Lee Iacocca

(Lido Anthony "Lee" Iacocca)

Lee Iacocca
Lee Iacocca
  • Born: October 15, 1924
  • Nationality: American
  • Profession: Businessman, Former Chrysler Chairman, Former Ford President









Quote Topics Cited
A congressman would rather be called a pervert than a protectionist right now. And he'd probably get better treatment from the press if he was. Foreign Trade
As long as Detroit [the auto companies] was making money, it was always easy for us to accept union demands and recoup them later in the form of price increases. The alternative was to take a strike and risk ruining the company. Labor Unions, Labor Relations & Strikes
Demanding reciprocity from our trade partners, and retaliating if we don't get it, doesn't undermine free trade, it defends free trade. Foreign Trade
Getting fired by this guy Carter is the best thing that ever happened to you. Miscellaneous
High interest rates are the cruelest taxes of all. Economics, The Economy & Fiscal Affairs
I voted for George W. Bush, but we’ve lost our way. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
Let's not build a wall around ourselves just when they're coming down all over the world. Foreign Trade
Loan guarantees, I soon learned, were as American as apple pie. Among those who had received them were electric companies, farmers, railroads, chemical companies, ship builders, small businessmen of every description, college students and airlines In fact, a total of $409 billion in loans and loan guarantees were outstanding at the time. Business, Commerce & Finance
People want economy and they will pay any price to get it. Economics, The Economy & Fiscal Affairs
The country needs a gas tax.... That's good for the country.... What's good for the country is good for Chrysler. Energy ;Miscellaneous
The world changes. You’ve got to adapt. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
Under the guise of fighting inflation, COLA actually creates it. Economics, The Economy & Fiscal Affairs ;Elderly, Aging. Old Age, Social Security & Pensions
Vote for the best guy. Forget about the party and the planks. Voters, Voting & Elections
We are in a downhill slide, the likes of which we have never seen in our business. And the Japs are in the wings ready to eat us up alive. Foreign Trade
We’ve been an arrogant country. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes ;Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
We're the only dinosaurs left who maintain that the myth of "free trade" really exists. Foreign Trade
We've got a gang of clueless bozos steering our ship of state right over a cliff, we've got corporate gangsters stealing us blind, and we can't even clean up after a hurricane much less build a hybrid car. But instead of getting mad, everyone sits around and nods their heads when the politicians say, "Stay the course. Stay the course? You've got to be kidding. This is America, not the damned Titanic. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
When you find yourself in a position of leadership, people follow your every move … When the leader talks, people listen. When the leader acts, people watch. So you have to be careful about everything you say and everything you do Leaders & Leadership
When you’re highly leveraged, everything is exaggerated. Good times are better—but bad times are much worse. Business, Commerce & Finance
While the Japanese are shipping us Toyotas, they’re exporting something more important than cars. They’re sending us unemployment. Foreign Trade
A guy named Charlie Beacham was my first mentor at Ford. He taught me the importance of the dealers, and he rubbed my nose in the retail business. Business, Commerce & Finance
Any supervisor worth his salt would rather deal with people who attempt too much than with those who try too little.
Apply yourself. Get all the education you can, but then, by God, do something. Don't just stand there, make it happen. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training ;Religion & God
Chrysler builds great cars.
Chrysler invented rebates, I'm sorry to say. I didn't have anything to do with that. A lot of flaky deals were made in order to give the customer enough cash for a down payment.
Decisiveness is the one word that makes a good manager.
Every business and every product has risks. You can't get around it. Business, Commerce & Finance
I always go back to Harry Truman: Should we drop an atomic bomb to save 100,000 lives? That's a hell of a decision to make. Did he make that decision by himself? No, he had advisers.
I forgot to shake hands and be friendly. It was an important lesson about leadership. Leaders & Leadership
I guess I invented extended warranties, because that's all we had to sell at Chrysler in those days.
I guess that's one achievement I'm really proud of. Saving Chrysler was more than jobs, more than shareholder value. Saving Chrysler was a good idea for the whole country.
I have always found that if I move with seventy-five percent or more of the facts that I usually never regret it. It's the guys who wait to have everything perfect that drive you crazy.
I have found that being honest is the best technique I can use. Right up front, tell people what you're trying to accomplish and what you're willing to sacrifice to accomplish it.
I hire people brighter than me and then I get out of their way.
I was at Ford for 32 years. I went to Chrysler in 1978, four or five months after I got canned by Henry Ford.
If a guy is over 25 percent jerk, he's in trouble. And Henry was 95 percent.
If you want to make good use of your time, you've got to know what's most important and then give it all you've got. Time
In a completely rational society, the best of us would be teachers and the rest of us would have to settle for something else. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training ;Society
In a corporation, there can only be one guy in the end: the CEO.
In the end, all business operations can be reduced to three words: people, product, and profits. Business, Commerce & Finance
In times of great stress or adversity, it's always best to keep busy, to plow your anger and your energy into something positive.
It was emotional when Chrysler sold out to the Germans.
I've always found that the speed of the boss is the speed of the team.
Motivation is everything. You can do the work of two people, but you can't be two people. Instead, you have to inspire the next guy down the line and get him to inspire his people. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
My father always used to say that when you die, if you've got five real friends, then you've had a great life. Life ;Families, Children & Parenting
No matter what you've done for yourself or for humanity, if you can't look back on having given love and attention to your own family, what have you really accomplished? Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex ;Families, Children & Parenting
One of the things the government can't do is run anything. The only things our government runs are the post office and the railroads, and both of them are bankrupt. Government
So what do we do? Anything. Something. So long as we just don't sit there. If we screw it up, start over. Try something else. If we wait until we've satisfied all the uncertainties, it may be too late.
Start with good people, lay out the rules, communicate with your employees, motivate them and reward them. If you do all those things effectively, you can't miss. Business, Commerce & Finance
Talk to people in their own language. If you do it well, they'll say, 'God, he said exactly what I was thinking.' And when they begin to respect you, they'll follow you to the death. Respect ;Religion & God ;Death
The ability to concentrate and to use time well is everything. Time
The affections are like lightning: you cannot tell where they will strike till they have fallen.
The discipline of writing something down is the first step toward making it happen.
The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind.
The kind of people I look for to fill top management spots are the eager beavers, the mavericks. These are the guys who try to do more than they're expected to do - they always reach.
The most successful businessman is the man who holds onto the old just as long as it is good, and grabs the new just as soon as it is better.
The one word that makes a good manager - decisiveness.
The only rock I know that stays steady, the only institution I know that works, is the family. Families, Children & Parenting
The speed of the boss is the speed of the team.
The thing that lies at the foundation of positive change, the way I see it, is service to a fellow human being.
The trick is to make sure you don't die waiting for prosperity to come.
There are times when even the best manager is like the little boy with the big dog, waiting to see where the dog wants to go so he can take him there.
There is no substitute for accurate knowledge. Know yourself, know your business, know your men. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training ;Business, Commerce & Finance
To succeed today, you have to set priorities, decide what you stand for.
Trouble shared is trouble halved.
We are continually faced by great opportunities brilliantly disguised as insoluble problems.
We at Chrysler borrow money the old-fashioned way. We pay it back. Business, Commerce & Finance ;Money, Coins & Minting
We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?
What is wrong with changing your mind because the facts changed? But you have to be able to say why you changed your mind and how the facts changed.
You can have brilliant ideas, but if you can't get them across, your ideas won't get you anywhere.