Leadership : Quotations of John W Gardner

"The prime function of a leader is to keep hope alive". 

"Leaders come in many forms, with many styles and diverse qualities. There are quiet leaders and leaders one can hear in the next county. Some find strength in eloquence, some in judgment, some in courage".

"One of the reasons people stop learning is that they become less and less willing to risk failure".

"Some people have greatness thrust upon them. Very few have excellence thrust upon them".

"We are continually faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as insoluble problems".

"America's greatness has been the greatness of a free people who shared certain moral commitments. Freedom without moral commitment is aimless and promptly self destructive".
 
"Excellence is doing ordinary things extraordinarily well".
 
"If you have some respect for people as they are, you can be more effective in helping them to become better than they are".

"Josh Billings said, "It is not only the most difficult thing to know oneself, but the most inconvenient one, too." Human beings have always employed an enormous variety of clever devices for running away from themselves, and the modern world is particularly rich in such stratagems".
 
"Leaders come in many forms, with many styles and diverse qualities. There are quiet leaders and leaders one can hear in the next county. Some find strength in eloquence, some in judgment, some in courage".
 
"Life is the art of drawing without an eraser".
 
"Men of integrity, by their very existence, rekindle the belief that as a people we can live above the level of moral squalor. We need that belief; a cynical community is a corrupt community".

"Much education today is monumentally ineffective. All too often we are giving young people cut flowers when we should be teaching them to grow their own plants".

"Self-pity is easily the most destructive of the non-pharmaceutical narcotics; it is addictive, gives momentary pleasure and separates the victim from reality".

"Some people strengthen the society just by being the kind of people they are".
 
"Storybook happiness involves every form of pleasant thumb-twiddling; true happiness involves the full use of one's powers and talents".
 
"The creative individual has the capacity to free himself from the web of social pressures in which the rest of us are caught. He is capable of questioning the assumptions that the rest of us accept".
 
"The cynic says, "One man can't do anything." I say, "Only one man can do anything."

 
"The idea for which this nation stands will not survive if the highest goal free man can set themselves is an amiable mediocrity. Excellence implies striving for the highest standards in every phase of life".
 
"The society which scorns excellence in plumbing as a humble activity and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because it is an exalted activity will have neither good plumbing nor good philosophy: neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water".
 
"True happiness involves the full use of one's power and talents". 
 
"Whoever I am, or whatever I am doing, some kind of excellence is within my reach". 



 

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