26 Leadership Quotes From The Ten Commandments For Business Failure Part 1
One of the best leadership books I have ever read is The Commandments For Business FailureÂ by Donald Keough.Â Donald was the president, chief operating office, and a director of The Coca-Cola Company from 1981 to 1993.Â Â The insights from his book areÂ brilliant as you will see by reading some of the book’s quotes below.
I will dedicate a series of posts for you to capture as many ofÂ his thoughts as possible.Â In the final post, I will give you Keough’s list of 10 mistakes.Â Every leader can improve from these key learnings.
- “BusinessesÂ are the product and extension of the personalÂ characteristics of its leaders – the lengthened shadows of the men and women who run them.”
- “As our lives get softer and richer and more comfortable, the temptation to quit taking risks is so great.”
- “The world belongs to the discontented.” – Oscar Wilde
- “They (Xerox) ignored the simple truth that to create profits in the long termÂ requires innovation in the short term.”
- “The way forward will always generate some failures.”
- “When the conditions around you change, remain inflexible.Â Keep on keeping on.Â Stand firm.Â You will (surely) fail.”
- “For this is the tragedy of man – circumstances change, but he doesn’t.” – Machiavelli
- “It was like IBM management was standing on the bank of a river.Â No matter how long you stand there, you never see the same river twice – it is in constant motion.”
- “No one liked television except the American people.”
- “You can never cost cut your way to profitability.”
- “Flexibility is a continual, deeply thoughtful process of examining situations and, when warranted, quickly adapting to changing circumstances.”
- “It’s a rare person who wants to hear what he doesn’t want to hear.” – Dick Cavett
- “The simple truth is that all progress in an organization has to, by definition, stem from the effort to solve a problem.”
- “A desk is a dangerous place from which to view the world.” – John le Carre
- “There is a great deal of difference between an environment of creative tension in an organization and a climate of fear.”
- “I consistently had to make an extra effort to broaden my acquaintances.”
- “Watch out for bright lights that surround themselves with dim bulbs!”
- “When the perception of quality in even the most ordinary product is lost, all is lost.”
- “One cannot know enough about a country or a business situation from a briefing book in the comfort of one’s headquarters offices.”
- “The best source of information is from your own field force, your local team.”
- “That was a quality I wanted to emulate, to be trusted.Â Not feared.Â Not loved.Â But trusted.”
- “Success is more permanent when you achieve it without destroying your principles.” – Walter Cronkite
- “If a broken window is left unrepaired in a building, soon vandals will break the rest of the windows.”
- “The nobility and the fragility of the human being.Â The distance between the two traits is not that great.”
- “You cannot build a strong and lasting business on a rotten foundation.”
- “A quiet conscience sleeps in thunder.” – Keough’s father
Check back tomorrow for more from this incredible leader.Â What do you think of Keough’s thoughts andÂ The Coca-Cola Company?
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