Quotes in leadership
There are four prongs of quality and four ways to improve quality of product and service:
- Innovation in product and service
- Innovation in process
- Improvement of existing product and service
- Improvement of existing process
The common mistake is the supposition that quality is ensured by No. 4, improvement of process, that operations going off without blemish on the factory floor, in the bank, in the hotel will ensure quality. Good operations are essential, yet they do not ensure quality. Quality is made in the boardroom.
A bank that failed last week may have had excellent operations— speed at the tellers’ windows with few mistakes; few mistakes in bank statements; likewise in the calculation of interest and of penalties and loans. The cause of failure at the bank was bad management, not operations.
A good deal of the corporate planning I have observed is like a ritual rain dance; it has no effect on the weather that follows, but those who engage in it think it does. Moreover, it seems to me that much of the advice and instruction related to corporate planning is directed at improving the dancing, not the weather.
A company could put a top man at every position and be swallowed by a competitor with people only half as good, but who are working together.
Effective leadership is not about making speeches or being liked; leadership is defined by results not attributes.
The art of leadership is saying no, not yes. It is very easy to say yes.
Don't be evil. We believe strongly that in the long term, we will be better served - as shareholders and in all other ways - by a company that does good things for the world even if we forgo some short term gains. This is an important aspect of our culture and is broadly shared within the company.
So much of what we call management consists in making it difficult for people to work.
No easy problems ever come to the President of the United States. If they are easy to solve, someone else has solved them.
Divide and rule, a sound motto. Unite and lead, a better one.