Hints, Quotes & Other Inspirations

HINT: You don't get to define what companies perceive as valuable. But you do get to define what suits you. The challenge is to find a match between what an organization values and what you are good at and love to do. Choose roles where organizational realities work for you, not against you.


HINT: Don't forget the basics. You can distinguish yourself positively by cultivating a reputation for reliability, responsibility and courtesy. How? Show up early, not late - always. Answer email and phone calls promptly. Write thank-you notes. Think ahead and make back-up plans.


Good work alone is not enough in any setting to get you to the finish line. Don't "sit in the back." Demonstrate enthusiasm. Ask for help when you need it. Ask for the rewards you deserve. Find mentors.


HINT: First impressions matter, far more than you may realize. And most of the important first cues you give are nonverbal. Smile, shake hands, and make eye contact. Click here for some advice on how to present a professional appearance without losing your individual style.



Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness, concerning all acts of initiative (and creation). There is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favour all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now.
--Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.
--Theodore Roosevelt

I'm a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.
--Thomas Jefferson

Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.

Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.
--Sir Winston Churchill

People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don't believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and, if they can't find them, make them.
--George Bernard Shaw 

Few things help a man more than to place responsibility upon him, and to trust him.
--Booker T. Washington

Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.
--Mark Twain

Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.
--George S. Patton, Jr.

Leadership: the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.
--Dwight D. Eisenhower

Excellence is to do a common thing in an uncommon way.
--Booker T. Washington

Leadership should be born out of the understanding of the needs of those who would be affected by it.
--Marian Anderson, contralto, the first African-American to perform with the New York Metropolitan Opera

Seek not to follow in the footsteps of men of old; seek what they sought.
Bashō, 17th century Japanese poet recognized today as a master of brief, clear haiku

I start with the premise that the function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers.
--Ralph Nader

Example is not the main thing influencing others. It is the only thing.
--Albert Schweitzer

You can't lead anyone else further than you have gone yourself.
--Gene Mauch, baseball player and manager

Leaders are visionaries with a poorly developed sense of fear and no concept of the odds against them.
--Robert Jarvik, inventor of the Jarvik-7 artificial heart

Some succeed because they are destined to, but most succeed because they are determined to.

It's not whether you get knocked down, it's whether you get up.
--Vince Lombardi

Failure does not mean I have accomplished nothing. It does mean I have learned something.
Failure does not mean I've been disgraced. It does mean I dared to try.

Failure does not mean that I don't have it. It does mean I have to do something in a different way.
Failure does not mean that I will never make it. It does mean that I need more patience.
Failure does not mean that I should give up. It does mean that I must try harder.

An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.
--Winston Churchill

The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men [sic] to do what he wants done, and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it.
--Theodore Roosevelt

Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.
--Peter Drucker

In any moment, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.
--Theodore Roosevelt

Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power.
--Abraham Lincoln

Become a possibilitarian. No matter how dark things seem to be or actually are, raise your sights and see possibilities - always see them, for they're always there.
--Norman Vincent Peale

You're only as good as the people you hire.
--Ray Kroc

He who wishes to secure the good of others has already secured his own.

Ability may get you to the top, but it takes character to keep you there.
--John Wooden

In periods where there is no leadership, society stands still. Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better.
--Harry S. Truman

Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.
--John F. Kennedy

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