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1. A thing may look specious in theory yet be ruinous in practice; a thing may look evil in theory, and yet be in practice excellent.

Edmund Burke (1729-97) British philosopher and politician. Speaking for the prosecution at the impeachment of Warren Hastings, former governor-general of India. Speech, British House of Commons (February 19, 1788)


2. Just having a great Web site is only one step in a company thinking of itself as an Internet company. You also have to change all the processes inside your company to be digital. The people at the desk…the knowledge workers, need to work in a different way.

Bill Gates (b.1955) U.S. entrepreneur, chairman and C.E.O. of Microsoft. Speech, Enterprise Solutions Conference, Miami, Florida (March 21, 2000)


3. I set a rule that people weren’t allowed to send good news unless they sent around an equal amount of bad news. We had to get a balanced picture. In fact, I kind of favored just hearing about the accounts we were losing because…bad news is generally more actionable than good news.

Bill Gates (b.1955) U.S. entrepreneur, chairman and C.E.O. of Microsoft. Speech, Microsoft’s Second Annual CEO Summit, Seattle, Washington (May 28, 1998)


4. The essence of a company like Intel is execution and strategy. Intel, looked at in another way, is a three-legged stool. One leg is technology-design and silicon technology-another leg is manufacturing, and the third leg is marketing. Whenever Intel did well it was because the three legs were equal. Whenever one of those legs was shorter than the others, we wobbled.

Andrew S. Grove (b.1936) U.S. entrepreneur, author and chairman of Intel Corporation. Interview, upside Magazine (October 12, 1997)


5. Having a large business is not against the law. Achieving it in violation of fairly specifically prescribed codes of behavior is. So we don’t worry about the grand concept of it. We don’t worry about being big, we worry about not being big enough. But we are worried about playing by the rules-not just the letter of the law, but the spirit of the law.

Andrew S. Grove (b.1936) U.S. entrepreneur, author and chairman of Intel Corporation. On the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice’s investigation into the practices of dominant industry players such as Intel and Microsoft. Interview, Upside Magazine (October 12, 1997)


6. Most of our organization tends to be arranged on the assumption that people cannot be trusted…that sort of attitude creates a paraphernalia of systems, checkers and checkers checking checkers-expensive and deadening.

Charles Handy (b.1932) British business executive and author. “Trust and the Virtual Organization,” Harvard Business Review (May-June 1991)


7. Intellectual honesty and truth are at a minimum in command systems…The creation of knowledge grinds to a halt, and progress ceases. This is as true for command-based business organizations as for political regimes.

Charles G. Koch (b.1935) U.S. management theorist, author, chairman and C.E.O. of Koch Industries. “The Future of America Business” (March 1996)


8. Unless we believe that the expert in any particular job is most often the person performing it, we shall forever limit the potential of that person, in terms of both his own contributors to the organization and his own personal development.

Rene C. McPherson (1924-96) U.S. C.E.O. of Dana Corporation. “The People Principle,” Leaders (January-March 1980)


9. I think that business practices would improve immeasurably if they were guided by “feminine” principles-qualities like love and care and intuition.

Anita Roddick (b.1942) British entrepreneur and founder of The Body Shop. Body and Soul (co-written with Russell Miller; 1991)


10. Forget socialism, capitalism, just-in-time deliveries, salary surveys, and the rest…concentrate on building organizations that accomplish that most difficult of all challenges: to make people look forward to coming to work in the morning.

Ricardo Semler (b.1959) Brazilian business executive and president of Semco. Maverick! (1993)


11. Companies…have a hard time distinguishing between the cost of playing people and the value of investing in them.

Thomas A. Stewart (b.1948) U.S. journalist and author. Intellectual Capital (1997)