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101 Quotations for Project Managers

        posted by , April 17, 2011

A few quotations that project managers may relate too.


Everyone has a plan: until they get punched in the face.
~ Mike Tyson

Let our advance worrying become advance thinking and planning.
~ Winston Churchill

Those who plan do better than those who do not plan even though they rarely stick to their plan.
~ Winston Churchill

If you don't know where you are going. How can you expect to get there?
~ Basil S. Walsh

Adventure is just bad planning.
~ Roald Amundsen

A goal without a plan is just a wish.
~ Larry Elder

First, have a definite, clear practical ideal; a goal, an objective. Second, have the necessary means to achieve your ends; wisdom, money, materials, and methods. Third, adjust all your means to that end.
~ Aristotle

Bad planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part
~ Proverb

A good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow
~ Proverb

Life is a long preparation for something that never happens.
~ William Butler Yeats

Plans are only good intentions unless they immediately degenerate into hard work.
~ Peter Drucker

Our plans miscarry because they have no aim.
~ Lucius Seneca (Roman philosopher)

It is a mistake to look too far ahead. Only one link in the chain of destiny can be handled at a time.
~ Winston Churchill

Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes; but no plans.
~ Peter F. Drucker

Life is what happens to us while we're too busy making other plans.
~ John Lennon

Most plans are just inaccurate predictions.
~ Ben Bayol

Plans are worthless. Planning is essential.
~ Dwight D. Eisenhower

Expect the best, plan for the worst, and prepare to be surprised.
~ Denis Waitley

Happy people plan actions, they don't plan results.
~ Dennis Wholey

To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.
~ Anatole France

It's a bad plan that admits of no modification.
~ Publilius Syrus

Planning lies with men; success lies with heaven.
~ Chinese proverb

Long-range planning works best in the short term.
~ Euripides

Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning.
~ Gloria Steinem

Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men's blood — make big plans, aim high in hope and work.
~ Daniel H. Burnham


Just because something doesn't do what you planned it to do doesn't mean it's useless.
~ Thomas Edison

Ambition is the last refuge of failure.
~ Oscar Wilde

Remember the two benefits of failure. First, if you do fail, you learn what doesn't work; and second, the failure gives you the opportunity to try a new approach.
~ Roger Von Oech

The greatest barrier to success is the fear of failure.
~ Sven Goran Eriksson

There are no failures - just experiences and your reactions to them.
~ Tom Krause

A man may fall many times, but he won't be a failure until he says that someone pushed him.
~ Elmer Letterman

Failure is nature's plan to prepare you for great responsibilities.
~ Napoleon Hill

Success builds character, failure reveals it
~ Dave Checkett

I feel that the most important requirement in success is learning to overcome failure. You must learn to tolerate it, but never accept it.
~ Reggie Jackson

Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.
~ Henry Ford

I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.
~ Bill Cosby

It must be borne in mind that the tragedy of life does not lie in not reaching your goal. The tragedy of life lies in having no goal to reach.”
~ Benjamin Mays

In NASA, we never punish error. We only punish the concealment of error.
~ Al Siepert

If you always blame others for your mistakes, you will never improve.
~ Joy Gumz


Managing to have a sense of humour makes it a lot easier to manage people
~ Steve Wilson

Time is the scarcest resource and unless it is managed nothing else can be managed.
~ Peter Drucker

The relationship between talent and management is uneasy, at best.
~ Jessica Savitch

Management must manage!
~ Harold Geneen

Good management consists in showing average people how to do the work of superior people.
~ John D. Rockefeller

I've got an opinion on everything, so I should go into management.
~ Richard Gough

Most of what we call management consists of making it difficult for people to get their work done.
~ Peter Drucker

The secret of successful managing is to keep the five guys who hate you away from the four guys who haven't made up their minds.
~ Casey Stengel

Organization charts and fancy titles count for next to nothing.
~ Colin Powell

Managing senior programmers is like herding cats.
~ Dave Platt

The conventional definition of management is getting work done through people, but real management is developing people through work.
~ Agha Hasan Abedi

Never allow a person to tell you no who doesn't have the power to say yes.
~ Eleanor Roosevelt

Change Management

It is not necessary to change. Survival is not mandatory.
~ Edwards Deming

It is change, continuing change, inevitable change, that is the dominant factor in society today. No sensible decision can be made any longer without taking into account not only the world as it is, but the world as it will be.
~ Isaac Asimov

Change before you have to.
~ Jack Welch

It is not the strongest of the species that survive, not the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.
~ Charles Darwin

Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.
~ Barak Obama

When you are through changing, you are through.
~ Bruce Barton

He who rejects change is the architect of decay. The only human institution which rejects progress is the cemetery.
~ Harold Wilson

Change is inevitable - except from a vending machine.
~ Robert Gallagher

Working Style

Sooner or later, those who win are those who think they can.
~ Paul Tournier

The price of inaction is far greater than the cost of making a mistake.
~ Meister Eckhart

Be candid with everyone.
~ Jack Welch

You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else.
~ Albert Einstein

In this business, by the time you realize you're in trouble, it's too late to save yourself. Unless you're running scared all the time, you're gone.
~ Bill Gates

Fit no stereotypes. Don't chase the latest management fads. The situation dictates which approach best accomplishes the team's mission.
~ Colin Powell

If you don't have a competitive advantage, don't compete.
~ Jack Welch

Mix a little foolishness with your serious plans: it's lovely to be silly at the right moment.
~ Horace

My personal philosophy is not to undertake a project unless it is manifestly important and nearly impossible.
~ Edwin Land

Hell, there are no rules here — we're trying to accomplish something.
~ Thomas A. Edison

Meetings are indispensable when you don't want to do anything.
~ John Galbraith


Estimating is what you do when you don't know.
~ Sherman Kent


One of the true tests of leadership is the ability to recognize a problem before it becomes an emergency.
~ Arnold Glasow

Leadership offers an opportunity to make a difference in someone's life, no matter what the project.
~ Bill Owens

The only real training for leadership is leadership.
~ Antony Jay

The key to successful leadership today is influence not authority.
~ Kenneth Blanchard

The manager asks how and when; the leader asks what and why.
~ Warren Bennis

Every right implies a responsibility; Every opportunity, an obligation, Every possession, a duty.
~ John D. Rockefeller

The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you. In between, the leader is a servant.
~ Max de Pree

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.
~ John Quincy Adams

Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.
~ Dwight D. Eisenhower

All leaders whose fitness is questioned are clearly lacking in force.
~ Andre Maurois

People are more easily led than driven.
~ David Harold Fink

Inventories can be managed but people must be lead.
~ Ross Perot

The best example of leadership is leadership by example.
~ Jerry McClain

High achievement always takes place in the framework of high expectation.
~ Charles Kettering


In politics stupidity is not a handicap.
~ Napoleon Bonaparte


How does a project get to be a year late? One day at a time.
~ Frederick Brooks

I don't work on a project unless I believe that it will dramatically improve life for a bunch of people.
~ Dean Kamen

After two weeks of working on a project, you know whether it will work or not.
~ Bill Budge

My philosophy is, don't take no for an answer and be willing to sacrifice your entire project for freedom.
~ Tim Robbins

I am such a pessimist that every project has surpassed what I envisioned.
~ Colin Mochrie

I always believe it's better to have 30 imaginations working on a project, rather than one imagination telling the other 29 what to do.
~ Trevor Nunn

Perception Management

Next to doing the right thing, the most important thing is to let people know you are doing the right thing.
~ John D. Rockefeller


A low budget is uncomfortable.
~ Lukas Haas

I can make more generals, but horses cost money.
~ Abraham Lincoln

The budget evolved from a management tool into an obstacle to management.
~ Charles Edwards

When a project has an ample budget, I am interested now in using bigger units of materials.
~ Yoshio Taniguchi


Goals are dreams with deadlines.
~ Diana Scharf

Any person who selects a goal in life which can be fully achieved, has already defined his own limitations”
~ Cavett Robert

When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don't adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.
~ Confucius

By prevailing over all obstacles and distractions, one may unfailingly arrive at his chosen goal or destination.
~ Christopher Columbus

The major reason for setting a goal is for what it makes of you to accomplish it. What it makes of you will always be the far greater value than what you get.
~ Jim Rohn

Set your course by the stars, not by the lights of every passing ship.
~ Omar Bradley


Meetings are indispensable when you don't want to do anything.
~ John Kenneth Galbraith

People who enjoy meetings should not be in charge of anything.
~ Thomas Sowell

A meeting moves at the speed of the slowest mind in the room.
~ Dale Dauten

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