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Archive for the ‘Leadership’ Category

What you are is what you have done. What you’ll be is what you do now.

— Various Sources (Image Licensed by Penn Wealth)

(Sourcing note: A similar quote, “What you have been..,” is attributed to Buddha, but that has been questioned. Too good of a quote not to pass along.)

No matter where our past actions have placed us today, our tomorrow can be brilliant. Take responsibility and make it so. 

—Mike Hazell

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You can serve a person the world on a silver platter, but until that person understands, embraces, and applies the concepts of work ethic, humility, personal responsibility, and empathy they will never succeed; they will never be happy. Once these attributes are adopted, however, true success is inevitable.

— Mike Hazell (Image Licensed by Penn Wealth)

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It is amazing what ordinary people can do if they set out without preconceived notions.

— Charles Kettering (American inventor and engineer; Image Licensed)

Although it may seem counterintuitive, the most successful people in life—by and large—avoid the daily news, and they disdain the conventional wisdom of the day. Crazy, right? That doesn’t seem logical. After all, how can you get ahead without an understanding of what’s going on around you? That’s my point. 

So much of what we read in the news is tainted, negative, doom and gloom, or just downright petulant and sophomoric. I’m not sure that I ever asked for the daily “must see” headlines to pop up on my browsers or on the screen when I swipe right on my iPhone, but I can feel the deep undercurrent of negativity in nearly all of them. It’s as if they are designed to suck the creative energy from our bodies before we can get our day started!

Working in finance, I tend to stick to the business news each day, so one might think the stories would revolve more around numbers than people, but that is not the case. Let someone come along with a creative new product or service that dares to challenge old paradigms and then watch the “expert analysts” march in lockstep to explain why that new product or service is doomed to fail. Elon Musk is certainly one of the pioneers who has been impugned by the old guard from day one. Steve Jobs was another. But there are literally millions of people in America with the same mindset; you might even know one…intimately.  

Creative genius is not reserved for the elite. In fact, the elitists are generally the ones making fun of those who dare to think differently. These creative individuals come from all walks of life and all backgrounds, but they share one thing in common: they refuse to allow their imaginations to be reined in by the preconceived notions of the arrogant and the simpleminded. So, while the anointed ones tell us what cannot be done, this dynamic group of individuals forges ahead, doing what cannot be done. 

—Mike Hazell

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Silence is one of the hardest arguments to refute.

— Josh Billings (by Sarony; Public Domain)

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I’d rather have 1% of the effort of 100 men than 100% of my own effort.

Godafoss waterfall in Iceland

— J. Paul Getty (Image Licensed)

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Building a Better World

You cannot hope to build a better world without improving the individuals. To that end, each of us must work for his own improvement and, at the same time, share a general responsibility for all humanity, our particular duty being to aid those to whom we think we can be most useful.

— Marie Curie (1920, by Henri Manuel; Public Domain)

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Every soul is their own ancestor, and every soul is their own heir. They devise their own future, and they inherit their own past.

— Frederic Henry Hedge (Image Licensed by Penn Wealth)

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The Pure Joy of Duty

Do your duty and leave the rest to heaven.

— Pierre Corneille (by Charles Le Brun; Public Domain)

It is like an incredible weight being lifted. We select our destination, map out the journey, and then commit to doing the required work required to move forward. But when the work gets tedious, or we face resistance, or we can’t see the path in front of us, doubt creeps into our minds. Once we accept that we are being guided through the maze of life, however, we can let our troubles go and embrace our duty with a quiet and splendid alacrity. 

—Mike Hazell

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It is surmounting difficulties that makes heroes.

— Louis Pasteur (by Paul Nadar; Public Domain)

You look ahead of you and see nothing but mounting challenges. Change your perspective on what you see. These are not obstacles, but springboards; catalysts waiting to move you forward to greatness. Embrace the fight!

—Mike Hazell, Penn Wealth

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A determined soul will do more with a rusty monkey wrench than a loafer will accomplish with all the tools in a machine shop.

—Rupert Hughes (by Bain News Service; Public Domain)

It is easy to get caught in the trap of feeling as though we need the latest and greatest tools to accomplish our mission. All we really need, however, is the proper strategic vision—one that motivates us to our very core—and a work ethic built on rock solid determination.

—MSH, Penn Wealth

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