Using quotes from famous leaders, politicians or athletes has become part and parcel of business communications.
Try getting through a sales seminar, self-help book or sales kick-off meeting without being confronted by the quote.
Using quotes from proven leaders, or those people you feel have shown integrity and wisdom is, in itself, a sign of humility and wisdom. Unfortunately, too many of the quotes thrown out at us are designed to generate an emotional response especially in large groups. They are used to get a sales team fired-up or to engender loyalty to the enterprise, leader or vision.
I am not saying that using quotes in this manner is wrong, only, too basic and unsophisticated for todays employees.
Do we really crave a pavlovian response to a few, well placed, quotes? Or should we be focused on the long-term development of ourselves and those around us? If you have read anything else written by me, you already know the answer to that question.
However, one aspect of this trend that can be positive is when the quote leads us to the full text and a better understanding of the context in which it was made. That is true knowledge.
There is one famous leader whos quotes, in my opinion, should be mandatory reading for anyone who truly wishes to develop wisdom and apply that wisdom to leadership.
To ensure you do not pre-judge the content, I am not going to tell you anything about the author other than he is male and was placed in a leadership position from an early age.
What follows are a few lines from the full text. I make a point of referring to his quotes (the full version) everyday because reading about his experiences and following his advice has helped me develop as a person and a leader.
– Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it may cost all you have, get understanding
– A man of knowledge uses words with restraint, and a man of understanding is even-tempered.
– He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.
– The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life, turning a man from the snares of death.
– A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
– The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouth of the fool gushes folly.
– Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.
– A mocker resents correction; he will not consult the wise.
– The discerning heart seeks knowledge, but the mouth of a fool feeds on folly.
– He who ignores discipline despises himself, but whoever heeds correction gains understanding.
– Every prudent man acts out of knowledge, but a fool exposes his folly.
– Starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam; so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out.
– A simple man believes anything, but a prudent man gives thought to his steps.
– Pride only breeds quarrels, but wisdom is found in those who take advice.
If you would like to try and guess the authors name email directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will tell you how hot or cold you are I may even throw you a clue, or two.
Or visit www.integrity-sales-leadership.com and click the ROI (Rules of Integrity) tab.
This is not an attempt to drive traffic to a site to sell you something, or worse yet subject you to advertisers. I just want to share this amazing resource of knowledge and wisdom with you because it has definitely helped to shape me into the person and leader I am today.
My colleagues and I decided to build the type of site that we would like our sales people to use. It has integrity as its corner-stone and relies on real sales people and sales leaders for its content. We would be honored if you visited us.
Our goal is to provide honest recommendations on all aspects of sales and leadership, including: