"Turbulence is life force. It is opportunity.
Let's love turbulence and use it for change."

Ramsay Clark

"Self-confidence is the first requisite to great undertakings."

Samuel Johnson

"Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character,
give him power."

Abraham Lincoln

"When in doubt, tell the truth."

Mark Twain

"Let us go singing as far as we go: the road will be less tedious."

Virgil (70 BC - 19 BC) 

"First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do."


"It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into."

Jonathan Swift

"Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence."

John Adams, December 1770

"To know the road ahead, ask those coming back."

Chinese Proverb

"I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody."

Bill Cosby

"This became a credo of mine...attempt the impossible in order to improve your work."

Bette Davis

"Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity."

George S. Patton

"So much of what we call management consists in making it difficult for people to work."

Peter Drucker

"It is not enough to do good; one must do it the right way."

John, Viscount Morley, of Blackburn

"He that will not apply new remedies must expect new evils; for time is the greatest innovator."

Francis Bacon

"Approach each new problem not with a view of finding what you hope will be there, but to get the truth, the realities that must be grappled with. You may not like what you find. In that case you are entitled to try to change it. But do not deceive yourself as to what you do find to be the facts of the situation."

Bernard M. Baruch

"Never mistake motion for action."

Ernest Hemingway

"Tell me and I'll forget. Show me, and I may not remember.
Involve me, and I'll understand."

Native American Proverb

"Always listen to experts. They'll tell you what can't be done, and why. Then do it."

Robert Heilein

"Torture the data long enough, and they will confess to anything."


"I find the great thing in this world is not where we stand, as in the direction we are moving."

Oliver Wendell Holmes

"Great people don't equal great teams."

Tom Peters

"If I had six hours to chop down a tree, I'd spend the first four sharpening the axe."

Abraham Lincoln

"I think quality control is an oxymoron. True quality needs space to breathe.  If quality is built in, then where's the need for control?  Why on earth would you want to control quality?  It should be allowed to run rampant."

Hal F. Rosenbluth

"Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing right things."

Peter Drucker

"Quality in a product or service is not what the supplier puts in. It is what the customer gets out and is willing to pay for. A product is not quality because it is hard to make and costs a lot of money, as manufacturers typically believe. This is incompetence. Customers pay only for what is of use to them and gives them value. Nothing else constitutes quality." 

Peter Drucker

"Associate yourself with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation for 'tis better to be alone than in bad company."

George Washington

"Treat the customer as an appreciating asset."

Tom Peters

"A leader must have the courage to act against an expert's advice."

James Callaghan
(British Prime Minister, 1976-1979)

"A wise man sometimes changes his mind, but a fool never."

Arabic Proverb

"The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them."

Albert Einstein

"A man is known by the company he organizes."

Ambrose Bierce

"Good is not good where better is expected."

Thomas Fuller
English clergyman, author, wit

"We must be the world we want to create."


"Indecision is often worse than wrong action."

Gerald Ford

"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work."

Thomas Edison

"Most of what we call management consists of making it difficult for people to get their work done."

Peter F. Drucker

"When a team outgrows individual performance and learns team confidence, excellence becomes a reality."

Joe Paterno

"If a man is called a streetsweeper, he should sweep the streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a streetsweeper who did his job well."

Martin Luther King

"It's a funny thing about life:  If you refuse to accept anything but the very best you will very often get it."

W. Somerset Maugham

"Without a standard there is no logical basis for making a decision or taking action."

Joseph M. Juran

"Excellent firms don't believe in excellence, only in constant improvement and constant change."

Tom Peters

"Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction, and skillful execution; it presents the wise choice of many alternatives."

Willa A. Foster

"No institution can possibly survive if it needs geniuses or supermen to manage it.  It must be organized in such a way as to be able to get along under a leadership composed of average human beings."

Peter Drucker

"Desire is the key to motivation, but it's the determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal—a commitment to excellence—that will enable you to attain the success you seek."

Mario Andretti

"The good of man is the active exercise of his soul's faculties. This exercise must occupy a complete lifetime. One swallow does make a spring, nor does one fine day. Excellence is a habit, not an event."


"Do you know that doing your best is not good enough? First you must know what to do."

W. Edwards Deming

"A good rule in organizational analysis is that no meeting of the minds is really reached until we talk of specific actions or decisions. We can talk of who is responsible for budgets, or inventory, or quality, but little is settled. It is only when we get down to the action words-measure, compute, prepare, check, endorse, recommend, approve-that we can make clear who is to do what."

Joseph M. Juran

"For a successful quality effort, the single most important element is leadership by upper management."

Frank Gryna
"Principles of Quality Costs"

"Quality is not the absence of something in management’s eyes, i.e., 'defects,' but the presence of something in consumer’s eyes, i.e., 'value'."

Alan Weiss
"Million Dollar Consulting – The Professional’s Guide to Growing a Practice"

"The quality, not the longevity, of one's life is what is important."

Martin Luther King

"Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of intelligent effort"

John Ruskin 

"Certification made us more efficient and effective.  We achieved growth in management talent and teamwork, and all of this will continue.  Were definitely better off because of it."

Ponzelle Royster
Quality Assurance Officer, American Red Cross

"If you want to achieve excellence, you can get there today.
As of this second, quit doing less than excellent work."

Tom Watson, IBM founder

"No magic, just a company in alignment with its customers and a shared direction for improvement."

Malcolm Macfarlane
Vice President for Corporate Quality, Sybase, Inc.
in an article on ISO 9000

"How long does it take you&to achieve world class quality?  Less than a nanosecond to attain it; a lifetime of passionate pursuit to maintain it.  Once the fire is lit, assume youve arrived, and never, ever look back or do anything, no matter how trivial, thats inconsistent with your new found quality persona."

Tom Peters
"The Pursuit of Wow!"


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Copyright © 1999 ASQ Section 509.
Last modified: June 03, 2004