Everyone has a set of favorite quotes.  I do too.

Folks who interact with me closely must be tired of hearing words or phrases such as toughguy (which I also use as captions for security images), comfort zone, internalizing, data-driven decisions, prioritization, etc.  These words, when used appropriately in emails or speech, convey very powerful meanings.

I have found that as I adopt each quote, I keep thinking about it and working on it.  Slowly but magically, they shape my thoughts and actions and become my principles.

For effective leadership it is important to adopt and work with a few such powerful principles.  And then you can come up with your own quotes!

I hope to be adding to these as I get new ones.  So, here is the list:


A few of my favorite quotes:

41. Habits are more powerful than fears.  Seth Godin.

40. Obvious to you is amazing to others.  Derek Sivers, CD Baby.

39. Progress always involves risks. You can’t steal second base and keep your foot on first.  Frederick B. Wilcox.

38. If things seem under control, you are just not going fast enough.  Mario Andretti.

37. Keep your fears to yourself, share your courage with others – R.L.Stevenson

36. Measure twice, cut once – Stephen Covey

35. Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching – Clive S. Lewis

34. Measure twice, cut once – from Stephen Covey’s 7 habits of highly effective people

33. A customer is someone who puts food on our table – N.R. Narayana Murthy

32. Strategy is about ensuring sustained differentiation in a changing environment for better net income margins – N.R. Narayana Murthy

31. Ordinary things consistently done produce extraordinary results – Keith Cunningham

30. Build your own dreams, or someone else will hire you to build theirs

29. It is never too late to be what you might have been – George Eliot

  1. When the going gets tough, the tough get going

  2. Step out of your comfort zone

  3. Path of least resistance

  4. Habits die hard

  5. Don’t sweat the petty things

  6. Don’t sweat the petty things… and don’t pet the sweaty things (enhancement by George Carlin)

  7. In God we trust; all others must bring data – W. Edwards Deming

  8. Good players play where the puck is.  Great players play where the puck is going to be – Wayne Gretzky

  9. A customer is not an interruption of our work – he is the purpose of it – Mahatma Gandhi

  10.If you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail

  11. Still waters run deep

  12. The darkest hour is just before dawn

  13. The harder I work, the luckier I get (I heard it from Craig McDermott, Australian fast bowler)

  14. When you are asked to get on a rocket ship, don’t ask which seat (as told to Sheryl Sandberg by Eric Schmidt)

  15. There is darkness just under the lamp (old Hindu saying)

  16. People can love me or they can hate me; but they can never ignore me (Sir Ian Botham, English cricket all-rounder)

  17. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit – Aristotle

  18. The 20-min walk I take every day is much better than the 3-mile run I never start

  19. Nothing grows under a banyan tree

  20. If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always got

  21. It is ok to have different points of view, as long as the view is clear – Swami Dayananda Saraswati

  22. If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there

  23.  If two people agree on everything, one of them is redundant

  24.  A winner never quits, and a quitter never wins

  25.  A bend in the road is not the end of the road ….. unless you fail to make the turn

  26.  Remember that failure is an event, not a person – Zig Ziglar

  27.  Trust yourself when all men doubt you, but make allowance for their doubting too – Rudyard Kipling

  28.  The magic number for true expertise: 10,000 hours – Malcolm Gladwell


Use the contact form to share yours and also to help me find the source of some of the above quotes.