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I am inspired by many of the extraordinary leaders of our past and present. Quotes from these leaders are used to open many discussions throughout the programs that I design and teach. The conversations that are evoked enable participants to explore deeper understandings of themselves and the human condition, duties and obligations toward others, and the values and beliefs that underlie extraordinary leadership. I hope you find them provocative and useful.
Leadership
The high destiny of the individual is to serve rather than to rule. (Albert Einstein)
Why are you here? You are here to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, and with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world. You impoverish yourself if you forget this errand. (Woodrow Wilson)
The conventional definition of management is getting work done through people, but real management is developing people through work. (Agha Hasan Abeda)
Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved. (William Jennings Bryan)
Vision without action is just a dream. Action without vision is just activity. Vision and action together can change the world. (Joel Barker)
Good leaders inspire people to have confidence in them. Great leaders inspire people to have confidence in themselves. (Unknown)
For all the intellect and technique a manager can muster, his/her success turns on a subtle, elusive quality...the degree to which s/he can stimulate people to make the most of their inherent capabilities. (Lester R. Bittel)
Integrity
If pride of character is of worth at any time, it is when it disarms the efforts of malice. (Thomas Jefferson, 1781)
I cannot speak for others whose psyches I may not be able to comprehend, but, in my working life, I have found no greater satisfaction than achieving success through honest dealings and strict adherence to the view that for you to gain, those you deal with should gain as well. Human relations-be they personal or professional-should not be a zero sum game. (Alan Greenspan)
Finding Meaning in Work
This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one..the being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making your happy. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work the more I love. I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no "brief candle"to me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handling it on to future generations. (George Bernard Shaw)
A life is action and passion, it is required of man that he should share the passion and action of his time, at the peril of being judged not to have lived. (Oliver Wendell Holmes)
The noblest question in the world is what good I may do in it. (Benjamin Franklin)
Personal Development
The important thing is this: To be able at any moment to sacrifice what we are for what we can become. (Charles DuBois)
Don't let someone else create your world for you, for when they do, they will always make it too small. (Edwin Louis Cole)
The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands, but in seeing with new eyes. (Marcel Proust)
Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. (Helen Keller)
A mind once stretched by a new idea never regains its original dimensions. (Unknown)
A man, always studying one subject, will view the general affairs of the world through the coloured prism of his own atmosphere. (Benjamin Disraeli)
Change
In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists. (Eric Hoffer)
Most quality organizations have developed a functional blindness to their own defects. They are not suffering because they can't resolve problems, but because they can't see them. (John Gardner)
Every great advance in science has ensued from a new audacity of the imagination. (John Dewey)
Community
Forces of disintegration will prevail unless individuals see themselves as having a positive duty to nurture their community and continuously reweave the social fabric. (John W. Gardner)
The only thing that makes one place more attractive to me than another is the quantity of heart I find in it. (Jane Welsh Carlyle)
One student speaking to another asks: Why does it matter what others say, think or do, just so long as I do my best? Answer: The best anyone does will invariably be better in an environment in which others are doing their best. After all, the relative height of an intellectual wave is a function of the level of the sea of humanity from which it rises. (Lawrence Thomas)
Appreciation
Find grace in small things. (Unknown)
2005 -2015 Donald G. Zauderer
Donald G. Zauderer is Professor Emeritus of Public Administration at American University and former Senior Advisor at the Brookings Institution.