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  1. Unless the client could trust McKinsey, we could not work with them.

Marvin Bower (1903-2003) U.S. C.E.O. of McKinsey & Company. The Will to Manage (1966)


  1. In recent years, probity has eroded. Many major corporations still play things straight, but a significant and growing number…have come to the view that it’s okay to manipulate earnings to satisfy what they believe are Wall Street’s desires…many CEOs think this kind of manipulation is not only okay, but actually their duty.

Warren Buffett (b.1930) U.S. entrepreneur and financier. Chairman’s Letter to Shareholders, Berkshire Hathaway 1998 Annual Report (March 1, 1999)


  1. You only have to start a job of work to realize how few decent, honest folk there are about.

Anton Chekhov (1860-1904) Russian playwright and short-story writer. The Cherry Orchard (1904), Act. 2


  1. When dealing with complexity and uncertainty, trust and openness become critical.

David L. Dotlich (b.1950?) U.S. writer. Action Learning (co-written with James L. Noel; 1998)


  1. If a man carefully examine his thoughts he will be surprised to find out how much he lives in the future.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-82) U.S. essayist, lecturer and poet. Attrib.


  1. Honour sinks where commerce long prevails.

Oliver Goldsmith (1730-74) British playwright, writer, and poet. The Traveller (1764)


  1. Total commercial honesty always costs something, but total or partial dishonesty will cost more.

Robert Heller (b.1932) British management writer. The Supermarketers (1987)


  1. It has always been Enron’s policy to be open with its accountants, Arthur Andersen.

Kenneth Lay (b.1942) U.S. business executive. Referring to Ernon’s accounting practices, which were later discredited. Quoted in Guardian (London) (June 2002)


  1. It is the weak and confused who worship the pseudo simplicities of brutal directness.

Marshall McLuhan (1911-80) Canadian sociologist and author. The Mechanical Bride (1951)


  1. If a brand screws up, honesty with the customer is the best way to recapture support.

Michael Perry (b.1934) British business executive. Marketing (March 2000)


  1. Confronting reality-no matter how negative and depressing the process-is the first step toward coming to terms with it.

John Ralston Saul (b.1947) Canadian writer. The Unconscious Civilization (1995)


  1. Let those who follow me continue to build with the plumb of Honor, the level of Truth, and the Square of Integrity, Education, Courtesy, and Mutuality.

John Wanamaker (1838-1922) U.S. businessman. 1910. Quoted in New York Times (1999)


  1. Give me the abrasive guys. They’ll tell the truth and they’re tough.

Thomas J. Watson, JR. (1914-93) U.S. C.E.O. of IBM. Fortune (February 1988)