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Management Quotes



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Quote Author Cited
First feelings are always the most natural. Louis XIV
Against stupidity the very gods themselves contend in vain. Friedrich Schiller
Don't undertake a project unless it is manifestly important and nearly impossible. Edwin Land
Life is the art of drawing sufficient conclusions from insufficient premises. Samuel Butler
Act quickly, think slowly. Germaine Greer
Counting is the religion of this generation it is its hope and its salvation. Gertrude Stein
The fool wonders, the wise man asks. Benjamin Disraeli
You people are telling me what you think I want to know. I want to know what is actually happening. Creighton Abrams
If you see ten troubles coming down the road, you can be sure that nine will run into the ditch before they reach you. Calvin Coolidge
The finest eloquence is that which gets things done. David Lloyd George
Leave undone whatever you hesitate to do. Kenko Yoshida
Delay is the deadliest form of denial. C. Northcote Parkinson
Blame is for God and small children. Dustin Hoffman
It is a paradoxical but profoundly true and important principle of life that the most likely way to reach a goal is to be aiming not at that goal itself but at some more ambitious goal beyond it. Arnold J. Toynbee
The best is the enemy of the good. Voltaire
What the Puritans gave the world was not thought, but action. Wendell Phillips
If an expert says it can't be done, get another expert. David Ben-Gurion
Be gentle to all and stern with yourself. Saint Teresa of Avila
To govern is always to choose among disadvantages. Charles de Gaulle
Let our advance worrying become advance thinking and planning. Winston Churchill
When government disappears, it's not as if paradise will take its place. When governments are gone, other interests will take their place. Lawrence Lessig
Measure what is measurable, and make measurable what is not so. Galileo Galilei
All growth is a leap in the dark, a spontaneous unpremeditated act without benefit of experience. Henry Miller
When you come to a fork in the road, take it. Yogi Berra
That is the best government which desires to make the people happy, and knows how to make them happy. Thomas Babington Macaulay
You can never plan the future by the past. Edmund Burke
Government is either organized benevolence or organized madness; its peculiar magnitude permits no shading. John Updike
Investigation may be likened to the long months of pregnancy, and solving a problem to the day of birth. To investigate a problem is, indeed, to solve it. Mao Zedong
He listens well who takes notes. Dante Alighieri
God is in the details. Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
A day may sink or save a realm. Alfred Lord Tennyson
Bureaucracy is a giant mechanism operated by pygmies. Honore de Balzac
Enthusiasm for a cause sometimes warps judgment. William Howard Taft
There are no favorites in my office. I treat them all with the same general inconsideration. Lyndon B. Johnson
Delay is preferable to error. Thomas Jefferson
Congress, the press, and the bureaucracy too often focus on how much money or effort is spent, rather than whether the money or effort actually achieves the announced goal. Donald Rumsfeld
Never confuse movement with action. Ernest Hemingway
We cannot perform our tasks to the best of our power, unless we think well of our own capacity. William Godwin
All progress is experimental. John Jay Chapman
The secret of success is constancy to purpose. Benjamin Disraeli
Never take anything for granted. Benjamin Disraeli
The remedy is worse than the disease. Francis Bacon
Time is the most valuable thing a man can spend. Theophrastus
An expert is one who knows more and more about less and less. Nicholas M. Butler
You can't run a business or anything else on a theory. Harold S. Geneen
The results of political changes are hardly ever those which their friends hope or their foes fear. Thomas Huxley
Never retreat. Never explain. Get it done and let them howl. Benjamin Jowett
A government must not waiver once it has chosen it's course. It must not look to the left or right but go forward. Otto von Bismarck
When we got into office, the thing that surprised me most was to find that things were just as bad as we'd been saying they were. John F. Kennedy
Hasten slowly. Augustus
It is easier to criticize than to correct our past errors. Livy
The man whose authority is recent is always stern. Aeschylus
Don't fight the problem, decide it. George C. Marshall
Life is made up of a series of judgments on insufficient data, and if we waited to run down all our doubts, it would flow past us. Learned Hand
Substantial progress toward better things can rarely be taken without developing new evils requiring new remedies. William Howard Taft
Do something. If it doesn't work, do something else. No idea is too crazy. Jim Hightower
In crises the most daring course is often safest. Henry A. Kissinger
Heaven never helps the men who will not act. Sydney Smith
There is no Democratic or Republican way of cleaning the streets. Fiorello LaGuardia
Perhaps one of the most important accomplishments of my administration has been minding my own business. Calvin Coolidge
We may draw good out of evil; we must not do evil, that good may come. Maria Weston Chapman
There has never been any country at every moment so virtuous and so wise that it has not sometimes needed to be saved from itself. Havelock Ellis
Meetings are indispensable when you don't want to do anything. John Kenneth Galbraith
Truth lies within a little and certain compass, but error is immense. Henry St. John
I know of no way of judging the future but by the past. Patrick Henry
If the world should blow itself up, the last audible voice would be that of an expert saying it can't be done. Peter Ustinov
President Lincoln is timid, vacillating, and inefficient. Zachariah Chandler
No new state is ever fully ready for independence .. David L. Phillips
This is a wonderful year for raw truth. We don't have any money. Mario Cuomo
All governments, without exception, are stable only insofar as they can effectively reward and punish. Evan Meredith Jenkins
What I saw was a cabal between the vice president of the United States, Richard Cheney, and the secretary of defense, Donald Rumsfeld, on critical issues that made decisions that the bureaucracy did not know were being made. Now it is paying the consequences of making those decisions in secret, but far more telling to me is America is paying the consequences. Lawrence Wilkerson
We told members of the board of broadcast governors that we didn't think it was appropriate for the Voice of America to be broadcasting the voice of the Taliban into Afghanistan and we didn't think it was consistent with their charter... Its charter says that they should explain US government policy and present responsible discussion about it. We don't consider Mullah Omar to be responsible discussion. Richard A. Boucher
I happen to believe that any legitimate news organization in the world would do that interview. And if the United States is going to be a proponent of a free press, it has to walk the walk. Norman Pattiz
You have acquired so enormous a mass of territory that it will be years before you can settle it or control it, or make it capable of defense or make it amenable to the acts of your administration Archibald Philip Primrose Rosebery
Little changes are the enemies of great changes. Bertolt Brecht
The Colorado River System is changing rapidly. We have a responsibility to reassess the fundamental precepts of how we have managed the river. Daniel P. Beard
Time is death. Peter the Great
I am part of a political class that is paralyzed by the prospect of risk. Nicolas Sarkozy
I have to give him and I have to have 100 percent of his confidence…. If I do not have his confidence, someone else should be chief of staff. Andrew Card
The great constraint on the Presidency is time. Andrew Card
I am someone who facilitates the President’s ability to make tough decisions. Andrew Card
The views of several individuals are assuredly preferable to one man, even as the power of a number of men is of course greater than the power of one man. Abdul Baha; Effendi Abbas
Not only didn't President Clinton bite the bullet, he didn't even bite the BB. Haley Barbour
I think it absolutely necessary that the President should have the power of removing his appointees from office; it will make him, in a peculiar manner, responsible for their conduct, and subject him to impeachment himself, if he suffers them to perpetrate with impunity high crimes or misdemeanors against the United States, or neglects to superintend their conduct, so as to check their excesses. James Madison
The executive power is better to be trusted when it has no screen. Sir, we have a responsibility in the person of our President; he cannot act improperly, and hide either his negligence or inattention; he cannot roll upon any other person the weight of his criminality; no appointment can take place without his nomination; and he is responsible for every nomination he makes…. Add to all this, that officer is placed high, and is possessed of power far from being contemptible, yet not a single privilege is annexed to his character; far from being above the laws, he is amenable to them in his private character as a citizen, and in his public character by impeachment James Wilson
The authority of a king is the keystone which closeth up the arch of order and government Thomas Wentworth, 1st Earl of Strafford
Bureaucracy and social harmony are inversely proportional to each other. Leon Trotsky
Your either accused of being dictatorial or of being weak—occasionally both at the same time. You just have to take your pick. Tony Blair
There is no left or right in economic management today. Tony Blair
A guilty party is being sought. Such action is a favorite means of consolation in the face of calamity. Karel Capek
Everything looks like a failure in the middle Rosabeth Moss Kanter
Thoughts without content are empty, intuitions without concepts are blind Immanuel Kant
In the Navy when you say right full rudder and everyone goes right. It's wonderful. In the private sector [and government] no one pays any attention to you. James D. Watkins
Although we are very strong, we are pursuing a very calculating and moderate policy. We prefer a political solution and are managing the situation accordingly. Kemal Ataturk
Whatever policy we adopt, there must be an energetic prosecution of it. William H. Seward
Lincoln has no conception of his situation—much absorption in the details of office dispensation, but little application to great ideas. William H. Seward
I have a telephone and I'll run the country by myself. Boris Yeltsin
There is no school that teaches you how to run a state. You make mistakes, but you learn on the job. Arnold Schwarzenegger
Accountability begins with transparency. John Bolton
According to the U. N. Charter, the Secretary General is the chief administrative officer, not its chief moralizer. John Bolton
Any crooked bookkeeper's books are balanced. James E. Ferguson
Ideas, not ideology. Voters want a government that works. Harold Ford, Jr.
Good plans shape good decisions. That's why good planning helps to make elusive dreams come true. Lester R. Bittel
Most of the energy devoted to political work is devoted to correcting the effects of mismanagement of government. Milton Friedman
When I have a bad day I look back six months and see where we were and ask myself if we are moving in the right direction. James Jones
Administrators are another curious consequence of a bureaucracy which has forgotten its reason for being Neil Postman
People (political and military leaders) much prefer to speak of what they are going to do rather than what the outcome will be. Giora Eiland
I used to try and get things done by saying please. Now I dynamite them out of the way. Huey P. Long
Face the brutes. That is a lesson for all life—face the terrible, face it boldly. Like the monkeys, the hardships of life fall back when we cease to flee before them Swami Vivekananda
All urgent calls he shall hear at once, but never put off; for when postponed, they will prove too hard or impossible to accomplish. Chanakya
Never share your secrets with anybody. It will destroy you. Chanakya
Huge sums of money, administrative manipulation, have all been mustered to prevent the people from expressing their voice. Viktor Yushchenko
I see reality up front, never giving it my back Vincente Fox
You cannot solve a problem that you do not admit exists. Amy Klobuchar
I may not know how to tune a lyre, but I know all that I need to know to make a city great and free. Themistocles
All executive power --- from the reign of ancient kings to the rule of modern dictators --- has the outward appearance of efficiency William O. Douglas
Delays in or avoidance of decision making was chronic. Paul A. Volcker
Praise in public; rebuke in private. Anonymous
The best way you make policy in Washington is by doing it yourself. John Brady Kiesling
Most of the time we do not know what we have learned till long after we learned it. John Brady Kiesling
Whatever people think, is. Otis Singletary
The most important discoveries will provide answers to questions that we do not yet know how to ask and will concern objects we have not yet imagined. John N. Bahcall
Science thrives on self-correction …. refutation almost always contains positive lessons that overwhelm disappointment. Stephen Jay Gould
Go to the edge of the cliff and jump off. Build your wings on the way down. Ray Bradbury
Our elite is primarily and increasingly managerial. A managerial elite manages. A crisis, unfortunately, requires thought. Thought is not a management function. John Ralston Saul
The mere fear that there is a mole within an agency can set off a chain reaction and a hunt for that particular mole which can paralyze the agency for weeks and months and years even, in a search William S. Cohen
There is no silver bullet. I know people in Washington want grand solutions for everything. Louis Uchitelle
The fact that you needed to know was not known at the time that the now known need to know, was known. Therefore, those that needed to advise and inform the Home Secretary perhaps felt the information he needed as to whether to inform the highest authority of the known information was not yet known and therefore there was no authority for the authority to be informed because the need to know was not, at that time, known or needed. Jonathan Lynn; Antony Jay
Imagination … which is ever wandering beyond the bounds of truth, joined to self-love and that self-confidence we are so apt to indulge, prompt us to draw conclusions that are not immediately derived from facts ... Antoine Lavoisier
The buck stops here. Anonymous
If you cannot make a positive contribution, at least do not impede. Kurdish Proverb
The long run may be too long. R. W. Apple, Jr.
Organizational changes to fix the problems usually create new vulnerabilities in the process of fixing the old ones. Richard K. Betts
It is easy to say that something should be done. However to say what, when and how is more difficult. Kofi Annan
Sometimes ruin comes for lack of judgment. Book of Proverbs; Solomon
One of the worst features of the existing system is that the employees have a constant risk in their employer. If he is not competent to manage the business with success, they suffer with him. Capital also is dependent on the skill of the captain of industry for the certainty and magnitude of its profits. Under these circumstances there has been a great demand for men having the requisite ability for this function. As the organization has advanced, with more impersonal bonds of coherence and wider scope of operations, the value of this functionary has rapidly increased. The possession of the requisite ability is a natural monopoly. Consequently, all the conditions have concurred to give to those who possessed this monopoly excessive and constantly advancing rates of remuneration. William Graham Sumner
I wasn’t hired to do well in the polls. I was hired to do a good job. Michael Bloomberg
I’m the first to say that I’ve no idea what I’m doing. There is no manual here for how to be mayor. Gavin Newsom
I have not had the cabinet here for 6 weeks. I can run the government better without them. James K. Polk
There are only two powers that matter in the bureaucracy of Washington: The power to say ‘Here’s your money,” and the power to say “You’re fired!” John F. Lehman
None of us are naïve enough to believe that moving around boxes on organization charts will change behavior. You have to change culture. John F. Lehman
When you establish a powerful position, the first think you have to do is check that power and make it accountable. Lee H. Hamilton
In his anger William ordered that all crops and herds... and food of every kind should be brought together and burned to ashes, so that the whole region north of Humber might be stripped of all means of survival. Ordericus Vitalis
No one can have 33,000 employees and not do something wrong or have one of them do something wrong. Ernie Fletcher
What gets measured, gets done. David Satcher
We may well doubt whether our organization is not too complicated, too expensive; whether offices and officers have not been multiplied unnecessarily and sometimes injuriously to the service they were meant to promote. Thomas Jefferson
Neither man nor nation can prosper unless, in dealing with the present, thought is steadily taken for the future. Theodore Roosevelt
It is the duty of those serving the people in public place to closely limit public expenditures to the actual needs of the Government economically administered. Grover Cleveland
Our Defense Department is the best in the world at winning wars and protecting the country. However on basic management, and fiscal activities, their grade would be a D…. The Pentagon is the last obstacle we have to overcome in order to audit the Defense Department. They are unauditable today. David Walker
Did I play my part well in this comedy of life? Augustus
I do not deny that we may make mistakes of procedure as we carry out the policy. I have no expectation of making a hit every time I come to bat. What I seek is the highest possible batting average, not only for myself but for the team. Franklin D. Roosevelt
What matters is not a simple sense of an issue’s salience, but whether a government can shape outcomes on it, where there is the greatest likelihood that the parties will actually be able to implement their policies. Mark Wickham-Jones
We are not the masters of our own destiny as far as our case load is concerned. Anthony Kennedy
The most difficult thing for a manager to determine is when a fact is really a fact. Harold S. Geneen
Being a cabinet minister is not like running a company. A country is not a company. Thierry Breton
Do not look where you fell, but where you slipped. African Proverb
The networks are rescuing people and the government can’t. Why don’t the networks run FEMA? Nancy Giles
The transition from cause to effect, from event to event, is often carried on by secret steps, which our foresight cannot divine, and our sagacity is unable to trace. Joseph Addison
What's everybody's work is nobody's work. Portuguese Proverb
Tell your friends a lie; if they keep it secret, tell them the truth. Portuguese Proverb
No one tests the depth of the river with both feet. Ghana Proverb
Good data is hard to find. Hard data is good to find Donald Snyder
He who conceals his disease cannot expect to be cured. Ethiopian Proverb
Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts Albert Einstein
Having stovepipes—not sharing information—that was the main failure of FEMA in Hurricane Katrina. David Paulson
There is no question that FEMA and the National Emergency Response System did not fail America the day that Katrina hit. They failed the day before and the days before that. David E. Liebersbach
Success is ninety-nine percent failure. Soichiro Honda
A verbal contract isn't worth the paper it's printed on. Samuel Goldwyn
I believe in men who take the next step. Not in men who theorize the 200th step. Theodore Roosevelt
Democracy is good, provided the government can function. Vali Nasr
Shuffle up the cards and try again. Randolph Churchill
A most powerful objection always arises to propositions of public works. It is that public undertakings are carelessly managed and much money spent to little purpose Thomas Jefferson
Tell that staff of yours that nobody ain’t going to divide us. I’ll tell mine the same. Lyndon B. Johnson
The language of priorities is the religion of Socialism. Aneurin Bevan
You can’t have simultaneous notification on important issues. Some people always get the word before others. Jimmy Carter
One mediocre general is better than two good ones. Napoleon Bonaparte
Guidelines for bureaucrats: (1) When in charge, ponder. (2) When in trouble, delegate. (3) When in doubt, mumble. James H. Boren
We find an organization that is deeply troubled by bad management, by sex and corruption and by a growing lack of confidence in its ability to carry out missions that are given to them. John Bolton
Our little systems have their day; They have their day and cease to be. Alfred Tennyson
Inconsistencies of opinion, arising from changes of circumstances, are often justifiable Daniel Webster
A wise man should constantly discharge the paramount duties, but not always the minor ones; for he who does not discharge the former, while he obeys the latter alone, becomes an outcast. Manu
The whole people would no more be able than the whole body of shareholders in a great enterprise to manage an industry....It would be necessary, under socialism as much as under large scale capitalism, to entrust the actual management of industrial enterprise to salaried experts, chosen for their specialized knowledge and ability in particular branches of work....There is no reason to suppose that the methods of appointing the actual managers in socialized industries would differ widely from those already in force in large scale capitalist enterprise....There is no reason to suppose that the socialization of any industry would mean a great change in its managerial personnel. G.D.H. Cole
Credulity is the man’s weakness, but the child’s strength. Charles Lamb
Nothing can be created out of nothing. Titus Lucretius Carus
Almost every politician running for office comes out with a set of plans so that they can demonstrate how serious they are about fixing the state’s problems. But once the election is over and the candidate takes his or her oath, you rarely here a peep about those plans again. They end up on a shelf somewhere gathering dust. Joe Manchin
Send a wise man and don't advise him. He should know what to do. Arab Proverb
Avoid what will require an apology. Arab Proverb
With a soft tongue you can even pull a snake out of its nest. Armenian Proverb
Every opportunity passed is lost. Corsican Proverb
This plan is subject to change without notice as all plans are. George S. Patton
He who undertakes too much seldom succeeds. Anonymous
If you chase two rabbits, you will not catch either one. Anonymous
As soon as control eases, there is chaos. [Yi fang, jiu luan.] Anonymous
He may find fault, but let him mend it if he can. Anonymous
Politician's success formula: Long hours, short memories. Anonymous
I hope you are not bringing any new fandangled ideas like a better accounting system or an accrual basis or anything like that, because it would take away the flexibility of the governor. Anonymous
The man who straddles the fence too long usually develops a sore crotch. Anonymous
The sums made available to the Agency [CIA] may be expended without regard to the provisions of law and regulations relating to the expenditure of Government funds. Anonymous
To his own people he did evil; in yokes without relief he ruined them all. Anonymous
Better a thousand enemies outside the house than one inside. Anonymous
The long view counts. David Abshire
That is what all of us must learn to do in the United States; to limit objectives, to get ourselves away from the absolute, to find out what is within our powers. Dean Acheson
The rule that feeble and incompetent governments acquire strength by exercise, especially in war, has been well understood. Henry Adams
While all other sciences have advanced, that of government is at a standstill—little better understood, little better practiced now than three or four thousand years ago. John Adams
May Honor be given to whom Honor may be due. Samuel Adams
It is circumstance and proper timing that give an action its character and make it either good or bad. Agesilaus II
Dictators are the last to know. Fouad Ajami
Old mismanagement is no excuse for the continuance of it. Albert of Saxe-Coburg
Managing the United Nations is like trying to run a business with 184 chief executive officers—each with a different language, a distinct set of priorities, and an unemployed brother-in-law seeking a paycheck. Madeleine Albright
A President in a ... crisis makes, say, 10 bets a day. Maybe I made the wrong choice three times. Raul Alfonsin
If one doesn’t examine one’s mistakes and look back, how else does one have vision? Kofi Annan
Hire a staff that's more like you than you are. Richard K. Armey
[Referring to the Pentagon:] It's a mammoth place that makes an incredible number of mistakes. Leslie Aspin
I can conceive of nothing worse than a man-governed world—except a woman-governed world. Nancy Astor
The central purpose of a chairman should be to ensure that the shortest possible time should elapse between the beginning of any meeting and its end. Clement Attlee
The small things are the big things. Lee Atwater
A wrongdoer is often a man who has left something undone, not always one who has done something. Marcus Aurelius
A country is not a business and a government should stand for much more than economic efficiency. Jack Austin
To live well in the second half of the 1990s and into the 21st Century, Australians have to produce and trade better than we have in the past….to improve workers' living standards and generate more jobs, we need to make major changes in the way our companies are managed and our factories produce wealth Australian Manufacturing Workers' Union
Errors using inadequate data are much like those using no data at all. Charles Babbage
Measure not dispatch by the times of sitting, but by the advancement of business. Francis Bacon
The vices of authority are chiefly four: delays, corruption, roughness and facility [weakness]. Francis Bacon
Administration is the essence of government, and its quality is a prime condition of civic comfort. Stanley Baldwin
Knowing what you cannot do is more important than knowing what you can do. Lucille Ball
Divided responsibility is no responsibility. Ludwig Bamburger
Make no small plans. Daniel Barber
We ought not to cripple them [the Australian States] using our power of direct taxation, unless under the stress of some great emergency; we ought to leave them free to enlarge their revenues by direct taxation [income and property taxes], seeing that they will have no power to resort to customs or excise duties if they want additional revenue. Edmund Barton
Governing today means giving acceptable signs of credibility. It is like advertising and it is the same effect that is achieved—commitment to a scenario. Jean Baudrillard
I spent 90 percent of every day saying no to dopey ideas. Gary Bauer
There is only one conflict, and that’s between short-term and long-term thinking. Mollie Beattie
Running a country is much more difficult than running a campaign. Paul Begala
There are two ways to reduce expenditures. There is the intelligent way ... going through each department and questioning each program. Then there is the stupid way: announcing how much you will cut and getting each department to cut that amount. I favor the stupid way. Michel Belanger
Being Attorney General is a lot better than being a judge. You can get something done. If you have an idea, you’ve got thousands of people you can put to work on the idea. Griffin Bell
I think he's an entertainer. I would prefer if he were a performer. Carol Bellamy
No one wants to be at the wrong end of finger-pointing. Robert S. Bennett
Yes, Ronald Reagan did sleep through cabinet meetings—and deservedly so. They were incredibly tedious. I know; I was there. William Bennett
When you put your Senate staff together, do not use the staff from your campaign. Lloyd Bentsen
It's not the quantity of your decisions; it's the quality. Lloyd Bentsen
The state of affairs in our nation's capital is a national disgrace. It is an international embarrassment and dishonors the name of our first president, George Washington. Douglas K. Bereuter
Please don't be deterred in the fanatic application of your sterile logic. Aneurin Bevan
Politics is the business of managing perceptions. Donald S. Beyer Jr.
My chief constructive work was devoted to securing a system by which I could compel the body of men under me—against its old custom and obvious self-interest—really to enforce the law. Theodore A. Bingham
The policies and the laws are no better than the people who are enforcing them. Milt Bins
There are times when one must govern liberally and times when one must be dictatorial. Otto Von Bismarck-Schoenhausen
It is owing to the great obstinacy of individuals that it is difficult to govern with the Constitution in Prussia. A constitutional crisis is no disgrace: it is an honor. We are, perhaps, too cultured to endorse a Constitution. Otto Von Bismarck-Schoenhausen
The fact that you can't do everything doesn't mean that you shouldn't do what you can do. Tony Blair
If you are a U. S. senator, you can give an ideological response to a serious problem and probably never be held accountable for it. Whereas the [state] governors are dealing with the real world—they have to run things, to make them work. James J. Blanchard
Dialoging is the first principle of good government. Michael Bloomberg
If there are no superior people to look after a population, the common people have no security. Chaophraya Bodin
Managing the House of Representatives is like herding cats. John Boehner
You are. Charles E. Bohlen
And David consulted with the captains of thousands and hundreds, and with every leader. Book of Chronicles
If the rest of Washington ran as efficiently as this football team there wouldn't be any deficit. Jeff Bostic
Decisiveness is the best way to get things done. Boutros Boutros-Ghali
We should not, however, proceed with the adventure simply because we are wound up and cannot stop. Chester Bowles
I don't want to get into the blame game. That's not my job. Nicholas Brady
Organization can never be a substitute for initiative and for judgment. Louis D. Brandeis
You need to pay attention to the little things as well as the big things. William J. Bratton
You can always use more money. Paul Bremer
Given a choice of five strategies, they choose them all. David Brooks
If everyone in government would refuse to sign everything they couldn't read, everything would grind to a screeching halt. Edmund G. Brown Jr.
I know of no group or class that we do not reach—and we please none. Prentiss M. Brown
If you use power too loosely, you lose power. Willie Brown
In Sacramento you simply had to think about what the law ought to be and leave it to someone else to implement. In San Francisco, you hear about it the next day. Willie Brown
Street lights, dog-doo and parking meters are not my cup of tea. Willie Brown
Whoever is in charge thinks the system is just great. Zbigniew Brzezinski
I don't worship at the alter of efficiency. Pat Buchanan
The age of chivalry is gone. That of sophists, economists and calculators has succeeded and the glory of Europe is extinguished forever. Edmund Burke
The best laid plans o’ mice an’ men Gang aft a-gley Robert Burns
I’m a gut player. I rely on my instincts. George W. Bush
It's not fair to judge my whole career by a rehash on Iran. How would you like it if I judged your career by those seven minutes when you walked off the set in New York? George W. Bush
The characteristic feature of the experiment in Russia ... is not that it is communist, but that it is being carried on with a plan in the face of a planless opposition. Nicholas M. Butler
Nothing in Chicago seems to be working the way it’s supposed to. Jane Byrne
If there's a way into a situation, there's a way out. Shirley Caesar
The highest wisdom of a State is a wise and masterly inactivity … John C. Calhoun
Whate'er is best administered is best," may truly be said of a juridical system, and the due distribution of justice depends more upon the rules by which suits are to be conducted, than on the perfection of the code by which rights are defined. John Campbell
No government at any level has all the answers. Kim Campbell
It is less important to find solutions than scapegoats. Roberto de Oliveira Campos
Be true to your word. It’s very important. Andrew Card
I feel as if I have lost control of the government and the leadership of the people. Jimmy Carter
The best way to address a problem is at its initial stages. Jimmy Carter
The most difficult issues—the toughest decisions—are the ones that invariably end up on the President’s desk. Jimmy Carter
The way a President runs his business ought to remain highly idiosyncratic. Douglas Cater
I praise loudly; I blame softly. Catherine II
There's a remedy for everything except death. Miguel de Cervantes
What is constitutional may still be unwise. Zechariah Chaffee Jr.
If the Board of Trade or Local Government Board managed their business after the fashion of the Foreign Office and Colonial Office, you and I should deserve to be hung. Joseph Chamberlain
The great secret in life, I think, is to choose the right, people around you to do the job. Prince Charles
The cost overrun [for the C-5A] here is so much smaller as a percentage of what we expected it to be when we let the contract, that it is a great improvement. Robert Charles
[Discussing specific weapons systems:] I voted for them when I was in Congress. Now that I'm secretary [of defense] I have to figure out a way to pay for them. Dick Cheney
It’s a huge country. Floods, fires, accidents. You worry, you make phone calls, you sort things out. Victor Chernomyrdin
Do not use a hatchet to remove a fly from your friend's forehead. Chinese Proverb
He who says it cannot be done should get out of the way of the one who is doing it. Chinese Proverb
You try and pick good people and avoid micromanaging them thereafter. Warren Christopher
I never do any brainwork that anyone else can do for me Winston Churchill
If you make a promise, the thing is still uncertain and depends on a future day .. but if you refuse, you alienate people to a certainty and immediately. Quintus Tullius Cicero
is like trying to drive a car at night without headlights. Henry Cisneros
The more the President cares about things, the more the other people in the government will attend to them. Henry Cisneros
The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible. Arthur C. Clarkee
The problems of the President of the United States are not susceptible to scientific treatment. Clark M. Clifford
Support what works and stop supporting what does not work. Bill Clinton
Get a good team and do what you think is right. Bill Clinton
As President I'll make mistakes because I'm going to do things ... and people who do things err. Bill Clinton
There are times when looking away is simply not enough. Bill Clinton
There comes a time where delay, to get a slightly better decision, is worse than action to get a pretty good decision. Bill Clinton
We spend a lot of money fixing things after they're broken. Bill Clinton
When you're President you have to make a lot of tough decisions. You have to keep lining them up and making them. Bill Clinton
A committee is a cul-de-sac down which ideas are lured and then quietly strangled. Thomas George Barnett Cocks
As we seek to improve the management of the federal government, we should keep in mind that the government is not a private corporation. What may make sense for a large corporation may not always make sense for the federal government. In our quest for efficiency, we must not lose sight of the reasons why we enacted certain federal programs in the first place. William S. Cohen
It is therefore necessary that memorable things should he committed to writing, and not wholly betaken to slippery memory which seldom yields a certain reckoning. Edward Coke
The ruler over a country of a thousand chariots must give diligent attention to business; he must be sincere; he must be economical; he must love his people; and he must provide employment for them at the proper season. Confucius; Kung Fu-tse
If what is said does not concord with what was meant, what is to be done cannot be effected. Confucius; Kung Fu-tse
They are these: sufficient food, sufficient armament, and the confidence of the people. Without the confidence of the people there would be no government. Confucius; Kung Fu-tse
A mayor is a political leader for a city. He doesn't know anything necessarily about city administration, and furthermore he shouldn't have to. L. P. Cookingham
It is necessary to have party organization if we are to have effective and efficient government. Calvin Coolidge
The men and women of this country who toil are the ones who bear the cost of the Government. Every dollar that we carelessly waste means that their life will be so much the more meager. Every dollar that we prudently save means that their life will be so much the more abundant. Economy is idealism in its most practical form. Calvin Coolidge
You can't expect to see calves running in the field the day after you put the bull to the cows. Calvin Coolidge
Do the day's work. Calvin Coolidge
Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Calvin Coolidge
There is one rule of action more important than all others. It consists in never doing anything that someone else can do for you. Calvin Coolidge
Let all things be done decently and in good order. I Book of Corinthians
How can I run an agency at the same time? Douglas Costle
People have to believe that government can work, and you have to show them that government can work. Andrew Cuomo
Look at our Lord's disciples. One denied Him, one doubted Him, one betrayed Him. If our Lord couldn't have perfection, how are you going to have it in city government? Richard Joseph Daley
We have shaken things up when necessary. Richard M. Daley
Almost everything the government runs becomes mediocre in time ... bureaucracy leads to mediocrity. Michael De Bakey
Deliberation is the work of many men. Action of one alone. Charles de Gaulle
We must strike a balance between speed and thoroughness, between the need for time frames and the avoidance of mistakes which will later cost us dearly. F. W. de Klerk
How else can I manage, if I don't know what's going on out there? Shirley A. DeLibero
Shall we ever have the government that will not be satisfied to be practical? .... Who can estimate all that the practical people have done to us... Jean Paul Desbiens; Frere Untel
Secrecy cannot be used to cover up bad management. John Deutch
Whatever was required to be done, the Circumlocution Office was beforehand with all the public departments in the art of perceiving—how not to do it. No public business of any kind could possibly be done at any time without the acquiescence of the Circumlocution Office. Its finger was in the largest public pie, and in the smallest public tart. Charles Dickens
The proposed system [of American government] is like the solar system, in which the states are the planets, and they ought to be left to move more freely in their proper orbits. John Dickinson
I've served under six Speakers of the House and each of them has had difficulty in administering the House. John Dingell
It is better to start doing what one has to late than not at all. Dionysius of Halicarnassus
I never refuse. I never contradict. I sometimes forget. Benjamin Disraeli
Something will turn up. Benjamin Disraeli
It is most difficult to deal with. There are so many plans, so many schemes, and so many reasons why there should be neither plans nor schemes. Benjamin Disraeli
To the brave nothing is difficult. Benjamin Disraeli
The Communist leaders handle national property as their own, but at the same time they waste it as if it were somebody else's. Such is the nature of ownership and government of the system. Milovan Djilas
There's a big difference between saying you are for something and saying how you're going to achieve it. Christopher Dodd
It's one thing to make the speeches. It's another to make the tough decisions. Bob Dole
Trying to do more with less only means we will do nothing. Jack G. Downing
We must have a Secretary of Defense who will manage, and not be managed, by the Pentagon. Michael Dukakis
It's easy to defend a policy that works. It's not so easy to defend a policy that didn't work. Lawrence Eagleburger
No Secretary of State can give constant personal care to more than a few problems among the global abundance. Abba Eban
The important thing is to know when the hour is right to be seized. Abba Eban
Organization cannot make a genius out of a dunce. Dwight D. Eisenhower
..Well, we've had a good growl. Dwight D. Eisenhower
Success is ... what we can make of the mess we have made of things. T. S. Eliot
Who seeketh two strings to one bow, he may shoot strong but never straight. Elizabeth I
Do you think it’s wise, darling? You know you’ve got to rule this afternoon. Elizabeth the Queen Mother; Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes-Lyon
Words are also actions. Ralph Waldo Emerson
Government has come to be a trade, and is managed solely on commercial principles. A man plunges into politics to make his fortune, and only cares that the world shall last his days. Ralph Waldo Emerson
If there is one universal test of national genius, it is success. Ralph Waldo Emerson
The more reason, the less government. Ralph Waldo Emerson
An ounce of action is worth a ton of theory. Friedrich Engels
There is a fine line between constructive oversight and unconstructive meddling. Donald Engen
Work all by counsel and you shall not rue. English Proverb or Saying
Our government wasn't created to be efficient. It was created to preserve the individual. Samuel J. Ervin Jr.
The president is the only one we have to make decisions. We have no one else. Samuel J. Ervin Jr.
It isn't easy, you know, to govern Egypt. Farouk I
There was a time that you could say the least government was the best—but not in the nation's most populous state. Dianne Feinstein
Politicians often confuse what sounds good with what really works. James S. Gilmore III
The only safeguard of order and discipline in the modern world is a standardized worker with interchangeable parts. That would solve the entire problem of management. Jean Giraudoux
All professional men are handicapped by not being allowed to ignore things which are useless. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Genius is knowing where to stop. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
One must be something in order to do something. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Thinking is easy; action is difficult; to act in accordance with one’s thought is the most difficult thing in the world. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Taking risk is good, and America is a country based on boldness and looking to the future. Daniel Goldin
It is ... difficult to induce a number of free beings to co-operate for their mutual benefit. Oliver Goldsmith
I was a business man. When they elected me, it took me two years to learn about how government ran. Barry Goldwater
Right wins only when we dare and act. Gora; Shri Goparaju Ramachandra
Actually, I'm going around in circles. Mikhail Gorbachev
Without glasnost there is not, and there cannot be, democratism, the political creativity of the masses and their participation in management. Mikhail Gorbachev
We need citizens willing to make Congress accountable for the travesty which passes for government today. J. Peter Grace
We ... ought not to be rigidly bound by the rules laid down under circumstances so different for emergencies so utterly unanticipated. Ulysses S. Grant
In American politics, finger-pointing is an Olympic sport. Jeff Greenfield
It is important that any long term tax reduction or spending initiative be phased in. Alan Greenspan
Very low probability events occur very rarely, but sometimes they do happen. Alan Greenspan
There is little incentive for initiative just now: the [State] Department seems to take no interest; we never receive comments on our work and many of our questions go unanswered. Joseph C. Grew
In great crises, a man who has to act or speak stands bare and stripped of choice. Edward Grey; Viscount Fallodon
The minister should not press his personal views unduly about what is not essential. Edward Grey; Viscount Fallodon
If officials on the spot commit in good faith an error of judgment, which is worse—to support them or to throw them over? Edward Grey; Viscount Fallodon
Out of bad motives good things often come. John Grisham
Could Hamlet have been written by a committee, or the Mona Lisa painted by a club? Could the New Testament have been composed as a conference report? Creative ideas do not spring from groups. A. Whitney Griswold
In the governing of souls, we need a cup of science, a barrel of wisdom, and a sea of patience. Francis de Sales
A constitutional democracy like ours is perhaps the most difficult of man's social arrangements to manage successfully. Our scheme of society is more dependent than any other form of government on knowledge and wisdom and self-discipline for the achievement of its aims. For our democracy implies the reign of reason on the most extensive scale. Felix Frankfurter
With respect to the true monarchical government, it is the best or the worst of all others, accordingly as it is administered. Frederick II
Honest mediocrity is the most suitable condition for states; riches lead to softness and corruption. Frederick II
You have these great institutions spinning around you with great centrifugal force. You have to try to keep them spinning around the center. Donald S. Frederickson
While Washington's establishment ... is whipped into motion by the mere whiff of an emotional issue or scandal, there is no reward in today's Capitol for fixing the broken mechanics of government or solving the huge problems that haunt us. Tom Freedman
Nine times out of ten your two smartest policy advisors disagree. Thomas Friedman
The person who manages the state is me. Alberto Fujimori
Peru needs an emperor. Alberto Fujimori
I do not pretend to step out of my own sphere and to control the internal management of other departments, but it seems to me that as Secretary of the Treasury, I may ask, that, while peace continues, the aggregate of the expenditure of those departments be kept within bounds such as will preserve the equilibrium between the national revenue and expenditure without recurrence to loans. Albert Gallatin
There are two kinds of people: Those who do the work and those who take the credit … Be in the first group; there is less competition there. Indira Gandhi
If I find out where every dollar goes, and how it is used, I shall understand the apparatus thoroughly. James A. Garfield
What is done cannot be effaced. We have to act upon a moral field prepared for us ... Robert Arthur Talbot Gascoyne-Cecil; 3rd Marquess Salisbury
The country is carried comfortably down the river, and the function of Government is to occasionally put out an oar to prevent running into the bank. Robert Arthur Talbot Gascoyne-Cecil; 3rd Marques Salisbury
The commonest error of politics is sticking to the carcass of dead policies. Robert Arthur Talbot Gascoyne-Cecil; 3rd Marquess Salisbury
The problem with communicating without a coordinator is that everyone has to read everyone else's mind. Kristine Gebbie
There was a time that you could say the least government was the best—but not in the nation's most populous state. German Proverb; Dianne Feinstein
... an impossible organization to administer ... just an amorphous lump. Gilbert W. Fitzhugh
The issue isn't more or less government. It's dumb vs. smart government. James J. Florio
It's only when you push at the edges that you excel. James J. Florio
From a distance it is something; and nearby it is nothing. Jean de La Fontaine
You can make more money selling advice than taking it. Malcolm Forbes
If you don't have problems, you don't have opportunities. Walter J. Hickel
Make a habit of two things—to help, or at least to do no harm. Hippocrates
Nothing is going the way it was supposed to. Hirohito
It is a terribly hard job to spend a billion dollars and get your money's worth. Anna Rosenberg Hoffman
The thing the Pentagon should be seeking is success, not avoiding failure. Richard Holbrooke
He is a fool who only sees the mischiefs that are past. Homer
Our string has run out. There is nothing more we can do. Herbert Hoover
One who brandishes a pistol must be prepared to shoot. Herbert Hoover
Wisdom ofttimes consists of knowing what to do next. Herbert Hoover
I expect you to be a leader, to supervise by example, to lead, not simply order others to do hard jobs. I will hold you personally responsible for the operations under you. If one of your men makes an error, you as well as he will be accountable. J. Edgar Hoover
Seize the day. Carpe diem. Horace; Quintus Horatius Flaccus
There is a certain method in his madness. Horace; Quintus Horatius Flaccus
Part of the game in the first three years is to make sure that during the year the Mayor runs there is an unusually large expansion of services. Raymond D. Horton
A right decision at the wrong time is a wrong decision. Amory Houghton
The government is mainly an expensive organization to regulate evildoers, and tax those who behave; government does little for fairly respectable people except annoy them. Edgar Watson Howe
I'm a person who believes in close monitoring and knowing what everyone on the staff is doing. Henry Edward Hudson
The administration of government has become more complex. The opportunities for malfeasance and corruption have multiplied. Charles Evans Hughes
No part of civil administration required greater care or nicer judgment than the conduct of religious parties. David Hume
Where great evils lie on all sides, it is very difficult to follow the best counsel. David Hume
In government, consensus is more important than command; persuasion not only works better than arrogance, it's vital to the democratic process. Ellen Hume; Jane Mayer
Economy in government does not mean spending little ... It means spending what you have and spending it well. Hubert Horatio Humphery
The worst enemy of life, freedom and the common decencies is total anarchy; their second worst enemy is total efficiency. Aldous Huxley
A hole is only as big as you dig it. Irish Proverb
There is a certain relief in change even though it be from bad to worse. Washington Irving
Mere precedent is a dangerous source of authority. Andrew Jackson
There are no necessary evils in government. It's evils exist only in its abuses. Andrew Jackson
First Things First George Jackson
No matter how lofty you are in your department, the responsibility for what your lowliest assistant is doing is yours. Bessie Rowland James
Be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath. Book of James
Everyone in Washington knows what needs to be done. They just don’t do it because there’s always someone else they can blame. William Janklow
I’m hands on. I want to know what the facts are. William Janklow
... a wise and frugal government which shall restrain men from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government, and this is necessary to close the circle of our felicities. Thomas Jefferson
When angry, count to ten before you speak; if very angry, an hundred. Thomas Jefferson
I have felt so much for you that I cannot withhold the expression of my sympathies …. All you can do is to order,—that execution must depend on others Thomas Jefferson
It is not be consolidation, or concentration of powers, but by their distribution, that good government is effected. Thomas Jefferson
The same prudence which in private life would forbid our paying our own money for unexplained projects, forbids it in the dispensation of public moneys. Thomas Jefferson
No, my friend, the way to have good and safe government, is not to trust it all to one, but to divide it among the many. Thomas Jefferson
This I hope will be the age of experiment in government. Thomas Jefferson
Become reality driven. Don’t kid yourself or others. Gary Johnson
The fellow that has power is the one who uses it sparingly ... I had more power when I went into office than when I went out. Lyndon B. Johnson
Sure we make mistakes. But point them out and we will correct them. Let's not throw the baby out, though, with the dishes. Lyndon B. Johnson
Nothing will ever be attempted, if all possible objections must be first overcome. Samuel Johnson
Governments are not like a business. They don’t look like a business, work like a business, think like a business, and they don’t have a bottom line. Jan Jones
When a government agency is more efficient, they’re not necessarily going to get that money back. So they don’t always have an incentive. Jan Jones
There are two forces in this and in every other nation of the world today. One force is the taker and the other force is the maker. Mary Harris Jones; Mother Jones
Policies absent people have no meaning. Vernon Jordan
Injuries should all be done together in order that men may taste their bitterness but a short time and be little disturbed. Benefits ought to be conferred a little at a time, that their flavor may be tasted better. Niccolo Machiavelli
Severities should be dealt out all at once, so that their suddenness may give less offense. Benefits ought to be handed out drop by drop, so that they may be relished the more. Niccolo Machiavelli
Attention shouldn't be on finding ways to build a better government; we should be looking at how to get government out of our lives. Connie Mack
Fearing the weakness of democracy, men have always sought safety in technocrats. But ... [we] have not overthrown the divine right of kings to fall down before the divine right of experts. Harold MacMillan
Some degree of abuse is inseparable from the proper use of everything. James Madison
Government is too slow to keep up with the digital environment. Ira Magaziner
You don’t make changes until you see a positive advantage for change. John Major
[Describing her role:] It's like running a big corporation and a little country at the same time. Wilma Mankiller
Punishment alone governs all created beings. Code of Manu
You have in your hands what may be easily made the foundation of the noblest realm of Europe .... if you would take the government of it into your own hands. Margaret of Anjou
Patience is also a form of action. Auguste Rodin
The line has not been exactly drawn which separates those important subjects, which must be entirely regulated by the legislature itself, from those of less interest, in which … power may be given to those who are to act under such general provisions to fill up the details. John Marshall
In the old days the problems of government were few and political, now they are many and are economic and sociological ... John A. Martin
Put people first. Lynn Martin
It is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail. Abraham Maslow
Campaigns are not, and should not be, democratic processes. Otherwise nothing would ever get done. Mary Matalin
Do and hope Matheson Clan
They say, and do not. Book of Matthew
Governments almost never act with moral clarity and for very good reason. They are dealing with competing interests. Jessica Tuchman Matthews
How do I decide what's most important for me to do when I come in in the morning? That's easy. I read the Washington Post. Charles William Maynes
Delegation of authority is a fact of modern life. Mathew D. McCubbins
I concentrate on the task before me rather then those dim in the future. Mack McLarty
Listening ... is good government. Chris McNair
The worst government is the most moral. One composed of cynics is often very tolerant and human. But when fanatics are on top there is no limit to oppression. H. L. Mencken
Any plan conceived in moderation must fail when the circumstances are set in extremes. Klemens von Metternich
In order for the Bureau to change we have to open ourselves to suggestions Robert Mueller
The good news always comes to the top. What I need to know is the bad news. Robert Mueller
… utterly subversive to the interest of the military establishment. Nelson A. Miles
But political checks will no more act of themselves, than a bridle will direct a horse without a rider. John Stuart Mill
Every executive function, whether superior or subordinate, should be the appointed duty of some given individual. It should be apparent to all the world who did everything, and through whose default anything was left undone. Responsibility is null when nobody knows who is responsible. Nor, even when real, can it be divided without being weakened. John Stuart Mill
In England there has always been more liberty, but worse organization, while in other countries there is better organization, but less liberty. John Stuart Mill
Localities may be allowed to mismanage their own interests, but not to prejudice those of others, nor violate those principles of justice between one person and another of which it is the duty of the State to maintain the rigid observance. John Stuart Mill
The knowledge and experience of any local authority is but local knowledge and experience, confined to their own part of the country and its modes of management, whereas the central government has the means of knowing all that is to be learnt from the united experience of the whole kingdom, with the addition of easy access to that of foreign countries. John Stuart Mill
There should not be several departments independent of one another to superintend different parts of the same natural whole. John Stuart Mill
The air transportation system consists of three components: Airports, Air Traffic Control, and airlines. The three work together like a dysfunctional family. Norman Y. Mineta
You don't have smooth sailing in the American system no matter who's in charge. George J. Mitchell
The President has now taken entire charge, his instructions are very brief and not clear, they are not issued with adequate knowledge of what has gone on before ... Jay Pierrepont Moffat
No wind makes for him that hath no intended port to sail into. Michel de Montaigne
There is no course of life so weak and sotish as that which is managed by order, method, and discipline. Michel de Montaigne
I can solve every problem a year later. Mike Moore
When the mayor's concerned about something, eveybody's concerned about it. Mary Moran
A man always has two reasons for what he does—a good one and the real one. J. Pierpont Morgan
I don't get ulcers. I give 'em. Ernest N. Morial
If you can't get along with the head of the government with which you are working, you won't get anything done—nothing! Robert Moses
Okay, we've won. What do we do now? Brian Mulroney
If there is a wrong way to do something, then someone will do it. Edward A. Murphy Jr.
I’m not ready to hand over power to people or groups of people who have no ability to manage a nation. Yoweri Museveni
Many people think Africans are incapable of running things, and even I wonder sometimes. Yoweri Museveni
The highest reach of a news-writer is an empty reasoning on policy, and vain conjectures on the public management. Jean de la Bruyere
I say that the most inefficient, wasteful self-government is worth more than the most efficient dictatorship. Fiorello H. La Guardia
Government should adhere to the new dictum, don’t just do something, stand there. Arthur Laffer
There is nothing more innately human than the tendency to transmute what has become customary into what has been divinely ordained. Suzanne LaFollette
This is not just our battle. It is an issue for opinion makers outside the government, it is a battle for the Congress—to keep making the distinction between the immediate and the important. W. Anthony Lake
The earlier you start to solve a problem, the less draconian the solution needs to be. Richard Lamm
Politics is the management of expectations. Richard Lamm
It is axiomatic in politics that the earlier one addresses a problem, the more the alternatives and the easier the solutions. Richard Lamm
We live in a world of competing sorrows ... to govern is to choose. Richard Lamm
In government it is order that matters. Lao Tzu
The people are difficult to govern: It is because those in authority are too fond of action [change]. Lao Tzu
Govern the state by being straightforward; wage war by being crafty; win the empire by not meddling. Lao Tzu
The instruments of state prove too big to do the small things and too small to do the big things. Lewis H. Lapham
You take care of emergencies first—in life and in politics. Frank Lautenberg
We’ve got to learn to govern in Internet time. Mike Leavitt
You will always find some Eskimos ready to instruct the Congolese on how to cope with heat waves. Stanislaw Jerzy Lec
A few people with a clear agenda can make a big difference in government. John F. Lehman
One technical expert is worth twenty Communists. Vladimir Lenin
The only stable thing seems to be perpetual change, where our certainties are crumbling one after the other … Rene Levesque
Take actions that will give people hope. John Lewis
Sometimes it is better to delay. Libyan Proverb
Campaigns are partisan. Governing should not be partisan. Joseph I. Lieberman
The Founding Fathers wisely concluded that it was not enough for the President to swear to obey the law. He had to "take care that the laws be faithfully executed," which means by his appointees and subordinates. Arthur L. Liman
Errors will occur in spite of utmost fidelity. Abraham Lincoln
Have you already in your mind a plan wholly or partially formed? If you have, prosecute it without interference from me. If you have not, please inform me, so that I, incompetent as I may be, can try and assist you in the formation of some plan for the army. Abraham Lincoln
I … think it is safer, when a practical question arises, to decide that question directly, and not indirectly, by deciding a general abstraction supposed to include it, and also including a great deal more. Abraham Lincoln
I claim not to have controlled events, but confess plainly that events have controlled me. Abraham Lincoln
I hope to stand firm enough not to go backward, and yet not go forward fast enough to wreck the common cause. Abraham Lincoln
With public sentiment, nothing can fail; without it, nothing can succeed. Abraham Lincoln
I am not bound by instructions from the State Department. I am a member of the President's cabinet and take instructions only from him. Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr.
I can’t afford to have my Vice President who knows every reporter in town, go around saying we’re all screwed up, so we’re going to keep him happy. You are dealing with a very insecure, sensitive man with a huge ego. I want you to literally kiss his ass from one end of Washington to the other. John F. Kennedy
Why the hell didn't I know about this? John F. Kennedy
Tomorrow morning, we’re going to try to integrate the University of Mississippi. Get me a memo on … what we can do if the governor sends the National Guard there. Have it on my desk at 8 in the morning. Robert Kennedy
I have to take decisions—not back hunches. Tom King
There is not only a right thing to do. There is a right time to do it. William Lyon Mackenzie King
How long halt ye between two opinions? Book of Kings
Our government is a little more chaotic than most other governments in the world. Jeane Kirkpatrick
The fulfillment of America’s ideals will have to be sought in the patient accumulations of partial successes. Henry A. Kissinger
Competing pressures tempt one to believe that an issue deferred is a problem avoided. More often it is a crisis invited. Henry A. Kissinger
The statesman must weigh the rewards of success against the penalties of failure. And he is permitted only one guess. Henry A. Kissinger
As a war must have generals, so must a plague. Larry Kramer
Between knowing and not knowing is not wanting to know. Charles Krauthammer
A safe word whispered by a crawling confessor, an attack of nerves on a cloudy day, the appearance of a well-made soldier at the levee, have often sufficed to make and break administrations. Anonymous
Kings treat men like oranges. They go for the juice, and once they have sucked them dry, they throw them aside. Alba, Fernando Alvarez de Toledo, Third Duke of
How could I possibly have hoped to unite all my dominions when I cannot make these clocks strike the hour together? Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor
It isn't that they can't see the solution. It is that they can't see the problem Gilbert K. Chesterton
Be not afraid of going slowly; be afraid only of standing still. Chinese Proverb
Getting rid of a problem in one area improves the situations in ten areas. Chinese Proverb
If one delays the treatment of a disease, one does not recover quickly. Chinese Proverb
If one were to be penalized in any way by one's superior, one would have no good words to say about that superior Chinese Proverb
If the head of the state is exemplary and his officials are competent, all things will go well. If the head of the state will worry about minute details, his officials will be lazy, and all things will go bad. Chinese Proverb
it is … not a good idea to resort to tossing coins. Chinese Proverb
One man will carry two buckets of water for his own use, Two men will carry one for their joint use; Three men will carry none for anybody's use. Chinese Proverb
One who uses an ancient rule to govern the present does not necessarily see the changes that have taken place. Chinese Proverb
When there are three leaders to look up to, who exactly should I follow? Chinese Proverb
It’s very hard to predict the weather. Predicting human affairs is very difficult. Noam Chomsky
If a practical man digs himself into a hole, he stops digging; if an ideologue digs himself into a hole, he asks for a bigger shovel. Bill Clinton
iron surgeon Joaquin Costa
A leader who has to go it alone is no longer leading anybody. John Edwards
He who is shipwrecked the second time, cannot lay the blame on Neptune English Proverb or Saying
Last ship, best ship. English Proverb or Saying
Too many people in this town think about politics when they make every decision. Don Evans
Whenever you can, count. Francis Galton
A little too late, is much too late. German Proverb
Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there. Arnold H. Glasow
At least when you have public utilities, the money they take stays in the community. Peter Gleik
There is a lack of emphasis and detail on self-government of business enterprises and community government. There is too much emphasis on the part that the Project Director and his staff play. Governmental officials should not impose their will on the residents, but the government should be formulated by the residents. It is absolutely essential that the personnel understand and sympathize with the policy of self-government. T. H. Haas
There are many who find a good alibi far more attractive than an achievement. For an achievement does not settle anything permanently. We still have to prove our worth anew each day: we have to prove that we are as good today as we were yesterday. But when we have a valid alibi for not achieving anything we are fixed, so to speak, for life. Eric Hoffer
Hofstadter's Law: It always takes longer than you expect, even when you take into account Hofstadter's Law. Douglas Hofstadter
A good policy badly executed becomes a bad policy. Richard Holbrooke
A community is like a ship; everyone ought to be prepared to take the helm Henrik Ibsen
What is done from necessity involves neither censure nor applause Italian Proverb
It appears to me one of those questions which present great inconveniences whichever way it is decided. Thomas Jefferson
As nature has uncovered from under this hard shell the seed for which she most tenderly cares - the propensity and vocation to free thinking—this gradually works back upon the character of the people, who thereby gradually become capable of managing freedom; finally, it affects the principles of government, which finds it to its advantage to treat men, who are now more than machines, in accordance with their dignity. Immanuel Kant
We southern people must be slaves in effect, or cut the Gordion’s knot at once . Henry Lee
This man will never finish anything. He thinks about the end before he thinks about the beginning. Leo X; Giovanni de Medici
Cities are governed, so are houses too, by wisdom, not by harp-playing and whistling. Menedemus
Gentlemen, by royal order you have all been relieved of your functions. Ramon Maria Narvaez
You make them all [his friends and companions] equal to kings, you give them power and opportunity of making many friends of their own, and in the meantime you leave yourself destitute Olympias
… test everything, and retain whatever is good Saint Paul of Tarsus; Book of Thessalonians I
There are a lot of Civil War photographs of men in stove-pipe hats. But none of them looked like Abraham Lincoln …. Ulysses S. Grant did not wear an officer’s uniform blouse. He wore an enlisted man’s blouse with general’s stars—even when he was the highest ranking officer in the army…. Until he became a Senator, [J. F.] Kennedy dressed like a college student. After he entered the Senate he always wore elegant suits. Geoffrey Perret
… like looking for an atheist in heaven Juan Prim
If it was not easy to make a king, it will be even more difficult to make a republic in a country where there are no republicans. Juan Prim
Some believe there have been vagrant and jesuiticall priests, who have made it their businesse, for some yeares past, to go from Sachim to Sachim, to exasperate the Indians against the English and to bring them into a confederacy, and that they were promised supplies from France and other parts to extirpate the English nation out of the continent of America. Edward Randolph
Treat the native as a child and withdraw the franchise. Cecil Rhodes
This town [Washington DC] can only operate successfully on myth. Karl Rove
My responsibilities as the governor are more than my neighbor’s and my family. George Ryan
Although Americans … usually say that thought is for the sake of action, it has evidently been in these high moments, when action became incandescent in thought, that they have been most truly alive, and although doing nothing, have found at last that their existence was worth while. George Santayana
One may sin by greed and the desire for power, but one may also sin in these matters through fear, indecision, and cowardice! John Paul II; Giovanni Battista Montini
One cannot but regret the deliberate absence of every transcendental moral reference in governing the so-called developed society. John Paul II; Giovanni Battista Montini
Be decisive even when confused – especially when confused. Stanley Bing
Managing so many legislators is not that difficult. I have had a lot of relevant experience that prepared me for it. I used to run a group of 5 day care centers Terie Norelli
I made up my mind, but I made it up both ways. Casey Stengel
Abuse is no argument against proper use Ancient Roman Proverb
Uncrowned Queen of Iraq Anonymous
The stronger the hold we are able to keep here the better the inhabitants will be pleased... They can't conceive an independent Arab government. Nor, I confess, can I. There is no one here who could run it Gertrude Margaret Lowthian Bell
Taxes are the lifeblood of Government Nancy Olsen
It takes two to corrupt – the corrupted and the corrupter. Joseph Desire Mobutu; Mobutu Sese Seko
It's better to act and to regret / Than to regret not to have acted Mellin de Saint-Gelais
The best is the enemy of the good enough. Russian Proverb
Government needs to be formed by people, and run by people, for the benefit of people. Thomas Paine
Not having a country with a financial crisis in the year is a pretty big deal to me. But something that didn’t happen is not something that people will focus on. John B. Taylor
If you are the mayor of a city, one of the things you do is to try and gouge as much money out of the Federal Government as you can. That is your job. John Mueller
To have success, there must be a very clear mission, a staff who understands the mission, enough autonomy to do the mission, and accountability for the success of the mission.. John B. Taylor
Whenever you have an efficient government you have a dictatorship. Harry S Truman
The best … Committees consist of three persons, two of whom are always absent! Peter de Noronha
Devote that intelligent mind of yours to the problems of the state Alfred E. Smith
Our most important, and sometimes most severe, judges are our subordinates. Paul D. Eaton
At the end, governance is reflected in what is delivered to people. If you have a good trade agreement, for example, hopefully that will reduce prices and help exports…. I have no opinion about who is better or worse. I am not a politician. I am not in politics. I'm just a citizen. It is interesting for me to know who is doing better than the others. …We all have our perceptions. I go to visit a country, I end up in a five-star hotel in a nice city and I'm driven there and taken back and I say, ‘Wow, this is a wonderful country, it's safe.’ But I've been looked after. Is the country really safe? How do we get the facts away from perception? Mo Ibrahim
The directors of such companies, being the managers rather of other people's money than of their own, it cannot well be expected that they should watch over it with the same anxious vigilance with which the partners in a private copartnery frequently watch over their own. . . . Negligence and profusion must always prevail, more or less, in the management of the affairs of such a company. Adam Smith
[Advising a member of his cabinet on handling the cabinet: Never let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. Franklin D. Roosevelt
Manage what belongs to you, but not what belongs to others. Arab Proverb
This is a business that is much easier planned than executed. John Armstrong Jr.
Good consequences are sometimes the result of mistakes. John Armstrong Jr.
It’s very difficult to come to grips with how we screwed this up, but we screwed this up. John Abizaid
Bremer is a control freak! Henry A. Kissinger; Paul Bremer
You need to figure out other societies, where they came from, what the people believe in, what they do, how their ethnic divisions work, which is often very different from our own; then design your policies around that. Pay attention. I think that's the simple answer, which is just to realize that not everybody is like the United States. Whether you study history or sociology, or anthropology, journalism, there's room for seeing there are other cultures and other ways and other structures. Amy L. Chua
You can’t do leadership alone. Barbara Kellerman
President’s Rule India
Grateful acknowledgments are due to my fellow citizens generally, whose support has been my great encouragement under all embarrassments. In the transaction of their business I cannot have escaped error. It is incident to our imperfect nature. But I may say with truth, my errors have been of the understanding, not of intention; and that the advancement of their rights and interests has been the constant motive for every measure. On these considerations I solicit their indulgence. Thomas Jefferson
Since human memory is short and does not suffice for a crowd of things, the authority of those who preceded our age, the divine emperors and kings, has decreed that those things were to be written down which the progress of fleeting time generally removes from the knowledge of men. Frederick I Barbarosa
Over time, the best politics are policies that actually work …. Others in the White House are looking for short term political victories. The political hacks are just doing their jobs. Bruce Reed
The paramount problem is not how to stop the growth of property, and the building up of wealth; but how to manage it so that every species of property, like a healthful fruit tree, will spread its roots deeply and widely in the soil of a popular proprietorship. The paramount problem is not how to crush, … or hamper the corporation, merely because it is a corporation; but how to make this new form of property ownership a workable agent toward repeopleizing the proprietorship of the country’s industries Peter S. Grosscup
If You are a man who leads, charged to direct the affairs of a great number, be careful of your every deeds, so that your conduct may be blameless. Ptah-Hotep
I always wish to confront problems with the heart of the Mahatma and the hand of Lincoln. Jawaharlal Nehru
Always listen to experts. They will tell you what can't be done and why. Then do it. Robert A. Heinlein
There has been in England a gradual and progressive system of assuming the management of affairs entirely and exclusively proper to Scotland, as if we were totally unworthy of having the management of our own concerns. Walter Scott
Mr. Madison, I think, was one of the best men that ever lived. I never saw him in a passion, and never knew him to strike a slave, although he had over one hundred; neither would he allow an overseer to do it. Whenever any slaves were reported to him as stealing or "cutting up" badly, he would send for them and admonish them privately, and never mortify them by doing it before others. They generally served him very faithfully. He was temperate in his habits. I don't think he drank a quart of brandy in his whole life. Paul Jennings
We must act today in order to preserve tomorrow. Ronald Reagan
No altered system will work a miracle. Any wild experiment will only add to the confusion. Our best assurance lies in efficient administration of our proven system Warren G. Harding
I would like government to do all it can to mitigate; then, in understanding, in mutuality of interest, in concern for the common good, our tasks will be solved Warren G. Harding
A regret for the mistakes of yesterday must not, however, blind us to the tasks of today. Warren G. Harding
I don’t think that there is ever a Mission Accomplished with an oil spill…the consequences go on for years. Thad William Allan
There should be victory in war—not management. Tammy Bruce
Where no counsel is, the people fall; but in the multitude of counselors there is safety. Book of Proverbs
It is not the horse that draws the cart, but the oats. Russian Proverb
He who serves two masters has to lie to one. Portuguese Proverb
Sales and production work is amenable to merit pay. Try it with white collar knowledge workers, teachers, government officials, computer programmers and writers and you have a disaster after your first assessments. Merit pay requires performance measurement, and that means ranking staff. The half that come out below average are immediately angry at the system that labels them as below average. The second quartile looks at the first quartile and finds colleagues who to them are little or no better than they, and a few who don’t work as hard. Some of the people who are at the top and get bonuses like the system that is so perspicacious as to reward them. However, most in the top quartile because they don’t agree that the ones who rank higher than they are really any better become negative. So over 75 percent of the workforce is unhappy and thinks the system is invalid or the raters are biased or just arbitrary. Before you ever consider installing merit pay, find an organization like yours that has it and talk to the workers—not the executives—those who have been assessed for their merit. Ramona E. F. Arnett
The idea of a merit rating is alluring. The sound of the words captivates the imagination: pay for what you get; get what you pay for; motivate people to do their best, for their own good. ... The effect is exactly the opposite of what the words promise. W. Edwards Deming
They that do the world's work must do its thinking. W. E. B. Du Bois
With no attempt there can be no failure; with no failure, no humiliation. William James
Over time, the best politics are policies that actually work …. Others in the White House are looking for short term political victories. The political hacks are just doing their jobs. Bruce Reed
Modern administrative government springs from the inadequacy of a simple tripartite form of government to deal with modern problems …. It vests the necessary powers with the administrative authority it creates, not too greatly concerned with the extent to which such action does violence to the traditional tripartite theory of government organization. James M. Landis
The Government are very keen on amassing statistics; they collect them, add them, raise them to the nth power, take the cube root and prepare wonderful diagrams. But what you must never forget is that every one of those figures comes in the first instance from the village watchman, who just puts down what he damn pleases. Josiah Stamp
Well then, the ayes have it. Harold Howe
The challenge of our times is to leave nothing to chance. Thomas J. Ridge
If I can be right 75 per cent of the time I shall come up to the fullest measure of my hopes. Theodore Roosevelt
I am not running for president in order to put Band-Aids on our problems. Hillary Clinton
Knowing something and acting on that knowledge in a political setting are two different things…. Finally the markets come and hit you over the head. Paul A. Volcker
You simply can’t run an economy as complicated as ours on ideology alone. Jared Bernstein
If we politicians cannot solve the problems of the economy, terrorism and the environment, then we shall have failed in our duty. Nicolas Sarkozy
I have been wrong enough times to know that it is always a possibility. John Ashcroft
Different units of our bureaucracy have different cultures and each thinks that his is the best. John Ashcroft
People like to be consulted. William J. Fallon
Do you know, I have often thought that I am the cleverest woman who ever lived and that others cannot compare with me. Although I have heard much about Queen Victoria . . . still I don't think her life is half as interesting and eventful as mine. Now look at me, I have 400 million people all dependent on my judgment. Tzu-Hsi
It is important to view philanthropic ventures with an eye for business. Geoffrey Lamb
Good governance can eliminate injustice, destitution and poverty. Abdullah of Saudi Arabia
No man is big enough to run this great republic. Warren G. Harding
If Columbus had an advisory committee, he would probably still be at the dock. Arthur Goldberg
You have to fix everything all at the same time. You cannot deal with one problem to the exclusion of all the others. Mitch Landrieu
Are our problems moving faster than our ability to solve them? Marco Rubio
The responsibility of a public official is to make the country work! Lee H. Hamilton
There are certain emergencies of nations, in which expedients, that in the ordinary state of things ought to be forborne, become essential to the public weal. Alexander Hamilton
Nations in general, even under governments of the more popular kind, usually commit the administration of their finances to single men or to boards composed of a few individuals, who digest and prepare, in the first instance, the plans of taxation, which are afterwards passed into laws by the authority of the sovereign or legislature. Alexander Hamilton
Nothing can be imagined better, or more perfect, than the administration of a virtuous man. Besides, when a single man is master, it is more difficult for the enemy to discover his secret counsels and resolutions. When the government is in the hands of many, it is impossible but enmity and hatred must arise among them; for, as every one desires his opinion to be followed, they gradually become mutual enemies Darius I
I realized that I should give serious attention to financial recovery … For ever since I took command of my affairs I had daily uncovered new evidence of … wastefulness. Louis XIV
Let me emphatically point out that … sympathy is useless unless it is accompanied by indignation, and indignation is useless if it exhausts itself in words instead of taking shape in deeds. Theodore Roosevelt
Man’s greatest advances these last few generations have been made by the application of human intelligence to the management of matter. Now we are confronted by a more difficult problem, the application of intelligence to the management of human relations. Norman Angell
It would be Goddamned easy to run this office if you didn’t have to deal with people. Richard Nixon
The United States is running a 21st century government under 1940s rules. Robert C. Lieberman
There is no use arguing. It is only a matter of time before I get my way. Henry A. Kissinger
Worldly wisdom teaches that it is better for reputation to fail conventionally then to succeed unconventionally. John Maynard Keynes
there is a real question as to whether "bigness" in a body politic is not an evil in itself, quite aside from the policies pursued in its name. George F. Kennan
Solving new problems is what keeps us moving forward as individuals and as a society. Garry Kasparov
Everything looks like a failure in the middle. Rosabeth Moss Kanter
Beyond a certain point there is no return. This point has to be reached. Franz Kafka
Nobody wants to change. Louis V. Gerstner, Jr.
Providing the vision is easy. Getting policy right is hard. The hard thing about the modern world is doing it. The world is changing so fast. Tony Blair
If you fire him, you get two for the price of one. Henry Hugh Shelton
The success of an elected official is doing what everyone knows needs to be done. Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva
There are two rules for mayors: Be there and do something. E. J. Dionne Jr.
Not everything that counts can be counted. Standard Chartered Bank
Traditional autocrats leave in place existing allocations of wealth, power, status, and other re-sources which in most traditional societies favor an affluent few and maintain masses in poverty. But they worship traditional gods and observe traditional taboos. They do not disturb the habitual rhythms of work and leisure, habitual places of residence, habitual patterns of family and personal relations. Jeane Kirkpatrick
If one looks with a cold eye at the mess man has made of history, it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that he has been afflicted by some built-in mental disorder which drives him towards self-destruction. Arthur Koestler
I've always acted alone. Americans like that immensely. Americans like the cowboy who leads the wagon train by riding ahead alone on his horse, the cowboy who rides all alone into the town, the village, with his horse and nothing else. Maybe even without a pistol, since he doesn't shoot. He acts, that's all, by being in the right place at the right time. In short, a Western. … This amazing, romantic character suits me precisely because to be alone has always been part of my style or, if you like, my technique Henry A. Kissinger
Business’s objective is to maximize profits—not maximize benefits to the American worker. Mark Shields
Good organization does not necessarily mean it will produce good policy. But bad organization will almost never produce good policy. Bruce Riedel
Even the gods cannot strive against necessity. Pittacus of Mytilene
Those who apply themselves too much to little things often become incapable of great ones Francois de La Rochefoucauld
An opportunity missed once will present itself again, whereas a too hasty action can never be recalled. Pierre Choderlos de Laclos
The greatest events occur without intention playing any part in them; chance makes good mistakes and undoes the most carefully planned undertaking. The world's greatest events are not produced, they happen. Georg C. Lichtenberg
Before one blames, one should always find out whether one cannot excuse. To discover little faults has been always the particularity of such brains that are a little or not at all above the average. The superior ones keep quiet or say something against the whole and the great minds transform without blaming. Georg C. Lichtenberg
Religion is the best business. It does have many of the same problems as other business. It has to market, manage, account for and handle money, but it has one profound advantage. Religion does not have to deliver in this life. Morris Eigen
Life's most important questions are, for the most part, nothing but probability problems. Pierre-Simon Laplace Laplace
Government does not have basic business sense. Wally Herger
I've had to learn to understand Presidents. Richard Helms
Those only deserve a monument who do not need one. William Hazlitt
People do not dislike their local government, but they do think it could do better. Peter D. Hart
Republics can commit no greater error than to adopt or continue any feature in their systems of government which may be calculated to create or increase the lover of power in the bosoms of those to whom necessity obliges them to commit the management of their affairs. William Henry Harrison
Less Government in Business and More Business in Government Warren G. Harding
Decision, activity, secrecy and dispatch will characterize the proceedings of one man in a much more eminent degree than the proceedings of any greater number and in proportion as the number is increased. Alexander Hamilton
Energy in the Executive is a leading character of good government. Alexander Hamilton
Every president needs an S. O. B. H. R. Haldeman
Once the toothpaste is out of the tube, it's hard to get it back in. H. R. Haldeman
Common sense is the foundation of all authorities, of the laws themselves, and of their construction Thomas Jefferson
American government has usually been pretty good in a crisis and pretty lousy at all other times. William Frenzel
Get the hell off the beach! Chris Christie
You can’t prepare for the best case; you have to prepare for the worst case. Michael Bloomberg
You have to make your company idiot-proof because you may have an idiot running it some day. Warren Buffett
If you treat people fairly, you can get the best out of them. Tony Blair
Don’t expect to succeed with most of your efforts. Ted Williams, the best baseball hitter of all time, in his best hear only hit 407. He did not succeed 60 percent of the time. Sargent Shriver
We have Triple A Credit but we do not have a Triple A Government Barack Obama
Some welfare programs in the past have not been well-designed. They increased dependency. Barack Obama
Economy is demanded in every branch of the government at all times, but especially in periods like the present, of depression in business and distress among the people. The severest economy must be observed in all public expenditures, and extravagance stopped wherever it is found, and prevented wherever in the future it may be developed. If the revenues are to remain as now, the only relief that can come must be from decreased expenditures. But the present must not become the permanent condition of the government. William McKinley
The report of the Post Master General presents a gratifying picture of the condition of the Post Office Department…. The Department has been redeemed from embarrassment and debt, has accumulated a surplus exceeding half a million dollars, has largely extended and is preparing still further to extend the mail service, and recommends a reduction of postages equal to about 20%. Andrew Jackson
Quite as important as legislation is vigilant oversight of administration; and even more important than legislation is the instruction and guidance in political affairs which the people might receive from a body which kept all national concerns suffused in a broad daylight of discussion .... The informing functions of Congress should be preferred even to its legislative function. The argument is not only that a discussed and interrogated administration is the only pure and efficient administration, but, more than that, that the only really self-governing people is that people which discusses and interrogates its administration. Woodrow Wilson
A plan must have the assumptions specified. Donald Rumsfeld
That government is best which makes itself unnecessary. Wilhelm von Humboldt
It is a fallacy to think that politicians and bureaucrats are smart enough to manage the economy. Ronald E. Paul
Let nothing prevent you from changing your previous decision if after consideration you feel that the previous decision was incorrect. Umar I; Umar Ibn Al-Khattab
Societies' abilities to cope with the unknown depend on the flexibility of their institutions and individuals, and on their capacity to experiment freely with alternative forms of adaptation to the risks which threaten them. William C. Clark
Wars are hard to exit. Once a war against poverty, crime, or terrorism is launched. Announcing a unilateral truce is usually political suicide. Presidents get boxed into absolutist policies in which compromise is impossible and victory is the only acceptable outcome. Moises Naim
If everyone is motivated, we will succeed. If people are aware of their responsibilities, we will succeed. If people are committed, we will succeed. Don’t wait for things to happen. Make things happen! It is OK to take risks, Sometimes you will make mistakes. Learn from your mistakes, and you will succeed. Marc Ravalomanana
Party conferences don't purchase fighter jets. Henk Vredeling
We think that computer models represent reality especially if we developed the models. Michael Crichton
White males are most responsible for the destruction of human life and environment on the planet today. Yet who is controlling the supposed revolution to change all that? White males. Robin Morgan
Getting the U. S. Government to do anything is like herding ducks with a broom. Barry McCaffrey
Don't be so foolish as to ask for more time: calamities will not wait. Honore de Mirabeau; Honore Gabriel Victor Requiti
The temptation to misuse public policy is almost irresistible. Walter F. Mondale
From the beginning of my episcopacy, I made up my mind to do nothing on my own private opinion, without your advice and without the consent of the people. Cyprian of Carthage; Saint Cyprian; Thascius Caecilius Cyprianus
… gumming the bullet James Hoagland
Governance is a universal phenomenon in any society, but it may not lead a society to human development. G. Shabbir Cheema
Excessive bureaucracy is distracting, time-consuming, and destructive to creativity. Jerome Isaac Friedman
I find nothing so painful as having to lead men. Augustin-Jean Fresnel
Discoveries in physics are made when the time for making them is ripe, and not before. Clinton Joseph Davisson
The problem comes from the lack of transparency and accountability of government. Vladimir Putin
Testing can be used to show the presence of bugs, but never to show their absence! Edsger Dijkstra
It's not what you don't know that kills you but what you know that isn't so. Tom DeMarco
The manager's function is not to make people work, but to make it possible for people to work. Tom DeMarco
If I missed once, I might never catch up again. Elizabeth II
It is impossible to place labor and capital in harmonious or friendly relations, except by the means of slavery George Fitzhugh
Is it possible for men, however far apart in outward circumstances, for the capitalist and the working-man, to use the common phrase, to meet as individuals beneath a friendly roof, open their minds each to each, and not have their "class theories" insensibly modified by the kindly attrition of a personal acquaintance? In the light of our experience I should say not. Jane Addams
A lot of the ideas for solving many of our problems are already in place, but ideas don’t travel. Bill Clinton
Mitt Romney runs on the claim “I ran a business, therefore I know how to run the country.” Actually, all he did was fire people. Bill Maher
Done is better than perfect! Facebook
If by carelessness in controlling inflation and imposing controls on our general economy we are unable to meet these temporary but vital calls upon us, we will be courting real disaster. Eleanor Roosevelt
No one single thing that we do will control inflation Eleanor Roosevelt
People under pressure don’t work better; they just work faster. Tom DeMarco
Procrastinate now, don't put it off. Ellen DeGeneres
Governing is about selecting. William Galston
The greatest companies in the world were started and are run by fanatics. Bill Gates
We have misunderstood, misread, misplanned and mismanaged our honorable intentions in Iraq with an arrogant self-delusion reminiscent of Vietnam. Chuck Hagel
Generals do not always run wars the way they would like to, nor the troops under them. Christopher Vokes
Are great things ever done smoothly? Time, patience, and indomitable will must show. Swami Vivekananda; Narendra Nath
In a day when you don't come across any problems — you can be sure that you are traveling in the wrong path. Swami Vivekananda; Narendra Nath
Love truth, but pardon error. Voltaire; Francois-Marie
The State machine breaks often down in consequence of mistakes made forty and fifty years ago … Leopold II
Nothing is so great and clear a proof of unfitness for greater and nobler actions, than a mind which is seriously occupied with trifles. Leopold II
To see the difficulties of the task without shrinking from them or feeling alarm, and to meet them with courage, is the way to succeed. I have often seen that the confidence of success has been the cause of the success itself… Leopold II
Whenever a question is of some importance, it should not be decided on the day when it is submitted to you. Whenever it is not an urgent one, I make it a rule not to let any question be forced upon my immediate decision; … And even when in my mind I am disposed to accede, still I always keep the papers with me some little time before I return them. Leopold II
The firmness that you displayed at the beginning of your reign will be for your quiet of the utmost importance. People must come to the opinion it is of no use intriguing, because when her mind is once made up, and she thinks a thing right, no earthly power will make her change. Leopold II
Discretion--humble as it seems, it has often brought about successes in which talent failed and genius did not succeed. Discretion in the great affairs of the world does wonders, and safety depends frequently and is chiefly derived from it.... Leopold II
The combination of some data and an aching desire for an answer does not ensure that a reasonable answer can be extracted from a given body of data. John Tukey
Far better an approximate answer to the right question, which is often vague, than an exact answer to the wrong question, which can always be made precise. John Tukey
To give a person an opinion one must first judge well whether that person is of the disposition to receive it or not. Yamamoto Tsunetomo
I fired him because he wouldn't respect the authority of the president … I didn't fire him because he was a dumb son of a bitch, although he was, but that's not against the law for generals. If it was, half to three-quarters of them would be in jail. Harry S Truman
Whenever you have an efficient government you have a dictatorship. Harry S Truman
The strongest of all warriors are these two — Time and Patience. Leo Tolstoy
The New Englander is attached to his township because it is strong and independent; he has an interest in it because he shares in its management; he loves it because he has no reason to complain of his lot; he invests his ambition and his future in it; in the restricted sphere within his scope, he learns to rule society; he gets to know those formalities without which freedom can advance only through revolutions, and becoming imbued with their spirit, develops a taste for order, understands the harmony of powers, and in the end accumulates clear, practical ideas about the nature of his duties and the extent of his rights. Alexis de Tocqueville
A burden in the bush is worth two on your hands. James Thurber
Good government Murray Seasongood
Never compare one person with another. Teresa of Avila
Moderation in all things.. Publius Terentius Afer
Rank beliefs not according to their plausibility but by the harm they may cause. Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Management of many is the same as management of few. It is a matter of organization. Sun Tzu
Once a problem becomes evident, it has already passed beyond effective redress. Niccolo Machiavelli
The Negro lawyer must be trained as a social engineer and group interpreter. Due to the Negro's social and political condition . . . the Negro lawyer must be prepared to anticipate, guide and interpret his group advancement. . . . Moreover, he must act as business advisor . . . for the protection of the scattered resources possessed or controlled by the group. . . . He must provide more ways and means for holding within the group the income now flowing through it. Charles Hamilton Houston
The key to good management is keeping the guys on your team who hate your guts away from the guys who haven't made up their minds. Casey Stengel
The universal aptitude for ineptitude makes any human accomplishment an incredible miracle. John Paul Stapp
It’s stupid, and you can’t fix stupid Harry Reid
With … corporations, investors can place bets on the success of many different companies, without having to play a central management role in any one of them. Jim Stanford
The social organization of work is the most complicated and difficult problem that humanity has ever had to solve. it requires the free participation of all to the joint common work, and, consequently, to a reconditioning) of men that bring them to overcome their selfishness and understand their duty towards themselves and towards the community. Afrikan Aleksandrovich Spir
No plan is then too futile, too absurd, or too fatuous for their adoption; the most frivolous causes will raise them to hope, or plunge them into despair — if anything happens during their fright which reminds them of some past good or ill, they think it portends a happy or unhappy issue, and therefore (though it may have proved abortive a hundred times before) style it a lucky or unlucky omen. No plan is then too futile, too absurd, or too fatuous for their adoption; the most frivolous causes will raise them to hope, or plunge them into despair — if anything happens during their fright which reminds them of some past good or ill, they think it portends a happy or unhappy issue, and therefore (though it may have proved abortive a hundred times before) style it a lucky or unlucky omen. Baruch Spinoza
If thou wouldst help others, deal with them as though they were what they should be John Lancaster Spalding
The exercise of authority is odious, and they who know how to govern, leave it in abeyance as much as possible. John Lancaster Spalding
Most problems do not get solved. They get superseded by other concerns. Thomas Sowell
Once we realize that imperfect understanding is the human condition, there is no shame in being wrong, only in failing to correct our mistakes. George Soros
Most corporate disasters are driven not by market forces, but by CEOs messing things up. James P. Gorman
It is the greatest of all mistakes to do nothing because you can only do little. Sydney Smith
Absolute authority will be delegated. Full responsibility will be assumed. Those who succeed will receive advancement and satisfaction of desire. Those who fail will die. E. E. Smith
Fear is in almost all cases a wretched instrument of government, and ought in particular never to be employed against any order of men who have the smallest pretensions to independency. Adam Smith
I know that in my public life I fell below the standards that I had set myself... I have seen what is wrong but not done enough to put it right. I have been more critical than correct. Hartley William Shawcross
Who reflects too much will accomplish little. Johann Friedrich von Schiller
There are no checks and balances if the government is wrong, if a private entrepreneur makes a mistake, he goes bankrupt, the losses are cut, if he bets wrong, he loses, if the government bets wrong, they just get bigger, they just appropriate more money, it's a bottomless pit, because they either get it from the tax payers or run it off a printing press. Peter Schiff
Anything worth doing is worth doing twice, the first time quick and dirty and the second time the best way you can. Arthur Leonard Schawlow
the cause must be ascertained, before the remedy is devised. Jean-Baptiste Say
Nothing is more dangerous in practice, than an obstinate, unbending adherence to a system. Jean-Baptiste Say
A wise man will keep his Suspicions muzzled, but he will keep them awake. George Savile
There is always something to upset the most careful of human calculations. Ihara Saikaku
The problem is … that many African states lack the capacity to establish the crucial conditions for capital accumulation and, additionally, act in economically irrational ways. This non-developmental or even anti-developmental thrust is manifest in the mismanagement, inefficiency, and pervasive corruption of the public sector as well as political instability and the inability to prevent widespread evasion of laws and regulations. John Richard Sandbrook
It's better to act and to regret / Than to regret not to have acted Mellin de Saint-Gelais
To delay action until there Is one hundred percent certainty Is always to postpone political action forever. Jeremy Cronin
When rich men are thus brought to regard themselves as trustees, and poor men learn to be industrious, economical, temperate, self-denying, and diligent in the acquisition of knowledge, then the deplorable strife between capital and labor, tending to destroy their fundamental, necessary, and irrefragable harmony will cease, and the world will no longer be afflicted with such unnatural industrial conflicts as we have seen during the past century... Peter Cooper
We must not say every mistake is a foolish one. Marcus Tullius Cicero
Learning from mistakes means having to admit them first. Sanjay Gupta
Remember that all models are wrong; the practical question is how wrong do they have to be to not be useful. George Edward Pelham Box
If you get all the facts, your judgment can be right. If you don't get all the facts, it can't be right. Bernard Baruch
He will also find that the high and independent spirit, which usually dwells in the breast of those who are deeply versed in scientific pursuits, is ill adapted for administrative appointments; and that even if successful, he must hear many things he disapproves, and raise no voice against them. Charles Babbage
Amid a multitude of projects, no plan is devised. Publius Syrus
Many receive advice, few profit by it. Publius Syrus
In wars, serious mistakes are made. John McCain
The only accountability-free zone in America: Washington DC. Joseph R. Biden Jr.
If you don’t have the budget, you can’t get anything done. That’s why bureaucrats are always fighting about budgets. Lee H. Hamilton
The Constitution only works when branches of government trust one another and cooperate. Lee H. Hamilton
The road to holiness necessarily passes through the world of action. Dag Hammarskjold
We shall either find a way or make one. Hannibal
The best thing that governments can do is get out of business. When governments interfere less, managers can do their jobs better. James Edward Hanson
There is no instant step from disorder to order. Warren G. Harding
The question today is not whether the government is too small or too small, but whether or not it works Barack Obama
If you just try, and be stubborn about trying, you can do what you set out to do. Sonia Sotomayor
Time drinketh up the essence of every great and noble action which ought to be performed, and which is delayed in the execution. Indian Proverb
Somebody’s got to start paying a price around here! Lindsey Graham
I’m not running this district by consensus or committee. I’m not running this school district through the democratic process. Michelle Rhee
I don’t want to have to go out and play golf with someone before I can get anything done. Sheila Bair
I don’t give a damn about election day. It doesn’t matter a lick to me. I’ve got much bigger fish to fry, and so do the people of New Jersey. Chris Christie
I want you to cut through red tape. I want you to cut through bureaucracy. There is no excuse for inaction at this point. Barack Obama
I think that we are coming out of this thing in pretty good shape, believe it or not. Lorenzo Langford
This was worse than anything I thought I would ever see. Chris Christie
A good solution applied with vigor now is better than a perfect solution applied ten minutes later. George S. Patton
Do what is beyond your strength even should you fail sometimes. Charles Stewart Parnell
Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion C. Northcote Parkinson
Pay and Chase Anonymous
Why is there so much resistance among people who work in the Government to the seemingly obvious fact that, in our democracy, if the Government lies, it will eventually get caught Richard Holbrooke
The chances of catastrophe grow as organizations grow in number and size, and as internal communications become more time consuming and less intelligible. Richard Holbrooke
Size—sheer, unmanageable size—is the root problem [of the State Department] in Washington and overseas today. Richard Holbrooke
Theories and grand ideas are important, but they seldom unfold as planned. Colin Powell
People here were willing to assume minor roles for the sake of a common enterprise. This spirit of teamwork must have been characteristic of the 19th century and was what made great industrial empires possible.] Stanislaw Ulam
Validity was restored to the laws, authority to the courts, and dignity to the Senate Velleius; Marcus Velleius
The last place you want to be is the UN building at 5 PM. You are endangered by the mass of people running out. Ami Horowitz
The maxim ‘Nothing avails but perfection’ may be spelled shorter: ‘Paralysis.’ Winston Churchill
Make sure that everyone who should know what you are doing knows what you are doing. Gary Johnson
The Pentagon says that they are too big to be audited. That’s an insult. They spend $700 billion a year. They need to be audited. Rand Paul
It is not fair to ask of others what you are unwilling to do yourself. Eleanor Roosevelt
Do what you feel in your heart to be right — for you'll be criticized anyway. You'll be "damned if you do, and damned if you don't. Eleanor Roosevelt
A man may plan as much as he wants to, but nothing of consequence is likely to come of it until the magician circumstance steps in and takes the matter off his hands. Mark Twain
A statesman gains little by the arbitrary exercise of ironclad authority upon all occasions that offer, for this wounds the just pride of his subordinates, and thus tends to undermine his strength. A little concession, now and then, where it can do no harm is the wiser policy Mark Twain
Experience is the name every one gives to their mistakes Oscar Wilde
We need to know what are the best jobs for which we can train young people so that the jobs will be available in growing numbers, are not dead end jobs, the jobs will not be obsoleted by automation, and there are no artificial ethnic or racial barriers to employment. Your Bureau of Labor Statistics has been working on this for 8 weeks now, and you come with your staff and say that you do not have sufficient data to make this judgment. Well if there were sufficient data, we could apply it and make the decisions without you. The reason we need your expertise is that your intuition and experience should enable you to make a better guess with the insufficient information than we would make who have no experience. Adam Yarmolinsky
How long shall we blunder along without the aid of unpartisan and authoritative scientific assistance in the administration of justice, no one knows; but all fair persons not conventionalized by provincial legal habits of mind ought, I should think, unite to effect some change. Learned Hand
The Queen returns the enclosed draft. She has written upon it, in pencil, a passage which she thinks ought to be added, if the draft—though civil—is not to be a mere refusal to do anything for Austria, and a recommendation that whatever the Italians ask for ought to be given, for which a mediation is hardly necessary. The Queen thinks it most important that we should try to mediate and put a stop to the war, and equally important that the boundary which is to be settled should be such a one as to make a recurrence of hostilities unlikely. Queen Victoria
Whatever advice you give, be brief. Quintus Horatius Flaccus
There are limits to all things. I do not choose to be dictated to as to who I may or may not receive in my own house.... I shall use my own discretion.... You will, of course, use yours as to the composition of your Government. Henry John Temple
It must be a poor business man who cannot pay expenses under such labor conditions; and our statement for the fiscal year, ending June 30, 1917, showed a net profit of $156,000. This after paying ALL the expenses of the institution, making proper allowances for depreciation of buildings and machinery, paying wages to all inmates, providing them with food, clothing, schooling, shelter, medical service, entertainment, and religion, and also after paying the salaries of all officers employed. t must be a poor business man who cannot pay expenses under such labor conditions; and our statement for the fiscal year, ending June 30, 1917, showed a net profit of $156,000. This after paying ALL the expenses of the institution, making proper allowances for depreciation of buildings and machinery, paying wages to all inmates, providing them with food, clothing, schooling, shelter, medical service, entertainment, and religion, and also after paying the salaries of all officers employed. Brice P. Disque
There are two ways to fail. The first is to not make your plan. The second is to make your plan and your plan is not big enough. Most people fail in the second way. They make their plans by month, by quarter and by year. Mark Zuckerberg
I'm not into this detail stuff. I'm more concepty. Donald Rumsfeld
It is not how much you spend on defense as much as how you spend it. William S. Cohen
Just get me a fucking faith-based thing. Got it? Karl Rove
Our words must be judged by our deeds; and in striving for a lofty ideal we must use practical methods; and if we cannot attain all at one leap, we must advance towards it step by step, reasonably content so long as we do actually make some progress in the right direction. Theodore Roosevelt
The country needs and, unless I mistake its temper, the country demands bold, persistent experimentation. It is common sense to take a method and try it: If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something. Franklin D. Roosevelt
Ideas appropriate to a past social order have a strange power of influencing thought and action within a later institutional framework. Eric Roll
Letting the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier than putting it back. Will Rogers
Responsibility is a unique concept... You may share it with others, but your portion is not diminished. You may delegate it, but it is still with you... Hyman Rickover
The man in charge must concern himself with details. If he does not consider them important, neither will his subordinates. Hyman Rickover
Whatever shall be to the advantage of all, may that prevail! Demosthenes
I saw Mr. Lincoln a number of times during the canvass for his second election. The characteristic which struck me most was his superabundance of common sense. His power of managing men, of deciding and avoiding difficult questions, surpassed that of any man I ever met. Chauncey Depew
Men have fashioned an image of Chance as an excuse for their own stupidity. For Chance rarely conflicts with intelligence, and most things in life can be set in order by an intelligent sharpsightedness. Democritus
… failure is a very condition of his life; one can never dream of eliminating it without immediately dreaming of death. This does not mean that one should consent to failure, but rather one must consent to struggle against it without respite. Simone de Beauvoir
If you have short term political problems, you behave in a short term way. Jeremy Grantham
Turf battles area a staple of every administration Vali Nasr
Military decisions are much more difficult and more often wrong than civilian decisions. Robert McNamara
War is so complex that it is beyond the capability of the human mind to understand all the variables. Robert McNamara
Every crisis has within it, opportunity. Every crisis has within it, danger. Condoleeza Rice
The single most important problem is our misguided focus on identifying the single most important problem! Jared Diamond
I entirely differ with the Government as to the value of precedents. In this case, as in others, precedents are not mere dusty phrases, which do not substantially affect the question before us. A precedent embalms a principle. Benjamin; 1st Earl of Beaconsfield
Pay attention to matters of importance. Solon
If you like the Post Office and the Department of Motor Vehicles and you think they're run well, just wait till you see Medicare, Medicaid and health care done by the government. Arthur Laffer
Vision without execution is hallucination. Stephen Case
Simplicity! Oliver Cromwell
A government enterprise can never be “commercialized” no matter how many external features of private enterprise are superimposed on it. Ludwig von Mises
Governments and local administrative bodies decide to inform the public of their mistakes only when losses have become disproportionately great. Ludwig von Mises
If the diligence of modern industry were replaced by the contemplative life of the past, unnumbered millions would be doomed to death by starvation. Ludwig von Mises
… should the management of the republic be entrusted to persons to whom no one would willingly entrust the management of his private concerns: and the treasury of the state be left to the care of those who had lavished their own fortunes in an infamous prodigality? John Milton
It’s what you have to do to find a way to kick poverty’s ass. Paul Tudor Jones
The foresight goggles have been discontinued. They fog up a lot. Invesco
Enterprises that depend on many rarely succeed. Francesco Guicciardini
A government may not waver; once it has chosen its course, it must, without looking to right or left, thenceforth go forward. Otto von Bismarck
Always to distrust is an error, as well as always to trust. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
… with a gentleman I am always a gentleman and a half, and when I have to do with a pirate, I try to be a pirate and a half. Prince Otto von Bismarck-Schoenhausen
A spark neglected makes a mighty fire. Robert Herrick
Let the other side also have a hearing. Lucius Annaeus Seneca
Postponed is not abandoned. German Proverb
Government is operating under uncertainty David Brooks
We need to have some people fired for reasons of public trust. Thomas Massie
If heads don’t roll, nobody makes any changes Charles Grassley
The important thing is the solution to the problem, not who gets the credit. Alice E. Kober
We should be very chary of sacrificing large numbers of people for the sake of a contingent end, however advantageous that may appear… We never know enough to make the chance worth taking. John Maynard Keynes
There are plenty of team players in government who do whatever the leader says. There are too few difficult members, who have complicated minds, unusual perspectives, the toughness to withstand the party-line barrages and a practical interest in producing results. David Brooks
It’s like volleyball. There are setters and spikers. The chief of staff is a setter, putting the ball in the air so the Senator can spike it. Edward E. Kaufman
We only value something when we measure it. Taylor Ricketts
I’m going to abolish the DAS in the next 3 or 4 months. I want to create a new and completely different intelligence agency. By abolishing the DAS we can take away the bad culture that has developed. Juan Manuel Santos
In order to manage such affairs as war and peace, treaties, alliances, marriage, the means of increasing one’s territories, the loyalty of the people, parties and other business of the kingdom, it seems to me that there is no more useful knowledge than the study of history. Johannes Philippi; Johannes
Unilateralism in secret is sometimes necessary at the height of a crisis. Jack Goldsmith
Why did we do the bailouts? It was all about the bondholders. They [the Treasury Department officials] did not want to impose losses on bondholders and we did. We kept saying, “There is no insurance premium on bondholders”… For the little guy on Main Street who has bank deposits, we charge the banks a premium for that, and it gets passed on to the customers. We don’t have the same thing for bondholders. They’re supposed to take losses. Sheila Bair
Spending a few hundred million dollars more a year on evaluations could save tens of billions of dollars by teaching us which programs work and generating lessons to improve programs that don’t Jeffrey B. Liebman
Action is typical of the American style, thought and planning are not; it is considered heresy to state that some problems are not immediately or easily solvable. Daniel Bell
If you don’t use a technology, you will never understand it. Lewis D. Eigen
Don’t ask our customers what they want. Ask yourself what they would want if they knew what you know of what is possible for us to do for them. The burden is on us to understand the consumer’s needs sufficiently to answer that question. Lewis D. Eigen
Don’t ignore planning for unlikely events. Over long periods of time the highly improbable gets more probable to occur at least once. Lewis D. Eigen
If you succeed at most of your activities, your goals are set much too low. Lewis D. Eigen
There is always a reason you can’t do something. Steve Wynn
The only way we can do oversight is if people tell the truth. James Sensenbrenner
The 6 Ps: Proper Planning Prevents Piss-Poor Performance Colbert I. King
The different forces, however, which are doing secret service work, or investigation of different kinds are not the parts of the government which it would seem wise to me to consolidate. There have grown up under various forms of government in different parts of the world, secret investigation branches under one head, and they times have practically superseded all the other arms of the government and have spread terror among the population. It seems to me that it is better for us to have these necessary forces divided up under different department heads. There may be a certain amount of rivalry but that will do no harm, and if the heads have the proper spirit of cooperation the men themselves will understand that when they need to assist each other, they should do so in the interests of law and order and justice which they are all serving. As long as they remain separate there will, however, be no danger of a secret octopus growing up to control in harmful ways. Eleanor Roosevelt
Crisis management … is the worst type of policy because you will miss things. Mark Begich
You’ve got to start somewhere in order to get somewhere. Tom Davis
If you really want to help your country, sometimes you have to make uncomfortable decisions. Anthony Horowitz
No man is big enough to run this great republic. There has never been one. Warren G. Harding
I believe that we need to take government out of business, and then we need to take business and put business back into government because government has no place in our businesses Warren G. Harding
A free society of scholars should be governed by scholars and scientists—not administrators, and even the term “organization” should be banned. Abraham Flexner
We inspector generals have the power of the pen, the power to persuade. But we do not have the authority to implement our recommendations or prosecute wrong-doing. Phyllis Wong
We as IG’s [inspectors general] depend on whistle blowers. Phyllis Wong
People get tired of authoritarianism…. I believe that consultation is very important. Pope Francis I
What I hear about the role of women is often inspired by an ideology of machismo. Women are asking deep questions that must be addressed. The church cannot be herself without the woman and her role. The woman is essential for the church. Mary, a woman, is more important than the bishops.... We must therefore investigate further the role of women in the church. We have to work harder to develop a profound theology of the woman. Only by making this step will it be possible to better reflect on their function within the church. The feminine genius is needed wherever we make important decisions. The challenge today is this: to think about the specific place of women also in those places where the authority of the church is exercised for various areas of the church Pope Francis I
… experience should teach us that it is always the unexpected that does occur! Eleanor Roosevelt
We are much better at creating complex technologies than we are at controlling them. Eric Schlosser
When we make mistakes ourselves we hate to have other people notice them, but when the boot is on the other foot, we leave nothing unnoticed. The youngest child acts this way, and the greatest statesmen. Eleanor Roosevelt
Fire management resembles public health. There is ample money and will for response when the crisis is at hand, But little for the patient labor of prevention, vaccinations, and general wellness. Worse the costs of emergencies is stripping away all resources for everything else. Stephen J. Pyne
The secret of success is to do a common thing uncommonly well. Henry J. Heinz
There has never been a major program in this country that when it was first passed, didn’t have glitches in it. Richard Trumka
I intend to ruin the Foreign Service. I mean ruin it—the old Foreign Service—and to build a new one. I’m going to do it. Richard Nixon
He [Robert F. Kennedy] is always on the lookout for a 'snow job,' impatient with evasion and imprecision, and relentless in his determination to get at the truth. Maxwell D. Taylor
Washington has dedicated past global health initiatives to delivering food, drugs, and other health technologies to the world’s poor. In doing so, it has been able to achieve progress even in countries with dysfunctional governments. But it cannot enforce the regulations on smoke-free public places, food and drug safety, urban sanitation, and road traffic that are now needed in such settings. Accordingly, the fundamental challenge in this new area of global health is not necessarily new medicine but better governance. Thomas J. Bollyky
Mafia states integrate the speed and flexibility of transnational criminal networks with the legal protections and diplomatic privileges enjoyed only by states. Moises Naim
Government is on a collision course with the future Gavin Newsom
The best system is the most accountable and transparent system James Bopp Jr.
The only stupidities that are not easily solved are those created by very intelligent men. Donald Rumsfeld
A colonel or general with 30 years of fighting and leadership experience and 3 years of procurement experience has to run a DOD procurement shop and go up against a company vice president, a divisional vice president, and the executive vice president who gets advice from a President—all of whom have collective experience of over 100 years screwing the government on contracts and procurement. Milton Fogelman
Our magnificent cadre of military officers have the kind of performance at military procurement as our magnificent cadre of business executives would have if they did the fighting—terrible! Lewis D. Eigen
The operational tail will wag the intelligence dog. The top people will be forced to take up all their time in the direction of operations and will neglect intelligence. Walter Smith
It is interesting to see all you fellows here . It will even be more interesting to see how many of you will be here a few months from now. Walter Smith
I will not take orders from Bob Haldeman and the West Wing. Unless I can take orders from you only, I am going to resign. Lucy A. Winchester
Whoever says we can do more with less is wrong. We will do less with less James R. Clapper
Be Patriarch, with good fortune, and be assured of our friendship, keeping all of the privileges of the Patriarchs before you enjoyed. Mehmed II
When the President is a moralist, he needs a process that will make up for the natural shortcomings of such a style—an inattention to second-step thinking, an allergy to detail, a tendency not to see the point of having dissenters, a habit of allowing certainty to override considerations of risk. It is the National Security Advisor’s responsibility to fill a President’s strategic gaps, not to exacerbate them. Michael F. Mazarr
This can has been kicked down the road for 60 years. Enough is enough!!! Rick Snyder
Fools rush in where fools have been before. Ann Richards
Logic can become enormously difficult, and it would undoubtedly be well to produce more assurance in its use. Vannevar Bush
More than any other U. S. President, Theodore Roosevelt permanently transformed the position of Chief Executive…. What had been largely an administrative position subordinate in many ways to Congress, grew into the locus of policy making and the office everyone looked to for leadership on issues large and small. David Greenberg
The question of our time is rapidly becoming can government get things done? Bret Stephens
Data not only measures progress—it inspires it. Once you start measuring problems, people are more inclined to take action to fix them, because nobody wants to end up at the bottom of a list of rankings. Hillary Clinton
Every good cause is worth some inefficiency Paul Samuelson
The fact that policies often fail for no good reason is annoying but less depressing than the view that it is a big conspiracy against the poor… Name your favorite enemy… capitalism, corruption … Our view is easier. You think hard about the problems and you can solve them. Esther Duflo
You make progress; then you get courage to make more. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
To keep his servant honest the prince ought to study him, honoring him, enriching him, doing him kindnesses. Niccolo Machiavelli
Making the bureaucracy accountable to the President in any comprehensive and enduring way is impossible. Making it alert to his preferences is possible in those cases where Presidents put loyal and competent subordinates in charge of making decisions. James Q. Wilson
Khomeini had spent far more time thinking about the religious penalties for fornicating with animals than how to run a modern economy. Karim Sadjadpour
All our public systems—administrative, justice, education, and political systems are closed systems designed to produce mediocrity. Rahul Gandhi
It appears that there are enormous differences of opinion as to the probability of a failure with loss of vehicle and of human life. The estimates range from roughly 1 in 100 to 1 in 100,000. The higher figures come from the working engineers, and the very low figures from management. What are the causes and consequences of this lack of agreement? Since 1 part in 100,000 would imply that one could put a Shuttle up each day for 300 years expecting to lose only one, we could properly ask "What is the cause of management's fantastic faith in the machinery? .. It would appear that, for whatever purpose, be it for internal or external consumption, the management of NASA exaggerates the reliability of its product, to the point of fantasy. Richard P. Feynman
What I learned with tech companies is I gotta give people room to experiment, and also what might later on be a mistake. Edwin M. Lee
Yours of the 23rd, is received; and I am constrained to say it is difficult to answer so ugly a letter in good temper. I am, as you intimate, losing much of the great confidence I placed in you, not from any act or omission of yours touching the public service, up to the time you were sent to Leavenworth, but from the flood of grumbling dispatches and letters I have seen from you since. Abraham Lincoln
How do people know what they want until we show them? Steve Jobs
Knowing the horror that most women have of anything approaching irreverence, the Bible has been called out to play the part of a scarecrow on the rich fields of men’s monopolies…Men have had the management of all things human for six thousand years…Has the result been so eminently successful that we need dread a little change? Victoria Woodhull
Knowledge is potential power. It transforms itself into actual power the moment you decisively act on it. Robin Sharma
The Soviet Union has indeed been our greatest menace — not so much because of what it has done, but because of the excuses it has provided us for our own failures. J. William Fulbright
The only way to deal with bureaucrats is with stealth and sudden violence. Boutros Boutros-Ghali
I live in the Managerial Age, in a world of "Admin." The greatest evil is not now done in those sordid "dens of crime" that Dickens loved to paint. It is not done even in concentration camps and labour camps. In those we see its final result. But it is conceived and ordered (moved, seconded, carried, and minuted) in clean, carpeted, warmed, and well-lighted offices, by quiet men with white collars and cut fingernails and smooth-shaven cheeks who do not need to raise their voice. Hence, naturally enough, my symbol for Hell is something like the bureaucracy of a police state or the offices of a thoroughly nasty business concern. C. S. Lewis
It is simply irresponsible to respond to public criticism by simply giving someone a demerit. Yeh Kuang-shih
Doling out punishment constantly [to civil servants] would only cause them to have a mentality of 'the less one does, the fewer mistakes one makes’. Yeh Kuang-shih
In great attempts, it is glorious even to fail. Cassius Longinus
Between too early and too late, there is never more than a moment. Franz Werfel
When we own up our mistakes some people interpret it as if we are wrong. They too commit mistakes. E. M. S. Namboodiripad
To govern well, one must see things as they are. Jose Marti
Even when the experts all agree, they may well be mistaken. Bertrand Russell
Failure in the management of practical affairs seems to be a qualification for success in the management of public affairs. Eric Hoffer
We must delegate control of the population as a whole to specialists—to police, priests, teachers, therapies, and so on, with their specialized reinforcers and their codified contingencies B. F. Skinner
I wish twenty-four hours, a good night's sleep and a day spent in the open air could always elapse before any government officials take action on matters of grave importance. Eleanor Roosevelt
… minor incidents—the kind you can never really foresee—combine to lower the general level of performance, so that one always falls short of the intended goal. Lawrence David Freedman
The hype that accompanied the promotion of successive strategic fashions exaggerated the importance of the enlightened manager and played down the importance of chance and circumstance in explaining success. Lawrence David Freedman
Reality in the end proves unmanageable. It breaks in upon man’s conceptions, changes them, and finally destroys them. Thucydides
Strategy draws its inspiration each century, or rather at each moment of history, from the problems which events themselves pose. Raymond Aron
We pay a price as taxpayers when we don’t let our acquisition workforce get the same top-level training that private industry’s people have. Daniel I. Gordon
When I served as Prime Minister last time, I failed to prioritize my agenda. I was eager to complete everything at once and ended my administration in failure. Shinzo Abe
I have no sympathy with anyone, whatever his station, who will not brook criticism. Dwight D. Eisenhower
I hope to God that I know what I am doing. Dwight D. Eisenhower
What is decided must be implemented and implemented without any departmental interpretation Vladimir Putin
You can’t govern a country on charisma. Charles Krauthammer
Austerity [in the Defense Department] meant that risks had to be managed, not eliminated. Melvyn P. Leffler
Beyond going around doing things as Secretary of State, you have to recognize that you had managerial responsibilities. George P. Shultz
This office has in recent decades, in my view, been seriously misused and distorted George F. Kennan
Managing diplomacy today is far more difficult than during the Cold War. Technology, jet travel, and a globalized economy make it possible for terrorists in a remote corner of Pakistan or Syria to plan a terrorist attack on Times Square. John Kerry
I never use my sword when the lash suffices, nor the lash when my tongue is enough. Muawiya ibn Abi Sufyan
Some folks can have all the money in the world, and still not know what to do with it. Roland Martin
I’m sure there are plenty of high-level positions available for qualified women in your department. And I am sure that there are many women already on your payroll who have been waiting for promotions for a long time. So go back to your departments and see what you can do. Then report to me next Friday how many you’ve placed. Lyndon B. Johnson
We also have to work through … the dark side, if you will. We’ve got to spend time in the shadows in the intelligence world. A lot of what needs to be done here will be done quietly without any discussion. Dick Cheney
… a closed world. … an almost perfect record of resisting change. … fragmented, loosely managed, and poorly coordinated. … often unable to gather intelligence about the things we care the most about. … analysts do not always tell the decision makers just how limited their information really is. … increasingly irrelevant to the new challenges presented by weapons of mass destruction. … espionage is always chancy at best. Still we have no choice but to do better. Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction
It’s [the CIA] an organization that thrives on deception. How do you manage an organization like that? John J. Hamre
Here is one of the most peculiar types of operation any government can have. It probably takes a strange kind of genius to run it. Dwight D. Eisenhower
I have built my organization upon fear. Al Capone

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