Business related quotes 51 to 100

  1. ‘Most people with my kind of track record don’t look to change. But I always felt I couldn’t afford not to change. We had to be successful—there was no other option for me—and I would explore any means of improving. I continued to work hard. I treated every success as my first. My job was to give us the best possible chance of winning. That is what drove me.’ Sir Alex Ferguson
  2. ‘One of the things I’ve done well over the years is manage change. I believe that you control change by accepting it. That also means having confidence in the people you hire. The minute staff members are employed, you have to trust that they are doing their jobs. If you micromanage and tell people what to do, there is no point in hiring them.’ Sir Alex Ferguson
  3. ‘I don’t think many people fully understand the value of observing. I came to see observation as a critical part of my management skills. The ability to see things is key—or, more specifically, the ability to see things you don’t expect to see.’ Sir Alex Ferguson
  4. ‘My presence and ability to supervise were always there, and what you can pick up by watching is incredibly valuable. Once I stepped out of the bubble, I became more aware of a range of details, and my performance level jumped.’ Sir Alex Ferguson
  5. ‘Winning is in my nature. I’ve set my standards over such a long period of time that there is no other option for me—I have to win. I expected to win every time we went out there. Even if five of the most important players were injured, I expected to win. (Prepare to win)’ Sir Alex Ferguson
  6. ‘If you are too soft in your approach, you won’t be able to achieve good football tactics. Fear has to come into it. But you can be too hard; if players are fearful all the time, they won’t perform well either. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to see that showing your anger all the time doesn’t work. You have to pick your moments. As a manager, you play different roles at different times. Sometimes you have to be a doctor, or a teacher, or a father.’ Sir Alex Ferguson
  7. ‘I would tell them that having a work ethic is very important. It seemed to enhance their pride. I would remind them that it is trust in one another, not letting their mates down, that helps build the character of a team.’ Sir Alex Ferguson
  8. ‘No one likes to be criticized. Few people get better with criticism; most respond to encouragement instead. So I tried to give encouragement when I could. For a player—for any human being—there is nothing better than hearing “Well done.” Those are the two best words ever invented. You don’t need to use superlatives. (Match the message to the moment)’ Sir Alex Ferguson
  9. ‘It’s important to have confidence in yourself to make a decision and to move on once you have. It’s not about looking for adversity or for opportunities to prove power; it’s about having control and being authoritative when issues do arise.’ Sir Alex Ferguson
  10. ‘Some English clubs have changed managers so many times that it creates power for the players in the dressing room. That is very dangerous. If the coach has no control, he will not last.’ Sir Alex Ferguson
  11. ‘If the day came that the manager of Manchester United was controlled by the players—in other words, if the players decided how the training should be, what days they should have off, what the discipline should be, and what the tactics should be—then Manchester United would not be the Manchester United we know. (never ever cede control)’ Sir Alex Ferguson
  12. ‘I constantly told my squad that working hard all your life is a talent. But I expected even more from the star players. I expected them to work even harder.’ Sir Alex Ferguson
  13. ‘I had to lift players’ expectations. They should never give in. I said that to them all the time: “If you give in once, you’ll give in twice.” And the work ethic and energy I had seemed to spread throughout the club. (Set high standards and hold everyone to them)’ Sir Alex Ferguson
  14. ‘Although I was always trying to disprove it, I believe that the cycle of a successful team lasts maybe four years, and then some change is needed. So we tried to visualize the team three or four years ahead and make decisions accordingly. Because I was at United for such a long time, I could afford to plan ahead—no one expected me to go anywhere. I was very fortunate in that respect.’ (Dare to rebuild the team.)’ Sir Alex Ferguson
  15. ‘I always take great pride in seeing younger players develop. The job of a manager, like that of a teacher, is to inspire people to be better. Give them better technical skills, make them winners, make them better people, and they can go anywhere in life. When you give young people a chance, you not only create a longer life span for the team, you also create loyalty. They will always remember that you were the manager who gave them their first opportunity. Once they know you are batting for them, they will accept your way. You’re really fostering a sense of family. If you give young people your attention and an opportunity to succeed, it is amazing how much they will surprise you.’ Sir Alex Ferguson
  16. ‘From the moment I got to Manchester United, I thought of only one thing: building a football club. I wanted to build right from the bottom. That was in order to create fluency and a continuity of supply to the first team. With this approach, the players all grow up together, producing a bond that, in turn, creates a spirit.’ Sir Alex Ferguson (Building the foundation)
  17. ‘Am I getting enough challenges? Do I have a healthy work/life balance? Does my job give me a personal sense of fulfillment, of achievement? Do I have a sense of community? Do I feel appreciated?’ Irene Ross, on five questions you should ask yourself about your job once in a while




  1. ‘Beijing is using a softline economic approach to groom Shanghai to compete with, or possibly, replace Hong Kong. The implicit message is clear if that Hong Kong continues to have political squabbles, its economic status will suffer greatly.’ Sonny Lo, on China’s idea of establishing a FTA in Shanghai
  2. ‘In terms of condition, the guys have to be honed athletes. They have to be strong, with good cardiovascular fitness. The need for strength is underestimated sometimes. You’re digging deep into your reserves in a race like that. It’s a mental as well as a physical challenge.’ Gerry Convy, on F1 drivers
  3. ‘It doesn’t seem as easy (start an IT firm in India) as Silicon Valley where you have an idea you can simply execute it with hard work. But I admire folks who are doing things in India. It requires a lot of grit and determination.’ Ruchi Sanghvi
  4. ‘I’d love to do something if it was easier to do it. It is difficult to do exciting things in India. There are a lot of issues and barriers, simple things like a good internet line to the office.’ Ruchi Sanghvi, on starting an IT firm in India
  5. ‘The solution to not having useless 25 [and] 30-year-olds living at home is not sending them out of the home, it’s making them do their own washing, pay their own way, pay towards the rent, pay towards the bills, to take responsibility for cleaning up their bedroom and not waiting on them hand and foot.’ Sarah Beeny
  6. ‘By working faithfully, eight hours a day, you may eventually get to be a boss…and get to work twelve hours a day.’ Robert Frost
  7. ‘Many people die at twenty five and aren’t buried until they are seventy five.’ Benjamin Franklin
  8. ‘Decide in your heart what really excites and challenges you and start moving your life in that direction. Every decision you make, from what you eat to what you do with your time tonight turns you into who you are tomorrow, and the day after that. Look at who you want to be, and start sculpting yourself into that person. You may not get exactly where you thought you’d be, but you will be doing things that suit you in a profession you believe in. Don’t let life randomly kick you into the adult you don’t want to become.’ Chris Hadfield
  9. ”If you’re opening a business just for the money, you’ll fail. There’s too much work before the money comes. Your heart needs to be in it.’ (from a random blog)
  10. ‘If you’re limiting yourself to what you experienced, you are going to be in trouble…I studied the Great Depression. I studied the Weimar Republic. I studied important events that didn’t happen to me.’ Ray Dalio
  11. ‘I hardly made any money, but I remembered I loved it. And that was great. Even back then, I was never really concerned with money past a certain point of utility. I was happy sleeping on a cot in a studio apartment. All I cared was having the freedom to do what I wanted to do.’ Ray Dalio
  12. ‘Above all else, I want you to think for yourself – to decide 1) what you want, 2) what is true and 3) what to do about it. I want you to do that in a clear-headed thoughtful way, so that you get what you want.’ Ray Dalio, a famous hedge fund manager
  13. ‘I didn’t really feel any anxiety about starting out on my own. I could pay the rent. I had free time to do what I wanted – I like the independence. And so I thought if it didn’t work out, I’d go get a job. And if it did work out, then I’m free.’ Ray Dalio
  14. ‘It’s strange. Bankers are so smart, yet they get this thing wrong. They spend their lives in an office when the only valuable thing in life is time. It is the only thing that is not replenishable. You can always make more money, but you can never get more time. Maybe it’s because death is such a taboo in our society, that people live in this illusion that their life will go on forever.’ (random banking product structurer)
  15. ‘The world of investment banking is a meritocracy. Nobody ever asked me what university I went to (I’m a drop-out). I never encountered racism, sexism or homophobia and the simple reason is that people just don’t give a fuck who you are. It’s what you can do.’ (random investment banker)
  16. ”I think ego stands in the way of a lot of people doing that (starting a business). It’s like learning how to ski…the sting of the fall hurts for about a minute but that’s how you learn.’ Ray Dalio, founder of Bridgewater Associates
  17. ‘Research shows that the life of a wild animal is mostly suffering; stress and fear and pain. Yet do we believe pets to be happier? For me the buzz that comes with the pressure for survival is attractive. I’d rather be the wild animal than the pet.’ (random investment banker)
  18. ‘It’s the competitive element which attracts me to banking and which makes me a happy banker. To know that those who don’t make the grade get cut. I have a lot to prove to myself. I’m the kind of person who wants to swim with sharks and see if I can survive… Happy bankers are those who don’t do it for the money but for the thrill.’ (a random banker)
  19. ‘The key to success is big vision and determination to achieve it. The lesson we have been taught is that you should always aim high. Once you have sorted your vision, execution is another important element in success. If something doesn’t work out just yet, make sure you pivot over and over again, and if it fails, celebrate failure early enough and start again.’ Audra Pakalnyte and Reda Stare
  20. ‘Using leverage is like playing Russian roulette. It means that you are inevitably going to get a bullet in your head.’ Ray Dalio
  21. ‘What has made Buffett successful, what has made other people very, very good, is their ability to see things in the available data that others don’t see.’ Marc Lasry
  22. ‘You have to be assertive and open minded at the same time. This is true in the markets; this is true in almost everything. You have to learn from your mistakes to keep getting better. And it’s through learning from those mistakes that you learn what reality is and how to deal with it, which is called principles. Knowing what is true, whether you like it or not, is a tremendous asset. There’s no sense in fighting reality.’ Ray Dalio
  23. ‘I wanted to be able to say whatever I wanted to say. I wanted to be able to do whatever I wanted to do.’ Bill Ackman, on his decision to start his own hedge fund
  24. ‘Raising money for a start-up hedge fund is a lot like blind dating. You meet someone you’ve never met before, you have a limited time in which to make the pitch, and then you try to close the deal. Charm matters.’ Bill Ackman
  25. ‘Warren Buffett said that one can immediately obtain the qualities that make for a good reputation by just making good everyday life decisions. He also reminded us that your reputation can be lost overnight and to therefore protect it with your life. I never forgot that.’ Bill Ackman, a hedge fund manager
  26. ‘We all understand that independent thinking is a necessity. We understand it better than other people because value-added alpha is zero-sum. So if you think about almost any career and any job, you can add value and it’s not zero-sum. If you’re a doctor and somebody breaks their leg, you can fix their leg, you can add that value.’ Ray Dalio
  27. ‘The stereotypical ways that Wall Streeters cope with pressure – they drink, they have affairs, they cultivate expensive hobbies like collecting cars – don’t work for me. Instead, I exercise maniacally.’ Mike Mayo
  28. ‘Failure is “an inherent part of entrepreneurship”. It’s difficult to learn and improve if you don’t take some risks.’ Judy Estrin
  29. ‘You can have mid-level success as an entrepreneur and you can still be having a lot of fun solving a lot of good problems, making money for your investors. Not every company is a Google or a Facebook.’ Judy Estrin, on the need to recognize different levels of success
  30. ‘Some people can be content lying on the beach indefinitely, but I can’t. I desperately wanted to keep working.’ Mike Mayo
  31. ‘My stepdad always said he’d rather live well with risks than play it safe and be bored. That’s something I’ve tried to apply to my own life and career, as well.’ Mike Mayo
  32. 100. ‘In our business (hedge fund) we’ve learned that it’s not so easy to have an opinion and be confident that opinion is right. I learned this at a very early age… I also know it’s not so easy to have an opinion that you’re confident in. Be careful of the opinion that you’re overconfident in.’ Ray Dalio


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