Management & Motivation Principles

By Charles Waldo

30 One-liners with some smiles

Extraordinary professor, author, and consultant to top leaders Dr. Peter Drucker published  Management: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices in 1973.   Although Dr. Drucker (died in 2005) authored over sixteen other books and scores of articles that appeared in all the notable business magazines,  Management was his giant…..all 803 pages.  I read this tome from cover to cover but must confess that, while I found it interesting, especially his historical and international perspectives on organization and national business development, not much of it “stuck” – just too much and too deep.

Over the years I’ve found that for me (and many of my business students and consulting clients) the KISS principle (Keep It Short & Simple) works a lot better for imparting management and motivation principles that seem to sink in and stay.And, if a little humor is added, so much the better.   How about you?

For your consideration and use here are thirty quotes from a wide variety of authors, including the infamous “anon” (anonymous), that have been around for years and repeated many times. Despite their briefness – or, perhaps, because of it – they can help anyone become a better manager, employee, spouse, parent, or friend. Why not try a few on “for size?”


1.         A smile is contagious,,,,be a carrier. (Anon)

2.         There are two types of persons – those who come in a room and say,  “Well, here I am,”    and those who come in a room and say,  “Ah, I’m so glad you’re here.”  Which are you?  (Frederick Collins)

3.         Only those who risk going too far will ever know how far they can go.  (Anon)

4.         Always do right.  That will gratify some people and astonish the rest.  (Samuel         Clemmons, aka Mark Twain)

5.         Courage is contagious.   When one brave person takes a stand, the spines of others are

            stiffened.   (Anon)

6.         A sincere apology is the superglue of life.   It can repair just about anything.  (Lynn             Johnston)

7.         If there is anything a person can do well,  I say let him do it.  Give him a chance.     (President Abraham Lincoln)

8.         You can make more friends in a month by being interested in them than in ten years by       trying to get them interested in you.  (Charles Allen)

9.         Nothing is more expensive than mediocrity.  (Industrialist J. Irwin Miller)

10.       Pride is tasteless, colorless, and sizeless.   Yet it is the hardest thing in the world to

            swallow. (August Black)

11.       God gave us two ears and one mouth.    Some people say that’s because He wanted us to   spend twice as much time listening as talking.    Others claim it’s because He knew             listening would be twice as hard.  (Anon)

12.       The only people you should want to “get even with” are those who have helped you.           (John Honeyfield)

13.       The best way to forget your problems is to help someone else solve theirs.  (Rabbi Harold   Kushner)

14.       Measure your wealth not by all the things you have but by just those things for which you

            would not take any amount of money.   (Anon)

15.       Fall seven times.  Get up eight. And…If your horse is dead, dismount. (Old Indian   sayings)

16.       Behold the turtle.  It makes progress only when it sticks its neck out.   (James Conant)

17.       Does he have 17 years of experience or one year of experience 17 times? (Paul       Westerfield)

18.       Don’t be irreplaceable.  If you can’t be replaced, you can’t get promoted. (Anon)

19.       Always remember the distinction between contribution and commitment.    For example     take the matter of bacon and eggs.   The hen makes a contribution.  The pig makes a   commitment.  (Jack Carter)

20.       The person who complains most about the way the ball bounces is most likely the

            one who dropped it.  (Coach Lou Holtz)

21.       The reason a lot of people do not recognize opportunity is because it usually goes around

            wearing overalls and looking like hard work.   (Inventor and industrialist Thomas A.           Edison)

22.       Continuous effort – not strength or intelligence – is the key to unlocking one’s potential.      (Sir Winston Churchill)       

23,       The right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken

            seriously.   (Sen. Hubert Humphrey)

24.       Even if you’re on the right track you’ll get run over if you just sit there.   (Humorist Will      Rogers)

25.       There may be some luck involved in getting a job but there’s no luck

            in keeping it.  (J. Ogden Armour)

26.       Getting other people to like you is simply the other side of liking other people.  (Rev.            Norman Vincent Peale)

27.       “Someday” is not a real day of the week.  (Anon)

28.       The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity.   The optimist sees opportunity in

            every difficulty.  (Sir Winston Churchill)

29.       Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any          other.   (President Abraham Lincoln)

30.       Pay peanuts and you get monkeys.   (Anon)

Looking back….and forward.        

            Did any of these quotes ring true with you?    They did with me.   Try out one or several and see what happens.   I’d be interested in hearing from you about the results.    Good luck.


Charles Waldo, Ph.D., is Professor of Marketing (ret.) in Anderson University’s Falls School of

Business.   He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..