Words of Wisdom from Big Business, Part 1

My favorite television shows usually save me from having to read a book. That’s not to say I do not read. In fact, I read every day. I just find some subjects, such as history, are frequently written in a manner that is not accessible…by which I mean dull.

So my interest was piqued when HISTORY said it would air a four part series on the titans of American industry that rose from the ashes of the Civil War. “The Men Who Built America” on History began its run last month and I am only just getting around to watching each episode.

While viewing the first episode, A New War Begins, I was re-introduced to several names of early American industry including Vanderbilt, Rockefeller, and Carnegie. Some of the best parts however are the asides from retired and current business leaders. Here are my favorite quotes from these leaders in the first episode:

On Vision
“You talk about seeing around corners as an element of success. That’s what differentiates a good leader. Not many people have it. Not many people can predict that corner. That is a characteristic of great leaders.” – Jack Welch

More on Vision
“The idea is to see what’s missing. That’s what the creative entrepreneur does. He serves people with things that they need. Some people can’t find the new thing to do. But sometimes you see something that everybody has to have. You say, ‘Oh man, I gotta give them this.’ Then you go to work on it because they need it.” – Russell Simmons

Even More on Vision
“I think entrepreneurs and certain business people just look at life and look at things that are changing and are able to see those things and say ‘I can create a business out of that’.” – Mark Cuban

On Sizing People Up
“Every business is about understanding people. Which people you have to get through. Which people you have to embrace. Which people you have to jump over. Which people you have to push out of the way. That’s the game.” – Donny Deutsch

On Innovation
“Innovation is not a big breakthrough invention every time. Innovation is a constant thing. But if you don’t have an innovative company coming to work every day to find a better way you don’t have a company. You’re getting ready to die on the vine.” – Jack Welch

On Technology
“Today everybody wants to be an entrepreneur. They’ve heard these great stories, you know, about Apple. But you know what? When you start a company you can think: what’s the revenues gonna be, how much it’s gonna be worth to shareholders. But you always need a technical element. You need somebody who knows how to do it and build the things. You need the scientists.” – Steve Wozniak

On Salesmanship
“The Rockefellers and all these guys were all great salesmen. At the end of the day, it’s the salesmen who make the money.” – Jerry Weintraub

On Winning v. Money
“To me, it’s always what’s next and I think that’s what drives most very successful people. It’s never about the money. I mean that’s a way of keeping score. It’s about achievement and it’s about winning a game and it’s about upping the ante.” ­- Donny Deutsch

More on Winning v. Money
“They don’t think in terms of money. They think in terms of winning. Now naturally if you win big in business money follows. But that shouldn’t be your objective. Your objective should be to win. Win, win, win, win. All the time. Not sometimes. Every time.” – Sumner Redstone

On Competition
“I think it’s good for the system and it’s really, I think, what most business is about. It’s about doing a better job on out-hustling your competitors.” – Ted Turner

More on Competition
“Competition gets very aggressive. People have no idea how aggressive it is. And sometimes you don’t even hear it because what goes on behind your back is not a pretty picture.” – Donald Trump

On Quitting
“You have to be smart. You have to have vision. You have to have all of these different things, but the most successful people are the people that had the right idea but never, ever quit or gave up. The people that really succeed in life are those that don’t quit.” – Donald Trump

On Being on Top
“People are always rooting for very successful people to fail. The day people are not taking shots at you, it means you are not on top anymore.” – Donny Deutsch


One thought on “Words of Wisdom from Big Business, Part 1

  1. Pingback: Words of Wisdom from Big Business, Part 2 « BrianAdamsPR

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