Friday, October 31, 2008
Life 80 When we care for anything too deeply, everything else becomes the enemy. "The moment we care for anything deeply, the world—that is, all the other miscellaneous interests—becomes our enemy." G. K. Chesterton. 1905. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms.
Life 81 We can never be happy if we are too sensitive. "It must be admitted that there are some parts of the soul which we must entirely paralyze before we can live happily in this world." Chamfort. 1805. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms.
Life 85 People go on living without concern for your broken heart. "You may break your heart, but men will still go on as before." Marcus Aurelius. 2nd century. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms.
Life 100 Only God and angels can be observers in life. "But men must know, that in this theater of man’s life it is reserved only for God and angels to be lookers on." Sir Francis Bacon. 1605. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms.
Life 139 The concerns of the moment vanish along with the people involved in them. "Think of the myriad enmities, suspicions, animosities, and conflicts that are now vanished with the dust and ashes of the men who knew them; and fret no more." Marcus Aurelius. 2nd century. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms.
Life 231 Summary of life? "…the waves of fulfillment, disappointment, right guesses, and wrong moves that make up our daily life." E. H. Gombrich. 1960. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms.
Life 332 It's not the great tragedies that take up life, but the little annoyances that waste our time. "What uses up a life is not so much its great tragedies as its small annoyances and the recurrent waste of time." Henry De Motherlant. 1930-44. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms.
Life 347 "The most precious thing in life is its uncertainty." Yoshida Kenko. 1340. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms.
Life 347 Life is short. "All of us are creatures of a day; the rememberer and the remembered alike." Marcus Aurelius. 2nd century. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Life 47 Life means failure. "Whatever else we are intended to do, we are not intended to succeed: failure is the fate allotted." Robert Louis Stevenson. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms.
Life 47 Failure is inevitable in life. "The failures and reverses which await men--and one after another sadden the brow of youth..." Thoreau. 1842. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms.
Life 48 The earth turns and never gets anywhere; live for the moment. "Nothing ever gets anywhere; the earth keeps turning round and gets nowhere; the moment is the only thing that counts." Jean Cocteau. 1922. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms.
Life 52 There is tragedy in little events and the trivial in the truly tragic. "There are tragic elements in superficial things and trivial in the tragic." Hugo von Hofmannsthal. 1905. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms.
Life 53 Some things people can learn only from themselves. "There is much of mankind that a man can learn only from himself." Walter Bagehot. 1879. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms.
Life 57 I seem to be prepared for something that never happens. "...all [my] life...seems to me preparation for something that never happens." W. B. Yeats. 1938. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms.
Life 57 There is no finality in life, except for death. "We live beyond any tale we happen to enact." V. S. Pritchett. 1979. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms.
Life 59 Life is a theater. "Everybody has his own theater, in which he is manager, actor, prompter, playwright, scene-shifter, boxkeeper, doorkeeper, all in one, and audience into the bargain." Julius Hare. 1827. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms.
Life 68 Our greatest despair is for the possibilities we did not realize. "It is not impossibilities which fill us with the deepest despair, but possibilities which we have failed to realize." Robert Mallet. (b. 1915.) Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Life 31 "Life is short, but its ills make it seem long." Publius Syrus. 1st century B.C. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms.
Life 32 "Life is one long process of getting tired." Samuel Butler. 1912. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms.
Life 37 If people were granted their wishes, life would not be any better. "It would not be better if things happened to men just as they wish." Heraclitus. 500 B.C. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms.
Life 38 When we think we have won the day, look out! "It is the favorite stratagem of our passions to sham a retreat, and to turn sharp round upon us at the moment we have made up our minds that the day is our own." George Eliot. 1859. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms.
Life 39 "Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed." Pope. 1727. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms.
Life 43 Opposites are vital to progress in life. "Without contraries is no progression; attraction and repulsion, reason and energy, love and hate, are necessary to human existence." Blake. 1790-3. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms.
Life 45 We ignore circumstances and they grow to require our involvement. "Circumstances are like clouds continually gathering and bursting--while we are laughing the seed of some trouble is put into the wide arable land of events--while we are laughing it sprouts, it grows, and suddenly bears a poison fruit which we must pluck." Keats. 1819. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms.
Life 46 "Life is a maze...." Cyril Connolly. 1944. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms.
Life 46 Is life simply a maze without end? "How if there were no center at all [to the maze], but just one alley after another, and the whole world a labyrinth without end or issue?" Robert Louis Stevenson. 1881. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Life 1145 What is the goal of life? To do right, but the world has lost its focus on that goal. " …restoring to us the simple perception of what is right, and the single-hearted desire to achieve it; both of which have long been lost, in consequence of this weary activity of brain, and torpor or passion of the heart that now afflicts the universe." Hawthorne: Preface to “The Old Manse”
Life 1146 Man has created a labyrinth and now seeks a clue to how to escape it. "…to whom just so much of insight had been imparted, as to make life all a labyrinth around them—came to seek the clue that should guide them out of their self-involved bewilderment." Hawthorne: Preface to “The Old Manse”
Life 19 Most people don't wonder about the meaning of their lives. "…Nature has never put the fatal question as to the meaning of their lives into the mouths of most people." Jung. 1934. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms.
Life 25 There is no tranquility in life because life is motion. "There is no such thing as perpetual tranquility of mind, while we live here; because life itself is but motion...." Hobbes. 1651. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms.
Life 25 The world can be defined as discord. "The world is a vast temple dedicated to discord." Voltaire. 1752. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms.
Life 26 "Man spends his life in reasoning on the past, in complaining of the present, in fearing for the future." Antoine Rivarol. Late 18th century. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms.
Life 28 "Life is a great bundle of little things." Oliver Wendell Holmes, son. 1859. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms.
Life 28 We cannot shape circumstances; we must comply with them. "Things are greater than we, and will not comply with us; we, who are less than things, must comply with them." Benjamin Whichcote. 1703. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms.
Life 29 We observe life's tragedies and then we must play a part in them. "Life is a tragedy wherein we sit as spectators for awhile and then act out our part in it." Swift, 1711. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms.
Monday, October 27, 2008
Life 821 Metaphor for death. "There was one strange thing that troubled me; amid the occupations or amusements of the Fair, nothing was more common than for a person—whether at a feast, theater or church or trafficking for wealth and honors…and however unseasonable the interruption—suddenly to vanish like a soap bubble, and be never more seen of his fellows; and so accustomed were the latter to such little accidents, that they went on with their business, as quietly as if nothing had happened." Hawthorne: "The Celestial Rail-Road"
Life 850 When life is "death in life." "The arrangements and decorations of the banquet were probably intended to signify that death-in-life which had been the testator’s definition of existence." Hawthorne: "The Christmas Banquet"
Life 923 Fully conscious of life. " …his first impulse was to thank Heaven for rendering him again the being of thought, imagination, and keenest sensibility, that he had long ceased to be." Hawthorne: “The Artist of the Beautiful”
Life 923 When we use life to attain something, we realize how fragile life is. "When we desire life for the attainment of an object, we recognize the frailty of its texture." Hawthorne: “The Artist of the Beautiful”
Life 924 The achiever dies; the sluggish live. "The prophet dies; and the man of torpid heart and sluggish brain lives on; the poet leaves his song half sung, or finishes it, beyond the scope of mortal ears, in a celestial choir." Hawthorne: “The Artist of the Beautiful”
Life 945 Life consists of the petty. "…out of the turmoil of their petty perplexities…." Hawthorne: “A Select Party”
Life 1142 The conventions mask the depths of life. "…it seemed to me that all the artifice and conventionalism of life was but an impalpable thinness upon its surface." Hawthorne: Preface to “The Old Manse”
Life 1143 Consciousness of life. "It is good to be alive at such times." Hawthorne: Preface to “The Old Manse”
Life 1143 Proof of our immortality? "For our Creator would never have made such lovely days, and given us the deep hearts to enjoy them, above and beyond all thought, unless we were meant to be immortal." Hawthorne: Preface to “The Old Manse”
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Life 1330 "With so little time to live, I do not choose to waste any of it in sleep." “The Minotaur” Hawthorne, Tanglewood Tales.
Life 1368 "You must make a grave here, and lay your mother’s weary frame into it; my pilgrimage is over." “The Dragon’s Teeth” Hawthorne, Tanglewood Tales
Life 334 "Every human being lives with unrealized dreams and unfulfilled objectives." McNamara’s In Retrospect
Life 1225 Even the young grow old sooner than they expect. "The children, moreover, who before seemed immortal in their childhood, now grew older, day by day, and came soon to be youths and maidens, and men and women by-and-by, and aged people…." “The Paradise of Children” Hawthorne’s The Wonder Book for Boys and Girls
Life 1286 The ability to wait is a hard lesson to learn. "How hard a lesson it is to wait! Our life is brief and how much of it is spent in teaching us only this!" “The Chimera” Hawthorne’s The Wonder Book for Boys and Girls
Life 606 They are happy who learn the riddle of life without wasting a life time to learn it. "Happy they who read the riddle without a weary world-search, or a lifetime spent in vain." Hawthorne: Hawthorne: “The Threefold Destiny: A Fairy Legend”
Life 613 His daily life and his death were at odds. "I glance at these minute particulars of his daily life, because they form so strange a contrast with the circumstances of his death." Hawthorne: “Jonathan Cilley”
Life 743 The joys of life that will some day be annihilated. "The fragrance of flowers, and of new-mown hay; the genial warmth of sunshine, and the beauty of a sunset among clouds; the comfort and cheerful glow of the fireside; the deliciousness of fruits and all good cheer; the magnificence of mountains, and seas, and cataracts, and the softer charm of rural scenery; even the fast-falling snow, and the gray atmosphere through which it descends—all these, and innumerable other enjoyable things of earth, must perish with her…it is not that I so much object to giving up these enjoyments, on my own account…but I hate to think that they will have been eternally annihilated from the list of joys." Hawthorne: “The Hall of Fantasy”
Life 762 When the world starts over again, there will be no reminiscences. "…the new Adam and Eve, who, having no reminiscences…are content to live and be happy in the present." Hawthorne: “The New Adam and Eve”
Life 812 The modern (easy) vs. the traditional (hard) way of life. "The passengers being all comfortably seated, we now rattled away merrily, accomplishing a greater distance in ten minutes than Christian [of Pilgrim’s Progress] probably trudged over in a day; it was laughable…to observe two dusty foot-travelers, in the old pilgrim guise, with cockle-shell and staff; their mystic rolls of parchment in their hands, and their intolerable burdens on their backs…preposterous obstinacy of these honest people in persisting to groan and stumble along the difficult pathway, rather than take advantage of modern improvements [the railway]…greeted the two pilgrims with many pleasant gibes and a roar of laughter…enveloped them in an atmosphere of scalding steam." Hawthorne: "The Celestial Rail-Road"
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
"One of the most striking differences between a cat and a lie is that a cat has only nine lives." Twain. 1894. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms., p. 221.
"The cruelest lies are often told in silence." Robert Louis Stevenson. 1881. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms, p. 222.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Librarian 93 Carol: “Well, I’m sure you will agree with me in one thing: the chief task of a librarian is to get people to read.” Miss Villets: “My feeling, Mrs. Kennicott, and I am merely quoting the librarian of a very large college, is that the first duty of the conscientious librarian is to preserve the books.” Sinclair Lewis, Main Street.
Libraries 271 "The world itself is a volume larger than all the libraries in it." Hazlitt. 1820. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms.
Library 189 "…the magnificent purpose of the [Alexandria] library was to encapsulate the totality of human knowledge." Manguel, A History of Reading.
Monday, October 20, 2008
Liberty 118 People give the name of liberty to slavery. "Man persuades himself that he is emancipated every time that he decorates a new servitude with the name of liberty."Achille Tournier. 19th century. Gross, ed.
Oxford Book of Aphorisms.
Liberty 170 Liberty sounds good in speeches, but is more difficult to practice in reality. "Liberty doesn’t work as well in practice as it does in speeches." Will Rogers. Portable Curmudgeon.
Liberty, law 170 Liberty defined. "Liberty is the right to do whatever the law permits." Montesquieu. Portable Curmudgeon.
Friday, October 17, 2008
Liberalism 183 Liberals exist in Eden and legislate the way people should be; they ignore the friction among people that prevents the liberals' visions from becoming reality. "The conservative party in the universe concedes that the radical would talk sufficiently to the purpose, if he were still in the garden of Eden; he legislates for man as he ought to be; his theory is right, but he makes no allowance for friction; and this omission makes his whole doctrine false." Emerson, “The Conservative.” 1841. Gross, ed. Essays.
Liberalism 154 The "underground" socialists: Liberals. "The worst menace to sound government is not the avowed socialists but a lot of cowards who work under cover—the long-haired gentry who call themselves “liberals” and “non-partisan” and “intelligentsia” and God only knows how many other trick names…irresponsible teachers and professors constitute the worst of this whole gang…." Lewis, Babbitt.
Liberals 451 Liberals are afraid of the world as it is or they are young and want to remake the world in their own image. Cummings [the General] has once said, “You know, Robert, there really are only two kinds of liberals and radicals…the ones who are afraid of the world and want it changed to benefit themselves…and...the young people who don’t understand their own desires…want to remake the world, but they never admit they want to remake it in their own image." Mailer, The Naked and the Dead.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Leisure 258 "Leisure without literature (or books) is death." Latin. Dictionary of Foreign Terms
Leisure xv "Leisure is distinguished from idleness; the Utopians have a passion for learning and self-improvement, and they believe that leisure must be used for the cultivation of the mind." Introd. John Anthony Scott. Sir Thomas More, Utopia.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Legend 1069 "…at some future day, a child should be born hereabouts, who was destined to become the greatest and noblest personage of his time, and whose countenance in manhood, should bear an exact resemblance to the Great Stone Face." Hawthorne: "The Great Stone Face"
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Leaves 309 Choose a crisp leaf, no matter whether maple or oak or ash, and try to match it; and know that leaves are almost as varied as snowflakes. Borland, Twelve Moons of the Year.
Monday, October 13, 2008
Learning 249 People don't learn because they anticipate what is being said and are formulating their response. "Some people will never learn anything, for this reason, because they understand everything too soon." Pope. 1727. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms.
Learning 267 The things we know best are the things we have learned rather than were taught. "The things we know best are the things we haven’t been taught." Vauvenargues. 1746. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms.
Learning 268 The self-educated develop peculiar perceptions. "The self-educated are marked by stubborn peculiarities." Isaac D’Israeli. 1795. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms.
Learning 269 What you are forced to learn, you are quick to forget. "That which anyone has been long learning unwillingly, he unlearns with…with eagerness and haste." Hazlitt. 1821. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms.
Learning 271 You need to apply what you learn. "To spend too much time in studies is sloth." Francis Bacon. 1597-1625. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms.
Thursday, October 9, 2008
Leadership 305 "It was basically a superstition: Dalleson believed that if he could make his own small unit function perfectly the rest of his division would follow his example." Mailer, The Naked and the Dead.
Leadership 323 The focus of his words and actions was to affect his men. "…there is, and it’s very important, the level where he must do and say things for their effect upon the men with whom he lives and works." Mailer, The Naked and the Dead.
Leadership 338 The attitude of the men toward their leader: a feeling of hostility: Hearn, on the reaction of the men in his platoon toward him: "It was the kind of physical readiness, the slight guilt, the slight shame, perhaps, that he had felt in walking through a slum neighborhood, conscious of the hostility of the people who watched him pass." Mailer, The Naked and the Dead.
Leadership 340 "What bothered Hearn was that the General might not be aware of his own motives." Mailer, The Naked and the Dead.
Leadership 340 His motive to establish a good platoon was to prove the general wrong in an institution he despised. "If he could manage it, if it turned out the way he wanted, he could establish some kind of liaison with the men…a good platoon…to do what, to work a little better in an institution he despised…to prove Cummings [the General] was wrong?" Mailer, The Naked and the Dead.
Leadership 347 The leader experiments with the use of his men who are killed in the process. "What the hell is it to the General if we get knocked off…just an experiment that got fugged-up." Mailer, The Naked and the Dead.
Leadership 355 Felt that if the platoon liked its leader, the platoon would fail. "Croft always despised a platoon leader who made efforts to have his men like him…goddam platoon’ll got to hell, he told himself." Mailer, The Naked and the Dead.
Leadership 435 Aware that he, the leader, had little to do with the success of the attack. "Cummings [the General] was bothered by the suspicion, very faint, not quite stated, that he had no more to do with the success of the attack than a man who presses a button and waits for the elevator." Mailer, The Naked and the Dead.
Leadership 555 The general knew he had little to do with the outcome; it was because of so many factors that he could not comprehend. "The General: For a moment he almost admitted that he had had very little or perhaps nothing at all to do with this victory, or indeed any victory—it had been accomplished by a random play of vulgar good luck larded into a casual net of factors too large, too vague, for him to comprehend." Mailer, The Naked and the Dead.
Leadership 141 In today's world the line between the leader and the led has become not well defined. Joseph A. Raffaele: "…we are moving toward a “working society of technical co-equals” in which the line of demarcation between the leader and the led has become fuzzy." Toffler, Future Shock.
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Leadership 222 The general believed that the men who worked for him should be willing to die for carrying out the orders given to the general. "[General Dreedle’s] credo as a professional soldier was unified and concise: he believed that the young men who took orders from him should be willing to give up their lives for the ideals, aspirations and idiosyncrasies of the old men he took orders from." Heller, Catch-22.
Leadership 228 “You mean I can’t shoot anyone I want to?” General Dreedle demanded with uncompromising indignation. Heller, Catch-22.
Leadership 62 Whatever the general thought he acted on immediately. "What the General had was an almost unique ability to extend his thoughts into immediate and effective action…." Mailer, The Naked and the Dead.
Leadership 69 Hearn could see the results of the general's thoughts and actions the next day and into the next month. "The General might even have been silly if it were not for the fact that here on this island he controlled everything…as long as Hearn remained with him, he could see the whole process from the inception of the thought to the tangible and immediate results the next day, the next month" Mailer, The Naked and the Dead.
Leadership 113 Leadership leads to courage. "Martinez’s terror developed in a void; the moment he had to lead men, his courage returned." Mailer, The Naked and the Dead.
Leadership 133 The attitude of officers toward enlisted men. "Stupid ass, he thought, and immediately afterward, with a shock, he realized the trace of contempt he was beginning to feel for an enlisted man…slight, barely apparent, and yet it was there." Mailer, The Naked and the Dead.
Leadership 251 The general's thoughts on power and fear. "The General: The fear, the respect his soldiers held for him now was a rational one, and admission of his power to punish them, and that was not enough…other kind of fear was lacking, the unreasoning one in which his powers were immense and it was effectively a variety of sacrilege to thwart him." Mailer, The Naked and the Dead.
Leadership 251 As the person in charge, the general had to quash resistance immediately. "The General: The longer you tarried with resistance, the greater it became; it had to be destroyed." Mailer, The Naked and the Dead.
Leadership 255 The organization of the army and the worship of power as a vision of the future in society. The General: "I’ve been trying to impress you, Robert, that the only morality of the future is a power morality, and a man who cannot find his adjustment to it is doomed…one thing about power…can flow only from the top down; when there are little surges of resistance at the middle levels, it merely calls for more power to be directed downward, to burn it out…You can consider the Army, Robert, as a preview of the future." Mailer, The Naked and the Dead.
Leadership 256 The naked use of power and punishment. The General: "The only way you generate the proper attitude of awe and obedience is through immense and disproportionate power…if punishment is at all proportionate to the offense, then power becomes watered." Mailer, The Naked and the Dead.
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Leadership 252 Doesn't matter how the people feel so long as they live in fear. "Let them hate, so long as they fear." Cicero. Latin. Dictionary of Foreign Terms
Leadership 300 Difference between being in power and governing. "The king reigns but does not govern."Latin. Dictionary of Foreign Terms
Leadership xvi The primitive king as representative of the people. "The basic contention that in primitive cultures the king is primarily the bringer of life overlooks the fact that he is just as much the representative and epitome of those who receive it." Gaster, Editor’s Foreword. Frazer, The New Golden Bough.
Leadership 279 Retains power so long as the people approve. "…usual terms of holding the reins of government no longer than while he merits the approbation of the people." Frazer, The New Golden Bough.
Leadership 416 The source of power is imagination rather than reason. "It is much easier to govern great masses of men through their imagination than through their reason." Frazer, The New Golden Bough.
Leadership 61 Executives are at the mercy of their employees. "He was distressed by losing that approval of his employees to which an executive is always slave." Lewis, Babbitt.
Leadership 57 The colonel had the courage to put his men at risk. "Colonel Cathcart had courage and never hesitated to volunteer his men for any target available." Heller, Catch-22.
Leadership 93 His responsibilities were being carried out without any assistance from him. "Whatever he was supposed to get done as squadron commander apparently was getting done without any assistance from him." Heller, Catch-22.
Monday, October 6, 2008
Leadership 127 Being a manager or coach calls for different talents than a player. "Being a general calls for different talents from being a soldier." Livy. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms.
Leadership 127 "Those who insist on the dignity of their office, show they have not deserved it." Gracián. 1647. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms.
Leadership 129 "It is impossible that a man who is false to his friends and neighbors should be true to the public." Bishop Berkeley. 1750. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms.
Leadership 131 People in high places, being self-centered, have little interest in others and as their status increases, they become more and more indifferent to other people. "Men in high places, from having less personal interest in the characters of others—being safe from them—are commonly less acute observers, and with their progressive elevation in life become, as more and more indifferent to what other men are, so more and more ignorant of them." Sir Henry Taylor. 1836. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms.
Leadership 131 Princes need to be careful of what they say in unofficial remarks because those remarks appear to others to be what they really mean. "Princes had need, in tender matters and ticklish times, to beware what they say: especially in these short speeches, which fly abroad like darts, and are thought to be shot out of their secret intentions." Francis bacon. 1597-1625. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms.
Leadership 314 Leaders who are sensitive to those around them might not be sensitive to the nation as a whole. "It sometimes happens that he who would not hurt a fly will hurt a nation." Sir Henry Taylor. 1836. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms.
Leadership 117 There cannot be two leaders; one person must be at the helm. "Two captains send the ship to the bottom." Italian. Dictionary of Foreign Terms
Leadership 154 "He labors in vain who tries to please everybody." Latin. Dictionary of Foreign Terms
Leadership 225 "Happy are they who have kept a middle course." Latin. Dictionary of Foreign Terms32.
Leadership "The middle course gets squashed by the extremes." RayS.
Leadership 242 When your boss is replaced, look out! A new boss will make significant changes. "New brooms sweep clean." German. Dictionary of Foreign Terms
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Leadership 294 An important issue for subordinates is how to criticize their leader tactfully. "Subordinates ought to find ways to compensate for idiosyncrasies in their leader’s style." McNamara’s In Retrospect
Leadership 294 Problem: How to change policy. "It remained our responsibility to identify the contradictions in policy, force them to the surface, and debate them; had we done so, we might have changed the policy." McNamara’s In Retrospect
Leadership 299 Failure of coordination. "Once again, we had failed miserably to coordinate our diplomatic and military actions [in the Vietnam War]". McNamara’s In Retrospect
Leadership 306 Failure by the leader to give fully informed answers to his advisers. "Johnson was asking the right questions; but in his poker-playing fashion, he had held back crucial knowledge…needed to give fully informed answers… In particular, they did not receive Rear Admiral La Roque’s devastating report that a military victory in Vietnam was highly unlikely; nor did they see Dick Helms’s analysis that the risks of U.S. disengagement were limited and controllable." McNamara’s In Retrospect
Leadership 332 Advisers were not allowed to communicate to each other, to raise disagreements and resolve them. "…we failed to address fundamental issues…deep-seated disagreements among the president’s advisers…were neither surfaced nor resolved." McNamara’s In Retrospect
Leadership 83 The world will follow only those who have despised it. "The world will, in the end, follow only those who have despised as well as served it." Samuel Butler. 1912. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms.
Leadership 82 Society respects those who don't care about it. "I have…come to the conclusion that [society] looks up to those who care nothing at all about it." Chamfort. 1805. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms.
Leadership 94 Confidence cannot be begged for. "No one who deserves confidence ever solicits it. Churton Collins." 1914. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms.
Leadership 115 Decisions by commonplace people can affect events for a hundred years. "The offhand decision of some commonplace mind high in office at a critical moment influences the course of events for a hundred years." Thomas Hardy. 1928. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms.
Leadership 116 Practical leaders unconsciously follow ideas from yesterday's madman. "Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influences, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist; madmen in authority, who hear voices in the air, are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler of a few years back." John Maynard Keynes. 1936. Gross, ed. Oxford Book of Aphorisms.
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Leadership 1318 The effects of responsibility for government. "You must understand that the father of Theseus, though not very old in years, was almost worn out with the cares of government and had thus grown aged before his time." “The Minotaur” Hawthorne, Tanglewood Tales.
Leadership 1325 RHIP. Royalty has its privileges. "You are a royal prince and have a right to hold yourself above the destinies of common men." “The Minotaur” Hawthorne, Tanglewood Tales.
Leadership 1399 One trait of leadership? Ulysses: "For my part, I am answerable for the fate of these poor mariners, who have stood by my side in battle, and been so often drenched to the skin, along with me, by the same tempestuous surges; I will either bring them back with me or perish." “Circe’s Palace” Hawthorne, Tanglewood Tales
Leadership 1440 What are kings for? "And, Jason, unless you will help an old woman at her need, you ought not to be a king; what are kings for, save to succor the feeble and distressed?" “The Golden Fleece” Hawthorne, Tanglewood Tales
Leadership 1444 A scandal of sandals. …many years before, King Pelias had been told by the Speaking Oak of Dodona, that a man with one sandal should cast him down from his throne…had given strict orders that nobody should ever come into his presence, unless both sandals were securely tied upon his feet; and he kept an officer in his palace, whose sole business it was to examine people’s sandals and to supply them with a new pair, at the expense of the royal treasury, as soon as the old ones began to wear out. Hawthorne: “The Golden Fleece” Hawthorne, Tanglewood Tales
Leadership 26 Responsibility. JFK to McNamara: "I’m grateful to you for your willingness to assume part of the responsibility [for the Bay of Pigs invasion]; but I am president; I did not have to do what all of you recommended; I did it; I’m responsible, and I will not try to put part of the blame on you or Eisenhower, or anyone else." McNamara’s In Retrospect
Leadership 159 Advice and leadership. "Faced with such sharply conflicting advice, the president…." McNamara’s In Retrospect
Leadership 173 Candor and the people. "…Johnson’s continued lack of candor steadily diminished popular faith in his credibility and leadership." McNamara’s In Retrospect
Leadership 191 Choices. "…we groped for the least bad road to follow." McNamara’s In Retrospect
Leadership 206 Educating the people. "…time still existed for Johnson to educate the public about the problems he faced and the actions he proposed and to gain their support." McNamara’s In Retrospect
Leadership 243 The need to question those in leadership positions. "Although deeply divided, the military never fully debated their differences in strategic approach, or discussed them with me in any detail…should have forced them to do both." McNamara’s In Retrospect