15 Greatest Quotes for CEOs

Leadership skills | Business management skills

1. A great man is hard on himself; a small man is hard on others. 
- Confucius

2. The leaders who work most effectively, it seems to me, never say "I." And that's not because they have trained themselves not to say "I." They don't think "I." They think "we"; they think "team." They understand their job to be to make the team function. They accept responsibility and don't sidestep it, but "we" gets the credit. This is what creates trust, what enables you to get the task done.
- Peter F. Drucker

3. Leadership is not magnetic personality, that can just as well be a glib tongue. It is not "making friends and influencing people", that is flattery. Leadership is lifting a person's vision to higher sights, the raising of a person's performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations.
- Peter F. Drucker, Management: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices

4. The three most charismatic leaders in this century inflicted more suffering on the human race than almost any trio in history: Hitler, Stalin, and Mao. What matters is not the leader's charisma. What matters is the leader's mission.'
- Peter F. Drucker, Managing the Non-Profit Organization: Principles and Practices

5. The five tempatations of a CEO
The desire to protect the status of your own career.
The desire to be popular.
The need to make 'correct' decisions, to achieve certainty.
The desire for harmony.
The desire for invulnerability.
- Patrick Lencioni

6. The best bosses: the best bosses are self-effacing and modest: they sublimate their personal ambitions to those of the organization.
- Jim Collins 

7. Inspired managers do it for love rather than fat executive pay.
The success of a chief executive officer is directly proportional to the length of time he has worked with his executive secretary. 
- Chip Conley

8. Surround yourself with the best people you can find, delegate authority and don't interfere.
- Ronald Reagan

9. Give everyone a title. Nothing pleases mankind as much and costs as little. Give everyone their own coffee cup. 
- Jerry Favretto

10. If the clerical staff is pleasant, you can bet that their bosses are pleasant to work for.
- Anon

11. One listless soul can infect a cast of hundreds.
- From the official statement of Agency Philosophy of Ogilvy

12. If you like our service, tell others.
If you don't, tell us.
- Notice posted in a restaurant

13. The telephone operator has one of the biggest roles in creating your organization’s image….indeed, many people may come into contact with no one except your operator. 
- Guy Kawasaki 

14. Big picture thinking: A story
A traveler comes across three bricklayers on a scaffold. The traveler asks the first one,

'What are you doing?'
- The first responds, 'I am earning a wage.'

The traveler then asks the second one, 'What are you doing?'
- The second responds, 'I am building a wall.'

They are doing the same 'work.' Which of the two is laying the better brick?

The traveler then asks the third one, 'What are you doing?'
- The third responds, 'I am building a cathedral.'

15. Big picture thinking for CEOs
- Where is your business now? 
- Is it where you want? 
- If not, why not? 
- What are the long-term goals you have for the business? 
- How much money will it make? 
- How many employees will it have? 
- How will it contribute to solving people’s problems?


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