Sacred or secular

It is not what a man does that determines whether his work is sacred or secular, it is why he does it.

Aiden Wilson Tozer – American evangelical pastor and author (1897-1963), from “The Pursuit of God”, chapter 10 (1948)


Hire character. Train skill.

Peter W. Schutz – German-born American industrial manager (1930-2017), Quotations book 2021


Every job is a self-portrait of the person who did it. Autograph your work with excellence.



The more I want to get something done, the less I call it work.

Richard Bach – American writer (b. 1936), from “Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah” (1977)


Work is personal commitment, but no burden.

Patrizio Bertelli – Italian entrepreneur (Prada, b. 1946)

job satisfaction

I do my job because it gives me pleasure, and I have no reason to take my joy even.

Dr. Hans Riegel – German entrepreneur, Haribo (1923-2013), Quote issue 2012

Zip it

Don’t open your mouth at your first board meeting.

Brian Joffe – South African company founder: Bidvest Group (b. 1947)

Fountain of youth

To find joy in work is to discover the fountain of youth.

Pearl S. Buck – American writer, Nobel Prize in literature 1938 (1892-1973), from “The Joy of Children” (1964), Quotations book 2012


A Master is not the one who teaches something, but the one who inspires the student to give the best of himself to find out what he already knows.

Paulo Coelho de Souza – Brazilian writer (b. 1947), from “A Bruxa de Porto Bello” (2006)

[Um mestre] não é aquele que ensina algo, mas aquele que inspira o aluno a dar o melhor de si para descobrir o que ele já sabe.

Paulo Coelho de Souza – escritor brasileiro (*1947), de “A Bruxa de Porto Bello” (2006)

Limits of wishful thinking

Wishful thinking can dominate much of the work of a profession for a decade, but not indefinitely.

Prof. Robert J. Shiller – American economist, Nobel Memorial Prize in economic sciences 2013 (b. 1946), in “From Efficient Market Theory to Behavioral Finance” (2002)


When you hire people who love what they do, they make you look like a genious.

Warren Buffett – American value investor, Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway (b. 1930), Quotations book 2012


Les médecins qui vont le mieux: ses succès là-bas, et de leurs échecs sont enterrés.

attribué à Jacques Tati – né Jacques Tatischeff, réalisateur et acteur français (1907-1982)

Work and luck

I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.

attributed to Thomas Jefferson – American politician, 1801-1909 third president and member of the American Enlightment movement (1743-1826), Quotations book 2008

Arouse enthusiasm

I consider my ability to arouse enthusiasm to be my greatest asset, and the way to develop the best that is in a person is by appreciation and encouragement. There is nothing that kills the ambitions of a person as much as criticisms from superiors. I never criticize anyone. I believe in giving people incentive to work. So I am anxious to praise but loath to find fault. If I like anything, I am hearty in my appreciation and hearty in my praise.

attributed to Charles M. Schwab – American industrialist and steel magnate (1862-1939), Quotations book 2011

Old or bold

There’s a saying in the British Royal Air Force that investors need to remember: “There are old pilots, and there are bold pilots, but there are no old, bold pilots.”

Quotations book 2007


I work on the principle that you should never do something that others can do for you.

attrubited to John D. Rockefeller – American oil magnate, sunday’s School teacher and world’s richest man at his time (1839-1937)

Good work

What ever you do, do it well. Do it so well that when people see you do it they will want to come back and see you do it again and they will want to bring others and show them how well you do what you do.

Walt Disney – American cartoonist and film producer (1901-1966), Quotations book 2015


You’ve got to make your employees happy. If the employees are happy, they are going to make the customers happy.

John Willard Marriott – American entrepreneur, founder of the Marriott hotelchain (1900-1985)


Choose a Profession, you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.

Asian proverb – Quotations book 2008

Cookery or medicine

Cookery simulates the disguise of medicine, and pretends to know what food is the best for the body; and if the physician and the cook had to enter into a competition in which children were the judges, or men who had no more sense than children, as to which of them best understands the goodness or badness of food, the physician would be starved to death.

Medicinam igitur coquinaria subiens simulat optimos se cibos corpori nosse, ita ut, si inter pueros vel viros æque ac pueri insipientes contendere oporteret coquum atque medicum, uter eorum de bonis malisve cibis intelligat, medicus fame periret.

Plato – Greek philosopher (ca. 428-348 BC), from his dialogue “Gorgias” (c. between 393 and 388 BC)


If a manager wants to handle everything on his own, he mustn’t be surprised at his staff retiring.

Wisdom – Quotations book 2006


If you make your calling your profession you don’t work, you live.

Michael Flatley – Irish-born American dancer and choreographer (b. 1958), Quotations book 2009

Kiss many frogs to find a prince

I’d rather interview 50 people and not hire anyone than hire the wrong person.

Jeffrey P. “Jeff” Bezos – American company founder: Amazon (b. 1964), Quotations book 2018


You know your life is boring when you only wear work clothes and pyjamas.

Jan-David Golze – German business development expert,


If your work speaks for itself, don’t interrupt.

attributed to Henry J. Kaiser – American entrepreneur, founder of several companies – today Kaiser Group International (1882-1967)

Get better

Get good – get out.

Peter F. Drucker – Austrian-born American management expert (1909-2005), Quotations book 2012

Customer satisfaction

If there’s one reason we have done better than all of our peers in the Internet space over the last six years, it is because we have focused like a laser on customer experience.

Jeffrey P. “Jeff” Bezos – American company founder: Amazon (b. 1964)

Work and success

The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary.

Wisdom – Quotations book 2013


Look in the eyes and not in the files.

Dr. h.c. Helmut O. Maucher – former CEO of Nestlè (1927-2018), Quotations book 2015


No work is worse than overwork.

Samuel Smiles – Scottish author and government reformer (1812-1904), from “Character” (1871)


Working hard for something we don’t care about is called stress.
Working hard for something we love is called passion.

Simon O. Sinek – American author, speaker and optimist (b. 1973), from a Twitter-message on 28th February 2012, printed in “Together is Better: A Little Book of Inspiration” (p. 105, 2016)


I have never worked a day in my life without selling. If I believe in something, I sell it, and I sell it hard.

Estée Lauder – born Josephine Esther Mentzer, American Company founder (1906-2004), in the documentary “Estée Lauder: The Sweet Smell of Success” (1985), Quotations book 2018

The bottom 10 percent

The cruelest system in the world is when they give people 3 percent to 4 percent increases to keep them even with inflation. They carry them along, don’t give them appraisals, don’t tell them what they are doing wrong, how they can improve and then, a recession comes.

Then, they call them in and say, “Hey, you gotta go.” That is the cruellest form of management.

We tell the bottom 10 percent, “Look. You’ve got a year. Find yourself somewhere to go.” And they do. They’ve got good credentials, they go out and they launch into a new career instead of always being tarred as the bottom 10. Don’t think of this as cruel. Think of telling people where they stand as one of your main obligations as a leader.

Jack Welch – born John Francis Welch jr., legendary American manager: General Electric (1935-2020), Fortune 1999: Manager of the Century

Help to improve performance

Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence and making sure that impact lasts in your absence.

Sheryl Sandberg – American manager and philanthropist, COO of Facebook (b. 1969), about “Harvard Business School” in “Lean In for Graduates” (2014), Quotations book 2022


MBA students come out with: “My staff is my most important asset.” Bullshit. Staff is usually your biggest cost. We all employ some lazy bastards who needs a kick up the backside, but no one can bring themselves to admit it.

Michael O’Leary – Irish businessman, who made Ryanair one of the largest European airlines (b. 1961)


There’s a lot of big egos in this industry. Most chief executives got into this business because they want to travel for a living. Not me, I want to work.

Michael O’Leary – Irish businessman, who made Ryanair one of the largest European airlines (b. 1961), Quotations book 2017


The art of relaxing is part of the art of working.

attributed to John Ernst Steinbeck – American writer, Nobel Prize in Literature 1962 (1902-1968), Quotations book 2018

Artists and bankers

When bankers get together for dinner, they discuss art.
When artists get together for dinner, they discuss money.

attributed to Oscar Wilde – Irish writer (1854-1900), Quotations book 2017

Each individual counts

Individual commitment to a group effort is what makes

– a team work

– a society work

– civilisation work.

Vince Lombardi – legendary American football coach (1913-1970)


You can’t have a great place to shop without first making it a great place to work.

Stew Leonard, Sr. – American entrepreneur, founded Stew Leonard’s super markets (b. 1929)


A coach is someone who can give correction without causing resentment.

John Wooden – American basketball player and coach (1910-2010), Quotations book 2019

see more at


Innovation distinguishes a leader from a follower.

attributed to Steve Jobs – American company founder, Apple (1955-2011)


Our prototype for occupational fervor is the Catholic tailor who used his small savings of many years to finance a pilgrimage to the Vatican. When he returned, his parish held a special meeting to get his firsthand account of the Pope. “Tell us,” said the eager faithful, “just what sort of fellow is he?” Our hero wasted no words. “He’s a forty-four medium.”

Warren Buffett – American value investor, Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway (b. 1930), from “Warren Buffett’s Management Secrets” (2009)


Work is love made visible.

Khalil Gibran – Lebanese Maronite poet, philosopher and artist, aka Kahlil Gibran (1883-1931), from “The Prophet (1923), Quotations book 2018


Artists are apostles of beauty.

Pope Francis – born Jorge Mario Bergoglio, since 2013 Holy Father (b. 1936), in an interview with Wim Wenders in his film “Pope Francis: A Man of His Word” (2018)

“Simple” job

I was happier when I was doing a mechanic’s job.

attributed to Henry Ford – American engineer and industrialist (1863-1947)


The man who does more than he is paid for will soon be paid for more than he does.

Napoleon Hill – American writer: “Think And Grow Rich” (1883-1970), Quotations book 2019

Three rules for a career

1) Don’t sell anything you wouldn’t buy yourself;
2) Don’t work for anyone you don’t respect and admire;
3) Work only with people you enjoy.

Charlie Munger – Vice Chairman Berkshire Hathaway (b. 1924)


Simplicity has a way of improving performance.

Charlie Munger – Vice Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway (b. 1924), Quotations book 2020


The work can wait while you show the child the rainbow, but the rainbow won’t wait while you do the work.

Mary “Patricia”(Wise) Clafford – amerikanische Schriftstellerin (1900-1998)

Experience of Life

A woman was strolling along a street in Paris when she spotted Picasso sketching at a sidewalk cafe.
The woman went over and asked Picasso if he could sketch her, and charge her accordingly.
Picasso obliged. In just minutes, there she was: an original Picasso.
“And what do I owe you?” she asked.
“Five thousand francs” he answered.
“But it only took you three minutes”, she exclaimed.
“No”, Picasso said. “It took all my life.”

Pablo Picasso – born Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso, Spanish artist (1881-1973), Quotations book 2004


The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.

Steve Jobs – American company founder, Apple (1955-2011), to graduates at Stanford University on June 12th, 2005, Quotations book 2013


The labour we delight in physics pain.

William Shakespeare – English writer (1564-1616), in “Macbeth” 2nd act, scene 2 “Macbeth” (1623)

Go to the place of events

I say young managers: Go out to your employees, go out to your customers. Make sure that a creative, vibrant atmosphere is created so that things get going. Every day you spend in your office, is a lost day.

Jack Welch – born John Francis Welch jr., legendary American manager: General Electric (1935-2020), Fortune 1999: Manager of the Century, Quotations book 2014

Good work

If it falls your lot to sweep streets in life, sweep streets like Michelangelo painted pictures. Sweep streets like Beethoven composed music. Sweep streets like Shakespeare wrote poetry. Sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will have to pause and say: “Here lived a great street sweeper, who swept his job well.”

Martin Luther King jr. – American civil rights activist and pastor, Nobel Peace Prize 1964  (1929-1968), from his speech “Facing the Challenge of A New Age” from January 1st, 1957, quotes his mentor Dr. Benjamin Mays from the Morehouse College (1894-1984), Quotations book 2012


Being responsible sometimes means pissing people off.

Colin Powell – American general and politician, 2001-05 Secretary of state (1937-2021)


The purpose of an organization is to enable ordinary people to do extraordinary things. No organization can depend on genius; the supply is always scarce and always unpredictable. It is the test of an organization to make ordinary people perform better than they seem capable of, to bring out whatever strength there is in its members, and to use each person’s strength to help all the other members perform.

Peter F. Drucker – Austrian-born American management expert (1909-2005), from “Management: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices” (1973), Quotations book 2019

Character test

Most people can bear adversity, but if you wish to know, what a man really ist, give him power.

Robert G. Ingersoll – American jurist and orator (1833-1899); about Abraham Lincoln, American politician, 1861-65 16th president (1809-1865), from “True Greatness Exemplified in Abraham Lincoln” (1883)

Three rules of work

1. Out of clutter find simplicity.

2. From discord, find harmony.

3. In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.

Wisdom – often falsely attributed to Albert Einstein (“The new quotable Einstein”)

Pray and work

Ora et labora!

Benedict of Nursia – founder of the benedictine order (c. 480-547), motto of the St. Benedict’s order, Quotations book 2012

Civility code

1. We will greet and acknowledge each other.
2. We will say please and thank you.
3. We will treat each other equally and with respect.
4. We will be direct, sensitive and honest.
5. We will address incivility whenever it occurs.

William “Bill” Hybels – American Evangelical minister, founding and former senior pastor of Willow Creek Community Church (b. 1951), in his notes to the “Global Leadership Summit 2017”

Be good

Be undeniably good. No marketing effort or social media buzzword can be a substitute for that.

Anthony Volodkin – American entrepreneur (b. 1985), Quotations book 2021

Attitude and skills

Hire for attitude, train for skills.

Herbert D. “Herb” Kelleher – American entrepreneur, co-founder of Southwest Airlines (1931-2019), Quotations book 2019

Go where the action is

A desk is a dangerous place from which to view the world.

John le Carré – born David John Moore Cornwell, British author (1931-2020), Quotations book 2018


There are few, if any, jobs in which ability alone is sufficient. Needed, also, are loyalty, sincerity, enthusiasm and team play.

attributed to William B. Given Jr.  – American entrepreneur: American Brake Shoe Company, Quotations book 2014


The higher the pay in enjoyment the worker gets out of it, the higher shall be his pay in cash, also.

Mark Twain – born Samuel Langhorne Clemens, American writer (1835-1910), from “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur`s Court” (1889), Chapter XXVIII, Quotations book 2013


The most important loyalty of the artist is the one relating to quality.

attributed to Jean-Louis Barrault – French actor, mime Artist and director (1910-1994)


CFO asks CEO: “What happens if we invest in developing our people and then they leave us?”

CEO asks CFO: “What happens if we don’t, and they stay?”

Stefan Erschwendner – Austrian Business Consultant and Company founder (b. 1982), Quotations book 2015

Understand, not just tolerate

I am not asking you to merely tolerate each other. Tolerance is for cowards. Being tolerant requires nothing of you, but to be quiet and not make waves, holding tightly to your views and judgments without being challenged. Do not merely tolerate each other. Work hard! Move into uncomfortable territory and seek to understand each other.

Randall L. Stephenson Jr. – American telecommunications executive , CEO AT&T (b. 1960), in a meeting with AT&T employees, September 23, 2016


Customers will never love a company until the employees love it first.

Simon O. Sinek – American author, speaker and optimist (b. 1973), from “Leaders Eat Last Deluxe: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t” (2014), Quotations book 2019