Practical Tools and Wise Quotes on All Matters Creative

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Creative quotes and quotations
On Managing...


Managing creative people is not the ultimate dream of most managers, but some of us have to do it and some do it extraordinarily well. You can’t tell people to ‘be creative’ any more than you can tell them to ‘be spontaneous’. What you can do is to give them the space and the wherewithal, point them in the right direction, and then stand back and wait.

See also

business*, climate*, goals*, openness, opportunity, originality, people, questions, talent, vision


‘A leader is a dealer in hope.’

Napoleon Boneparte

‘It is when we think we lead that we are most led.’

George Byron

People must know that their ideas will be listened to and, if they have merit, acted upon. If they do, it is possible to mobilize individual creativity on a very broad scale.’

James Champy

‘It is better to first get the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats, and then figure out where to drive.’

James Collins

‘Today many American corporations spend a great deal of money and time trying to increase the originality of their employees, hoping thereby to get a competitive edge in the marketplace. But such programs make no difference unless management also learns to recognize the valuable ideas among the many novel ones, and then finds ways of implementing them.’

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

‘Each of us is born with two contradictory sets of instructions: a conservative tendency, made up of instincts for self-preservation, self-aggrandizement, and saving energy, and an expansive tendency made up of instincts for exploring, for enjoying novelty and risk—the curiosity that leads to creativity belongs to this set. But whereas the first tendency requires little encouragement or support from outside to motivate behavior, the second can wilt if not cultivated.’

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

‘Managing innovation will increasingly become a challenge to management, and especially to top management, and a touchstone of its competence.’

Peter F. Drucker (in 1973)

‘The whole business starts with ideas, and we’re convinced that ideas come out of an environment of supportive conflict, which is synonymous with appropriate friction.’

Michael Eisner

‘The real leaders of tomorrow are already working on the next big idea, the one that will drive growth into future. They’re already far beyond the ideas that created today’s results.’

Roger A. Enrico

‘Microsoft is a company that manages imagination.’

Bill Gates

‘Treat a man as he is, and he will remain as he is. Treat a man as he can and should be, and he will become what he is and should be.’

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

‘Life is like a dogsled team. If you ain’t the lead dog, the scenery never changes.’

Lewis Grizzard

‘The great requisite for the prosperous management of ordinary business is the want of imagination.’

William Hazlitt

‘You cannot mandate productivity, you must provide the tools to let people become their best.’

Steve Jobs

‘If new ideas are the lifeblood of any thriving organisation—and, trust me, they are—managers must learn to revere, not merely tolerate, the people who come up with those ideas.’

Mark McCormack

‘The real leader has no need to lead—he is content to point the way.’

Henry Miller

‘I consider it my job to nurture the creativity of the people I work with because at Sony we know that a terrific idea is more likely to happen in an open, free and trusting atmosphere than when everything is calculated, every action analysed and every responsibility assigned by an organisation chart.’

Akio Morita

‘In the modern world of business, it is useless to be a creative, original thinker unless you can also sell what you create. Management cannot be expected to recognise a good idea unless it is presented to them by a good salesman.’

David Ogilvy

‘Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.’

George S. Patton

‘Leadership is about tapping the wellsprings of human motivation.’

Tom Peters

Imagination…are the seeds of the creative process which flowers when nurtured by dedicated conscientious planning and work.’

Harold A. Rothbart

‘I have yet to find the man, however exalted his station, who did not do better work and put forth greater effort under a spirit of approval than under a spirit of criticism.’

Charles M. Schwab



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