Our work puts us in contact with fascinating people. They are typically high achievers who read, think and discuss important issues. And they like to share ideas and quotes with us.

We'll occasionally post some of those thoughts on this page, so you may want to bookmark it for those times when you're looking for a new idea or perspective.

Have an interesting quote to share? Please send it to us!

Here are some of our favorites:

[Great organizations] foster a productive tension between continuity and change. On the one hand, they adhere to the principles that produced success in the first place, yet on the other hand, they continually evolve, modifying their approach with creative improvements and intelligent adaptation....When institutions fail to distinguish between current practices and the enduring principles of their success, and mistakenly fossilize around their practices, they've set themselves up for decline.

- Jim Collins, author of "How the Mighty Fall"

We recognize that we need not choose between being a warm, nurturing, joyful place- where children see that they are known,respected, and loved-and one that sets challenging standards for our children's academic work, for their sense of responsibility, and for their behavior. To choose one over the other suggests an impoverished understanding of how one nurtures children, of what truly brings them a sense of joy and self-worth. In this pairing of rigor and nurture, St.Patrick's can find its unique style and position.

- Peter Barrett - Head of School - St. Patrick's Episcopal Day School in "Setting Compass" 1998

A man should never be ashamed to own he has been in the wrong, which is but saying, in other words, that he is wiser today than he was yesterday.

- Alexander Pope, Poet - (1688-1744) - Suggested to us by Frank Kessel

Guard the soul of your own organization, even from your own pretensions. Those of you lucky enough to be part of an institution that has a soul know what a precious environment it is. It's a secure environment within which distinctive personalities complement rather than compete with each other; it's an open environment in which hierarchy is respected but not imposed, and where posturing and game-playing are unnecessary; it's an institution in which values are explicitly and easily discussed, and there is a consistency between values stated and values played out; it's an organization that demonstrates its humanity equally in its responsiveness to the needs and sensibilities of its external constituencies and in the care with which it nourishes and grows its own personnel.

 - Excerpt: "The Spirit of Philanthropy and the Soul of Those Who Manage It" by Paul N. Ylvisager

Seek not proud riches, but rather such as thou mayest get justly, use soberly, distribute cheerfully, leave contentedly.

- Sir Francis Bacon, Essay 1597

Deferred to, agreed with, acquiesced in, who can flourish on such a daily diet of compliance? the doctor asks. To be curbed, stood up to, in a word thwarted, exercises the character, elasticates the spirit, makes it more pliant. It's the want of such exercise that makes rulers rigid.

- Excerpt from the play, "The Madness of King George"

Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.

- Harry Truman

Some luck lies in not getting what you thought you wanted but getting what you have, which once you have got it you may be smart enough to see is what you would have wanted had you known.

- Garrison Keillor

Some people are not very good communicators, but boy, when you get them into their subject matter, they know exactly where and how far to go. Others are brilliant communicators, but because of the connection between their thoughts and the synapses firing and the words coming out, there isn't enough time and introspection. Therefore they brilliantly communicate something that they shouldn't be talking about. Presence is knowing what to communicate, and how.

- Robert W. Selander

To be what you are and to become what we are capable of becoming, is the only end of life.

- Baruch Spinoza, Philosopher - Sent to us by Daniel Cooney of Marion, Massachusetts

Be true to yourself, be honest with others, say what you think, go with your instincts, teach people that you can stretch and grow in ways you never thought possible. It's like a dinner party with 12 people. You bring as many intellects together as you can and then take the best ideas out of each. The leader who gets the most ideas from the most sources will have the most success.

- Jack Welch, General Electric Chairman

Friendship, like all truth, delights in plainness and simplicity, and it is the counterfeit alone that needs ornament and ostentation.

- James Madison to William Bradford, April 28, 1773.

I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble.

- Helen Keller

Leaders are people who do the right thing and managers are people who do things right. There is a profound difference between those two roles, and both are crucial -- to do the right thing and to do things right.

- Warren Bemis, President Emeritus, University of Cincinnati

I studied the lives of great men and famous women, and I found that the men and women who got to the top were those who did jobs they had in hand, with everything they had of energy and enthusiasm.

- Harry Truman - Sent to us by Donald Hults of Dallas, Texas

Good timber does not grow with ease. The stronger the wind, the stronger the trees.

- Author Unknown - Suggested to us by Elaine Gause, Ogden, Utah

This is the true joy in life -- the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one, the being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances, complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy. I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work, the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no brief candle to me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I've got ahold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.

 - George Bernard Shaw

Life gets more precious when you have less of it to waste.

- Bonnie Raitt 


The college years have been a time, in Robert Frost's words, to "build soil" -- a time to pursue a liberal education, to form your character, and to commit your lives to worthy goals. The years ahead will be a time to reap the harvest of the seeds that you have chosen to sow in that rich soil -- to accomplish those things that will bring you satisfaction and fulfillment and will help to deepen the moral quality of our society. You can be broad-gauged without being superficial, skeptical without being cynical, caring without being sentimental.

- James O. Freedman, President Emeritus, Dartmouth College

What you do speaks so loud that I cannot hear what you say.

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. He will pass an invisible boundary; new, universal, and more liberal laws will begin to establish themselves around and within him; and he will live with the license of a higher order of beings.

- Henry David Thoreau

There are two sources of unhappiness in life. One is not getting what you want; the other is getting it.

- George Bernard Shaw

. . . Leaders are those people who 'walk ahead,' people who are genuinely committed to deep change in themselves and in their organizations. They lead through developing new skills, capabilities, and understandings.

- Peter Senge, Author of the "Fifth Discipline"


Look for more quotes on future visits to our website!