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Nobody should be chief executive officer of anything for more than five or six years. By then he's stale, bored, and utterly dependent upon his own clich�s.

Up the Organization (1970)
One of the most important tasks of a manager is to eliminate his people's excuses for failure.

Further Up the Organization (1984)
Most people in big companies are administered, not led. They are treated as personnel, not people.

Further Up the Organization (1984)
The first lesson is: To hell with centralized strategic planning. If you don't have a good leader, it's all nothing; it's just a bunch of papers flying around.

Townsend's Third Degree in Leadership
It takes less time to put up a factory than to train men of competence to run it.

Speech (1968)
Meetings are indispensable when you don't want to do anything.
Management today is reactive behavior. You put your hand on a hot stove and yank it off. A cat would know to do as much.

BusinessWeek (1994)
People all over the world think that it is the factory worker that causes problems. He is not your problem... he is not allowed to do it because the management wants figures, more products, and never mind the quality.

Lecture (1983)
You can only raise individual performance by elevating that of the entire system.

In Search of European Excellence (1997)
Managing intellectual assets has become the single most important task of business.

Intellectual Capital (1997)
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On Anger: "For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind."
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."