Harold Geneen

United States
22 Jan 1910 // 21 Nov 1997
Businessman

Quotes

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Synergy, the most screwball buzzword of the past decade.

The Synergy Myth (1997)
It is much more difficult to measure nonperformance than performance.

Managing (1984)
Performance stands out like a ton of diamonds. Nonperformance can always be explained away.

Managing (1984)
It is practically impossible for a top management man, or even middle management, to be doing the degree and level of work that he should be doing and, at the same time, have a clean desk.

Managing (1984)
The worst disease which can afflict business executives in their work is not, as popularly supposed, alcoholism; it's egotism.

Managing (1984)
You can know a person by the kind of desk he keeps... If the president of a company has a clean desk… then it must be the executive vice president who is doing all the work.

Managing (1984)
In the business world, everyone is paid in two coins: cash and experience, like the experience first; the cash will come later.

Managing (1984)
Managers in all too many American companies do not achieve the desired results because nobody makes them do it.

Managing (1984)
It would be a great mistake to confine your imagination to the way things have always been done. In fact, it would consign you to the mediocrity of the marketplace.

Managing (1984)
It is an immutable law in business that words are words, explanations are explanations, promises are promises—but only performance is reality.

Managing (1984)
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On Anger: "For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind."
Essays
On Destiny: "Our destiny exercises its influence over us even when, as yet, we have not learned its nature: it is our future that lays down the law of our today."
Human, All Too Human
On Friendship: "A crowd is not company; and faces are but a gallery of pictures; and talk but a tinkling cymbal, where there is no love."
Essays