise, besides Disagreement which may arise when Account is taken, everyone’s Answer is, That he thought others had done it.

Thomas Fuller (1654-1734) English writer, physician
Introductio ad Prudentiam, #1072 (1731)
Added on 21-Dec-15 | Last updated 21-Dec-15
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Fuller, Thomas (1654)

Here is the very heart and soul of the matter. If you look to lead, invest at least 40% of your time managing yourself — your ethics, character, principles, purpose, motivation, and conduct. Invest at least 30% managing those with authority over you, and 15% managing your peers. Use the remainder to induce those you “work for” to understand and practice the theory. I use the terms “work for” advisedly, for if you don’t understand that you should be working for your mislabeled “subordinates,” you haven’t understood anything. Lead yourself, lead your superiors, lead your peers, and free your people to do the same. All else is trivia.

Dee W. Hock (b. 1929) American businessman
In M. Mitchell Waldrop, “Dee Hock on Management,” Fast Company (Oct/Nov 1996)
    (Source)
Added on 4-Dec-15 | Last updated 4-Dec-15
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , ,
More quotes by Hock, Dee W.

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
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Roosevelt, Theodore

Never hire or promote in your own image. It is foolish to replicate your strength. It is idiotic to replicate your weakness. It is essential to employ, trust, and reward those whose perspective, ability, and judgment are radically different from yours. It is also rare, for it requires uncommon humility, tolerance, and wisdom.

Dee W. Hock (b. 1929) American businessman
In M. Mitchell Waldrop, “Dee Hock on Management,” Fast Company (Oct/Nov 1996)
    (Source)
Added on 13-Nov-15 | Last updated 13-Nov-15
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Hock, Dee W.

Make a careful list of all things done to you that you abhorred. Don’t do them to others, ever. Make another list of things done for you that you loved. Do them for others, always.

Dee W. Hock (b. 1929) American businessman
In M. Mitchell Waldrop, “Dee Hock on Management,” Fast Company (Oct/Nov 1996)
Added on 23-Oct-15 | Last updated 23-Oct-15
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Hock, Dee W.

Government can do a great deal to aid the settlement of labor disputes without allowing itself to be employed as an ally of either side. Its proper role in industrial strife is to encourage the process of mediation and conciliation.

Dwight David Eisenhower (1890-1969) American general, US President (1953-61)
State of the Union Message (2 Feb 1953)
Added on 10-Sep-15 | Last updated 10-Sep-15
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Eisenhower, Dwight David

Managers who don’t know how to measure what they want settle for wanting what they can measure. For example, those who want a high quality of work life but don’t know how to measure it, often settle for wanting a high standard of living because they can measure it.

Russell L. Ackoff (1919-2009) American organizational theorist, consultant, management scientist
A little book of f-laws: 13 common sins of management (2006)
Added on 16-Apr-15 | Last updated 16-Apr-15
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Ackoff, Russell

The only problems that have simple solutions are simple problems. The only managers that have simple problems have simple minds. Problems that arise in organisations are almost always the product of interactions of parts, never the action of a single part. Complex problems do not have simple solutions.

Russell L. Ackoff (1919-2009) American organizational theorist, consultant, management scientist
“Case Histories Five Years after,” Operations Research 8.2 (1960)
Added on 9-Apr-15 | Last updated 9-Apr-15
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Ackoff, Russell

A bureaucrat is one who has the power to say “no” but none to say “yes”. Bureaucrats can find an infinite number of reasons for rejecting any proposed change, but can find none for accepting it.

Russell L. Ackoff (1919-2009) American organizational theorist, consultant, management scientist
A Little Book of F-laws (2006)
Added on 1-Apr-15 | Last updated 1-Apr-15
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , ,
More quotes by Ackoff, Russell

Managers are not confronted with problems that are independent of each other, but with dynamic situations that consist of complex systems of changing problems that interact with each other. I call such situations messes. Problems are extracted from messes by analysis. Managers do not solve problems, they manage messes.

Russell L. Ackoff (1919-2009) American organizational theorist, consultant, management scientist
“The future of operational research is past,” The Journal of the Operational Research Society, Vol 30, pp.93-104. (1979)
Added on 19-Mar-15 | Last updated 19-Mar-15
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Ackoff, Russell

Strong, responsible unions are essential to industrial fair play. Without them the labor bargain is wholly one-sided. The parties to the labor contract must be nearly equal in strength if justice is to be worked out, and this means that the workers must be organized and that their organizations must be recognized by employers as a condition precedent to industrial peace.

Louis Brandeis (1856-1941) American lawyer, activist, Supreme Court Justice (1916-39)
In The Curse of Bigness: Miscellaneous Papers of Louis D. Brandeis [ed. Fraenkel and Lewis] (1965)
    (Source)
Added on 21-Oct-14 | Last updated 21-Oct-14
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Brandeis, Louis

One of the first things a boss must lose is his temper — and it must stay lost. Noise isn’t authority and there’s no sense in ripping and roaring and cussing around the office when things don’t please you. For when a fellow’s given to that, his men secretly won’t care whether he’s pleased or not. The world is full of fellows who could take the energy which they put into useless cussing of their men and double their business with it.

George Horace Lorimer (1867-1937) American journalist, author, magazine editor
Letters from a Self-Made Merchant to His Son (1901)
Added on 12-Aug-14 | Last updated 15-Oct-15
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Lorimer, George Horace

The real reason why the name of the boss doesn’t appear on a timecard is not because he’s a bigger man that anyone else, but because there shouldn’t be anyone around to take his time when he gets down and when he leaves.

George Horace Lorimer (1867-1937) American journalist, author, magazine editor
Letters from a Self-Made Merchant to His Son (1901)
Added on 5-Aug-14 | Last updated 15-Oct-15
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Lorimer, George Horace

Of the best rulers
The people (only) know that they exist;
The next best they love and praise;
The next they fear;
And the next they revile.
When they do not command the people’s faith,
Some will lose faith in them,
And then they resort to oaths!
But (of the best) when their task is accomplished, their work done,
The people all remark, “We have done it ourselves.”

Lao-tzu (604?-531? BC) Chinese philosopher, poet [also Lao-tse, Laozi]
The Wisdom of Laotse, ch 17 (1948) [tr. Lin Yutang]

Alt. trans. [Tao-te Ching tr. Wing-Tsit Chan]:
"The best are those whose existence is merely known by the people.
The next best are those who are loved and praised.
The next are those who are feared. And the next are those who are reviled.
The great rulers accomplish their task; they complete their work.
Nevertheless their people say that they simply follow Nature."
Added on 28-Feb-08 | Last updated 6-Apr-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Lao-tzu

Anyone can hold the helm when the sea is calm.

[In tranquillo esse quisque gubernator potest.]

Publilius Syrus (d. 42 BC) Assyrian slave, writer, philosopher [less correctly Publius Syrus]
Sententiae [Moral Sayings], # 358
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 20-Feb-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Publilius Syrus

If you don’t understand that you work for your mislabeled subordinates, then you know nothing of leadership. You know only tyranny.

Dee W. Hock (b. 1929) American businessman
“Unit of One Anniversary Handbook,” Fast Company (28 Feb 1997)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 8-Oct-15
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Hock, Dee W.

Treat your employees as if they were writing a book about you.

Judith Martin (b. 1938) American author, journalist [a.k.a. Miss Manners]
“Miss Manners,” syndicated column (17 Aug 2003)
    (Source)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 23-Mar-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Martin, Judith