We made a little project out of searching the coolest quotes for business consultants for you. The statistics say we are at around 10.000 words (sorry, don’t have a counter for the quotes), which is a lot of quotes. Enjoy the read!


“My greatest strength as a consultant is to be ignorant and ask a few questions.”

Peter Drucker


“He who wants to do everything will never do anything.”

André Maurois


“Those who have stopped learning find themselves equipped for a world that no longer exists.”

Eric Hoffer


“Consultant: any ordinary guy more than fifty miles from home.”

Eric Sevareid


“What do you do if you’re an executive who resigns? You declare yourself a consultant.”

Mo Ibrahim


“I want miracles for peanuts.”

Unknown client, from Mangerial consulting skills: a practical guide


“If the game is designed for you to lose, don’t play that game. Play a different one.”

Seth Godin


“The difficulty lies, not in the new ideas, but in escaping from the old ones.”

John Maynard Keynes


“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”

Steve Jobs


“To get Game-Changing results, start focusing on Game-Changing thoughts.”

Robin Sharma


“Successful organizations make habits of things others don’t like to do, or don’t find time to do.”

Don House


“Put it before them briefly so they will read it, clearly so they will appreciate it, picturesquely so they will remember it and, above all, accurately so they will be guided by its light.”

Joseph Pulitzer, Editor


“The best way to make your dreams come true is to wake up.”

Paul Valery, Poet


“Individuals and organizations that are good react quickly to change. Individuals and organizations that are great create change.”

Robert Kriegel, Sacred Cows Make The Best Burgers


“A good plan can help with risk analyses but it will never guarantee the smooth running of the project.”

Bentley & Borman


“The only muscle that you’ve got is in between your ears.”

Ned’s Atomic Dustbin


“The only thing certain about any negotiation is that it will lead to another negotiation .”

Leigh Steinberg, Sports Agent


“The conclusion is simple: if a 200-man project has 25 managers who are the most competent and experienced programmers, fire the 175 troops and put the managers back to programming.”

Frederick P. Brooks Jr.


“A process cannot be understood by stopping it. Understanding must move with the flow of the process, must join it and flow with it.”

Frank Herbert in Dune


“In the business world, the rearview mirror is always clearer than the windshield.”

Warren Buffett


“Uncertainty will always be part of the taking charge process.”

Harold Geneen


“The project manager must be able to develop a fully integrated information and control system to plan, instruct, monitor and control large amounts of data, quickly and accurately to facilitate the problem-solving and decision- making process.  “

Rory Burke


“If it is not documented, it doesn’t exist … As long information is retained in someone’s head, it is vulnerable to loss.”

Louis Fried


“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”

Vijay Dhameliya


“You can’t improve anything if you can’t define it.”

Max Guinn, Deere & Co.


“If you can’t describe what you are doing as a process, you don’t know what you’re doing.”

Edwards Deming


“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

Thomas A. Edison


“Delivering a project isn’t difficult. What’s difficult is delivering a project without first taking the time to plan properly”

James Leal


“A deliberate search for a plan of action that will develop a business’s competitive advantage and compound it. For any company the search is an iterative process that begins with a recognition of where you are and what you have now. Your most dangerous competitors are those that are most like you. The differences between you and your competitors are the basis of your advantage. If you are in business and self-supporting you already have some kind of competitive advantage no matter how small or subtle. Otherwise you would have gradually lost customers faster than you gained them. The objective is to enlarge the scope of your advantage which can only happen at someone else’s expense.”

Bruce Henderson, Founder, Boston Consulting Group


“To succeed, or even just to survive, businesses need to be able to change in

ways, and at times, determined by business drivers, not by their IT systems.”

Tony Morgan, Business Rules and Information Systems: Aligning IT with Business Goals

“Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.”



“Project management is … The art of creating the illusion that any outcome is the result of a series of predetermined, deliberate acts when, in fact, it was dumb luck. “

Harold Kerzner


“The value of an idea lies in the using of it.”

Thomas Edison


“Project managers rarely lack organisational visibility, enjoy considerable variety in their day- to-day duties, and often have the prestige associated with work on the enterprise’s high- priority objectives. “

Meredith & Mantel


“Success is not built on success. It’s built on failure. It’s built on frustration. Sometimes it’s built on catastrophe.”

Sumner Redstone


“Ideas are commodity. Execution of them is not.”

Michael Dell


“Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.”

Dwight Eisenhower


“Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence”

Vince Lombardi


“If you don’t have a competitive advantage, don’t compete. “

Jack Welch


“We each have all the time there is; our mental and moral status is determined by what we do with it.”

Mary Blake


“I have been up against tough competition all my life. I wouldn’t know how to get along without it. “

Walt Disney


“The only thing worse than starting something and failing … is not starting something.”

Seth Godin


“The insidious thing about command and control management is that it works.”

Marvin Bower, McKinsey & Co.


I know God will not give me anything I can’t handle. I just wish that He didn’t trust me so much.

Mother Theresa


The one unchangeable certainty is that nothing is certain or unchangeable.”

John F. Kennedy


“Self-trust is the first secret of success.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson


“Face reality as it is, not as it was or as you wish it were. Be candid with everyone. Don’t manage, lead. Change before you have to. If you don’t have a competitive advantage, don’t compete. Control your own destiny, or someone else will.”

Jack Welch


“The only way you can coast is downhill!”



“Success in life is about project management. Determine deliverables, make milestones, and always pursue the critical path.”

Ryan Lilly


“Being a consultant is like flying first-class. The food is terrific, the drinks are cold. But all you can do is walk up to the pilot and say, ‘bank left.’ If you’re in management, you have the controls.”

Greg Brenneman


“Manager! Have brain – use it!”

Gerry Geek


“If you’re too busy to learn, you won’t be busy for very long.”



“There are three types of company today: Those who make things happen, those who watch things happen, and those who wonder what has happened.”

Peter Drucker


“A project is like love; it has clear intentions at the beginning, but it can get complicated.”

Gerry Geek


“It is only when the tide goes out that you see who was swimming without shorts.”

Warren Buffett


“Knowledge is power, wisdom is bliss and information is useful for those of us who possess little of the first two.”



“People of my generation, seeking to understand why companies succeed, have spent most of their time hunting an elusive animal called the SCA, or, to give its full name, the sustainable competitive advantage. They’ve hunted it in the belief it was the embodiment of success; a guarantee, if not of corporate immortality, at least, of a long, healthy, and prosperous business life. But they never found the creature. Or, if they found it, they never caught it. It seems the SCA, once found, becomes sand, running through fingers. There is some evidence of the animal’s previous existence in the Great Museum of Corporate Profitability. The IBM exhibit, for instance, shows the company could do no wrong – for a long period. The AT&T exhibit, the DuPont exhibit, and the Siemens exhibit all suggest these firms domesticated the SCA – for a while. Maybe the SCA is like the Great Awk. It might have existed once, but it became extinct so long ago that no one really knows for sure… I hesitate to say it, but I’m beginning to believe strategic agility is more important than strategy – that a firm’s ability to make money has more to do with its ability to transform itself, continuously, than whether it has the right strategy.”

Francis Gouillart, Senior vice president, Gemini Consulting


“It’s a funny thing about life: If you refuse to accept anything but the best, you very often get it.”

Somerset Maugham


“If one wishes to be a great project manager, one needs to talk less and write more.”

GE Paulus


“That the birds of worry and care fly over your head, this you cannot change, but that they build nests in your hair, this you can prevent.”

Chinese Proverb


“If you think safety is expensive, try an accident.”

Stelios (EasyJet)


“A ship in port is safe, but that’s not what ships are built for.”

Grace Hopper


“I’m a creative consultant, whatever that means.”

Jimmy Kimmel


“Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.”

Aldous Huxley


`You may not be interested in strategy, but strategy is interested in you.”

Leon Trotsky


“When they discover the center of the universe, a lot of people will be disappointed to discover they are not it.”

Bernard Bailey


“The companies that survive longest are the ones that work out what they uniquely can give to the world, not just growth or money but their excellence, their respect for others, or their ability to make people happy. Some call those things a soul.”

Charles Handy


“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.”



“I suppose that I was a kind of consultant for taste. Is it good taste? Or bad taste? I had an attention to detail, to what would tell best the story. Because many people get excited about the work and drift off from the story.”

John Hench


“Never promise to complete a project within six months of the end of the year–in either direction.”

Norman Augustine


“What we are looking for is managers who are awake enough to alter the world as they find it, to make it harmonize with what they and their people are trying to accomplish.”

Tom DeMarco


“The most expensive time in a manager’s life is the time between when you truly lose faith in someone and when you do something about it.”



“You can’t be a professor without having been a student. You can’t be a consultant without having been a research associate. So, if you outsource the least sophisticated jobs, at some stage, the next step of the ladder has to follow.”

Nirmalya Kumar


“Success is the delivery of a product that meets expectation”

James Leal, Guide to Assembling the Project Initiation Document


“When you blame others, you give up your power to change.”

Douglas Adams


“Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.”

Winston Churchill


“The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty.”

Winston Churchill


“We will either find a way, or make one.” – Hannibal


“Working ten hour days allows you to fall behind twice as fast as you could working five hour days.”

Issac Assimov


“Trust is the lubrication that makes it possible for organizations to work.”

Warren Bennis


“The real competition out there isn’t for clients, it’s for people. And we look to hire people who are, first, very smart; second, insecure and thus driven by their insecurity; and third, competitive. Put together 3,000 of these egocentric, task-oriented, achievement-oriented people, and it produces an atmosphere of something less than humility. Yes, it’s elitist. But don’t you think there has to be room somewhere in this politically correct world for something like this?”

Ron Daniel, McKinsey & Co


“The measure of success is not whether you have a tough problem to deal with, but whether it is the same problem you had last year.”

John Foster Dulles


“A project is complete when it starts working for you, rather than you working for it.”

Scott Allen


“The best way to escape from a problem is to solve it.”

Brendan Francis


“Make an extensive table of project ‘deliverables’. Label one column ‘as requested’. Create another column labeled ‘could be’. Make each ‘could be’ wild and woolly! “

Tom Peters


“When a risk occurs, with some ingenuity, this may open up an opportunity, and conversely when pursuing an opportunity there will be associated risks. Risks are generally deemed acceptable if the possible gains exceed the possible losses. “

Rory Burke


“Don’t let anyone bullshit you–no one’s yet reinvented the practice of management for the information age. Certainly the priests of conventional management wisdom–the Harvard Business School, McKinsey & Co. and the exec ed boffins at G.E. don’t have the answers. What does their dressed-up, buttoned-down, shiny-toed view of management have to offer Ed McCracken, Bill Gates, Larry Ellison and their ilk? The machine age was an Atlantic phenomenon; the information age is a Pacific phenomenon. Is it mere coincidence that Wang, DEC, IBM, Unisys and Lotus have all fallen victim, to one degree or another, to West Coast competitors?”

Gary Hamel


“Too many are concerned with avoiding sinking the boat, when they should be concerned about missing it.”



“Being a Project Manager is like being an artist, you have the different colored process streams combining into a work of art”

Greg Cimmarrusti, PMP


“If you can keep your head when everyone around you is panicking … It’s a sure sign that that you have not understood the seriousness of the situation.”

David Brent – from “The Office”


“‘Begin at the beginning,’ the King said gravely, ‘and go on till you come to the end; then stop.’”

Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland


“My friends, as I have discovered myself, there are no disasters, only opportunities. And, indeed, opportunities for fresh disasters.”

Boris Johnson, Mayor of London 2008


“Performance = potential minus interference.”



“It doesn’t work to leap a twenty-foot chasm in two ten-foot jumps.”

American Proverb


“If things seem under control, you’re just not going fast enough.”

Mario Andretti


“The world is all gates, all opportunities, strings of tension waiting to be struck.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

“In the business world, everyone is paid in two coins: cash and experience. Take the experience first; the cash will come later.”

Harold Geneen


“It’s the fricking reality that destroys plans.”

Sally Gardner, Maggot Moon


“Focus is about saying no.”

Steve Jobs


Don’t compromise yourself. You are all you’ve got.

Janis Joplin


“In giving presentations, use the 10/20/30 rule….use only 10 slides, take 20 minutes maximum, and use at least 30-point fonts.”

Guy Kawasaki


“Make a careful list of all things done to you that you abhorred. Don’t do them to others, ever. Make another list of things done for you that you loved. Do them for others, always.”

Tom Peters


“The more I’ve thought about it over the years, the more I’ve concluded that what really leads to outstanding consultants, and I think then outstanding performance in almost anything you can think of, is the willingness to really take risks, take risks with your thinking, to take risks in how far you’re trying to push the client, and not to be conservative and too cautious. I had a conversation with a colleague recently who was learning how to ski, and he said that, in the course of his ski week, he concluded that, if you weren’t falling, you weren’t learning, and I think that’s, you know, a general rule of life. You’ve got to take risks and be willing to fail.”

Fred Gluck, Managing Director, McKinsey & Co


“The human race has only one really effective weapon and that is laughter.”

Mark Twain


“By working faithfully eight hours a day you may eventually get to be boss and work twelve hours a day. “

Robert Frost



“People are the gatekeepers of change.”

Robert Kriegel, Sacred Cows Make The Best Burgers


“The true delight is in the finding out rather than in the knowing.”

Isaac Asimov


If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door”

Milton Berle



“There is a theory that paradigms break through on the fringe of your business  before they reach the center.”

Gary Gesme, Deere & Co.


“Success is the child of audacity”

Benjamin Disraeli


“I am a man of fixed and unbending principles, the first of which is to be flexible at all times.”

Senator Everett Dirksen


“In short, they’re a bit like a referee at a sporting event: Do a good job and nobody notices; make a mistake and the finger pointing begins.”

Andrew Longman, The Rational Project Manager


“An organization becomes bewildered rather than energized when it’s asked to do  too much at once.”

Michael Hammer & James Champy, Reengineering The Corporation


“The fastest way to succeed? Look like you’re playing by someone else’s rules while quietly playing by your own.”

Michael Korda


“A good design is not a democratic consensus.”

Edward de Bono, Six Action Shoes


“The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.”

Henry David Thoreau, philosopher


“Luck is a dividend of sweat. The more you sweat, the luckier you get.”

Ray Kroc


“You are surrounded by simple, obvious solutions that can dramatically increase your income, power, influence and success. The problem is, you just don’t see them.”

Jay Abraham


“How fast you are moving is more important than where you are.”

Guy Kawasaki, Rules for Revolutionaries


“The secret of all victory lies in the organization of the non-obvious.”

Oswald Spengler


“Ensure your documentation is short and sharp and make much more use of people-to-people communication. ”

Bentley & Borman


“There are two types of people in the world, those who say ‘there are two types of people in the world’ and those who don’t.”

Gloria Steinham


“New opinions are always suspected, and usually opposed, without any other reason but because they are not already common.”

John Locke


“The best presenters have conversations with their audiences.”

Robert Bly


“We live in a culture that’s been hijacked by the management consultant ethos. We want everything boiled down to a Power Point slide. We want metrics and ‘show me the numbers.’ That runs counter to the immensely complex nature of so many social, economic and political problems. You cannot devise an algorithm to fix them.”

Carl Honore


“He can who thinks he can, and he can’t who thinks he can’t. This is an inexorable, indisputable law.”

Henry Ford


“The core of the consulting business is going in and essentially making yourself indispensible by eating the brain of the organization, meaning that the consultants go in and assume key functions in the organization.”

Matthew Stewart


“The first problem for us all, men and women, is not to learn, but to unlearn.”

Gloria Steinem


“…while extraordinary products and unique services still afford a competitive advantage, the one advantage that stands the test of time…is people.”

Mark Salsbury, Human Capital Management: Leveraging Your Workforce for a Competitive Advantage


“I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it.”

Pablo Picasso


“If you don’t make mistakes, you aren’t really trying.”

Coleman Hawkins, Jazz Musician


“A well-constructed project management workshop should give people a solid foundation to build on.”

Bentley & Borman


“Almost all quality improvement comes via simplification of design, manufacturing … layout, processes, and procedures.”

Tom Peters


“Don’t let your ego get too close to your position, so that if your position gets shot down, your ego doesn’t go with it.”

Colin Powell


“I’ve learned a lot on the fly, and I think, actually, my academic and management consulting background has enabled me to quickly pick up on a lot of disciplines.”

Jorgen Vig Knudstorp


“What does not destroy me makes me stronger.”

Friedrich Nietzsche


“Adapt or perish, now as ever, is Nature’s inexorable imperative.”

J.G. Wells


“Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfils the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.”

Winston Churchill


“A consultant is someone who saves his client almost enough to pay his fee. “

Arnold H. Glasow



“Wherever I was in the world, at the beginning of every consulting project, one thing was certain: I would know less about the business at hand than the people I was supposed to be advising.”

Matthew Stewart


“Speed is useful only if you are running in the right direction.”

Joel Barker


“Those who say it cannot be done should get out of the way of those who are

doing it.”



“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”

George Bernard Shaw


“Luck is being ready for the chance.”

James Frank Dobie


“A common warning sign is denial of the problem itself.”



“We always overestimate the cost of doing the right thing and always underestimate the ultimate cost of doing the wrong thing.”



“Don’t think there are no crocodiles just because the water is calm.”

Malayan proverb


“One never notices what has been done; one can only see what remains to be done.”

Marie Curie


“The quickest way to kill the human spirit is to ask someone to do mediocre work.”

Ayn Rand


“Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.”

Winston Churchill


“As technology makes it easier for a business to find and collaborate with outside expertise, a huge and competitive market for consultants will arise.”

Bill Gates


“You can’t blame the pen or the paper if you write a lousy essay, right?”

Laura Bergells, Presentation Consultant


“No one really listens to anyone else, and if you try it for a while you’ll see why.”

Mignon McLaughlin, US Journalist


“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.”

Mark Twain


“If the facts don’t fit the theory, change the facts.”

Albert Einstein


“Expect the best. Prepare for the worst. Capitalize on what comes.”

Zig Ziglar


“A fanatic is one who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject.”

Sir Winston Churchill


“The only certain thing about a forecast is that it will be wrong.”

Womack & Jones, Lean Thinking,


“Make sure you have finished speaking before your audience has finished listening.”



“Managers are people who do things right and leaders are people who do the right thing.”

Warren Bennis and Burt Nanus


“Calling yourself a professional no more makes you a professional than sitting in your garage makes you a car.”

Bob Weber


“There is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else.”

Sam Walton


“Change your thoughts and you change your world.”

Norman Vincent Peale


“Estimating is what you do when you don’t know. “

Sherman Kent


“If you don’t like change, you’re going to like irrelevance even less”

Eric Shinseki



[taking a process perspective of business], business improvement efforts amount to rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.”

Michael Hammer & James Champy, Reengineering The Corporation


“They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.”

Andy Warhol


“Thirty years ago my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report written on birds that he’d had three months to write, which was due the next day. We were out at our family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books about birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him put his arm around my brother’s shoulder, and said, “Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.”

Anne Lamott


“A task is not done until it is done.”

Louis Fried


“If everyone is thinking alike, someone isn’t thinking.”

General George Patton Jr


“Project proposals, business cases or cost benefit analyses are probably being massaged (either by underestimating costs or timeframes or by being very optimistic about the benefits) so projects will be approved. ”

Bentley & Borman


“Everybody gets so much information all day long that they lose their common sense.”

Gertrude Stein


“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.”

Charles Darwin


“I keep six honest serving men

(They taught me all I knew);

Their names are What and Why and When

And How and Where and Who.”

Rudyard Kipling


“Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.”

John Wooden


“Reconnaissance memoranda should always be written in the simplest style and be purely descriptive. They should never stray from their objective by introducing extraneous ideas.”

Napoleon Bonaparte


“A project is complete when it starts working for you, rather than you working for it. “

Scott Allen


“The most important part of your professional wardrobe is your personality. Wear it with style.”

Woody Wilson


“Know when to cut your losses if necessary. Don’t let your desire to succeed be the enemy of good judgment. If Napoleon had left Moscow immediately, he may have returned with a salvageable army. ”

Jerry Manas


[At the end of the project.] “Lavish credit on anyone and everyone who helped you the least bit.”

Tom Peters


“As has been taught to teachers of the Harvard Business School, the art of asking good questions is often the most important element of managerial tasks. ”

Parte Bose


“If I had nine hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend the first six sharpening my ax.”

Abraham Lincoln


“No great artist ever sees things as they really are. If he did he would cease to be an artist.”

Oscar Wilde, Poet


“If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe.”

Dr. Carl Sagan, Astronomer


“Business is a combination of war and sport.”

André Maurois


“When I first started talking about running for office, a lot of people said to me, ‘Don’t let the consultants change you,’ and I’d always assured them that I wouldn’t allow it to happen. But like it or not, I had to change. Not because of a consultant, but because I started to understand the cost of a stupid mistake.”

Elizabeth Warren


“The work begins here.”

“Simple Works.”

“Get out of the way.”

“Change hurts. Risk as you expect others to risk.”

“Create context.

“Seed hope.”


“Find the client in yourself.”

“You are your best intervention.”

Geoffrey Bellman


“Projects progress quickly until they become 90% complete; then remain at 90% complete forever. “

Edwards, Butler, Hill & Russell


“Each completed task establishes certain parameters and imposes constraints on the next task. “

Louis Fried


“Before anything can be repeatable or reusable, it must be usable.”

Woody Williams


“If an IT project works the first time, it was in your nightly dreams. Time to wake up and get to work.”

Cornelius Fitchner


“Planning without action is futile, action without planning is fatal“

Cornelius Fitchner


“Assumption is the mother of all screw-ups” Wethern’s Law of Suspended Judgement”

Paul Duvall


“It’s not enough that we do our best; sometimes we have to do what’s required.”

Winston Churchill


“When debugging, novices insert corrective code; experts remove defective code.”

Richard Pattis


“Good leaders do not take on all the work themselves; neither do they take all the credit.”

Woody Williams


“Don’t look where you fall, but where you slipped.”

African Proverb


“Requirements – In many cases, the software is much less important than the data delivered.”

Woody Williams


“Resources – We cannot drive people; we must direct their development. Teach and lead.”

Woody Williams


“Some things are better done than described. “

Hunt & Thomas


“There are two types of software : bad software and the next release”

Cornelius Fitchner


“A project ain’t over until the fat cheque is cashed”

Cornelius Fitchner


“Don’t spend time beating on a wall, hoping to transform it into a door.”

Coco Chanel


“There is no such thing as scope creep, only scope gallop”

Cornelius Fitchner


“It is always easier to talk about change than to make it. “

Alvin Toffler


“PMs are the most creative pros in the world; we have to figure out everything that could go wrong, before it does”

Fredrik Haren


“Watch, listen, and learn. You can’t know it all yourself … anyone who thinks they do is destined for mediocrity.”

Donald Trump


“Whether you think you can, or think you can’t – you’re right.”

Henry Ford


“Do not repeat the tactics which have gained you one victory, but let your methods be regulated by the infinite variety of circumstances “

Sun Tzu


“This feeling, finally, that we may change things – this is at the centre of everything we are. Lose that… lose everything. “

Sir David Hare


“Let the tech firms and consulting firms build your skills, but be sure to ask yourself, ‘Am I maximizing my impact?’ ‘Am I living up to my values?’”

Wendy Kopp


“Even if you are on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.”

Will Rogers


“To win without risk is to triumph without glory.”

Pierre Corneille


“We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same.”

Carlos Castaneda


“A meeting moves at the speed of the slowest mind in the room.”

Dale Dauten


“Rewards and motivation are an oil change for project engines. Do it regularly and often.”

Woody Williams


“Nobody knows how Honda is organized, except that it uses lots of project teams and is quite flexible. “

Kenichi Ommae


“The most important thing in communication is to hear what isn’t being said.”

Peter Drucker


“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.”

Robert F. Kennedy


“We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations.”

Charles R. Swindoll, Writer


“I’m doing a little consulting. I’m somewhat retired, still a director of a company or two.”

Jack Kilby


“I am a man of fixed and unbending principles, the first of which is to be flexible at all times.”

Everett Dirksen


“No major project is ever installed on time, within budget, with the same staff that started it.  “

Edwards, Butler, Hill & Russell


“You can’t keep it all in your head. Project control tools are an absolute necessity for the control of large projects.  “

Louis Fried


“The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson


“At the end of the day, if you’re wasting your time by not investing in yourself, you’re going to waste away—and that would be the greatest waste of all.”

Richie Norton


“If you concede the obvious you’re conceding nothing, but you gain back credibility. That’s a trade you should make every time.”

Mark Katz, former Clinton Humor Speech Writer


“Goals are dreams with deadlines.”

Diana Scharf


“When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.”




“Set your course by the stars, not by the lights of every passing ship.”

Omar Bradley


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

Cavett Robert


“Some problems are so complex that you have to be highly intelligent and well informed just to be undecided about them.”

Laurence J. Peter


“People who enjoy meetings should not be in charge of anything. “

Thomas Sowell


“Prepare for the worst; expect the best; and take what comes.”



“CONSULTING: If you’re not a part of the solution, there’s good money to be made in prolonging the problem.”

Justin Sewell


“To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.”

Winston Churchill


“When a project has an ample budget, I am interested now in using bigger units of materials.”

Yoshio Taniguchi


“If the ladder is not leaning against the right wall, every step we take just gets us to the wrong place faster.”

Stephen Covey


“The most important thing in communication is to hear what isn’t being said.”

Peter F. Drucker


“Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted.”

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


“A {specification, design, procedure, test plan} that will not fit on one page cannot be understood.”

Mark Ardis


”Project management is like juggling three balls – time, cost and quality. Program management is like a troupe of circus performers standing in a circle, each juggling-three balls and swapping balls from time to time.”



“Of all the things I’ve done, the most vital is coordinating the talents of those who work for us and pointing them towards a certain goal.”

Walt Disney



“It must be considered that there is nothing more difficult to carry out nor more doubtful of success nor more dangerous to handle than to initiate a new order of things “



“Fight fair, but avoid fair fights.”

John Czepiel


“Incrementalism is innovation’s worst enemy.”

Nicholas Negroponte, MIT Media Lab


“We have a strategic plan. It’s called doing things.”

Herb Kelleher, Southwest Airlines


“If it ain’t broke, break it (or someone else will break it for you).”

Tom Peters


“The problem is never how to get new, innovative thoughts into your mind, but how to get old ones out.”

Dee Hock, Founder of Visa


“So you’re not a “sales guy” (or gal). B-a-l-o-n-e-y. We’re all “sales guys” … if – if! – we care enough about our project.”

Tom Peters


“Project Management is… The art of creating the illusion that any outcome is the result of a series of predetermined, deliberate acts when, in fact, it was dumb luck.  “

Harold Kerzner


“’In Search of Excellence’ was an afterthought, the runt of the McKinsey consulting litter, a hip-pocket project that was never supposed to amount to much.”

Tom Peters


“That wasn’t flying. That was falling with style.”

Woody, A Toy Story


“Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you will do. Attitude determines how well you do it.”

Lou Holtz


“Testing proves the presence of bugs but not their absence. “

Woody Williams


“Without customers, you don’t have a business. You have a hobby.”

Don Peppers & Martha Rogers, Return on Customer


“I used to work for a management consulting company, so I dressed differently – business casual, probably a lot of things from Banana Republic. My wardrobe now is definitely more expensive, but I always dress for the occasion.”

John Legend


“When we give ourselves permission to fail, we, at the same time, give ourselves permission to excel.”

Eloise Ristad


“Don’t do anything you don’t have to do.  “

Louis Fried


“Project management is like juggling three balls – time, cost and quality. Programme management is like a troupe of circus performers standing in a circle, each juggling three balls and swapping balls from time to time.  “

Geoff Reiss


“I am not interested in…making sure that you (the employee) are here, that you are giving us so many hours a day. We need people who will deliver a final result.  “

Ricardo Semler


“Success is most often achieved by those who don’t know that failure is inevitable.”

Coco Chanel


“Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked.”

Steve Jobs


“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

Michael Jordan


“Realism is just another name for yesterday’s thinking.”

Robert Kriegel, Sacred Cows Make The Best Burgers


“I don’t work on a project unless I believe that it will dramatically improve life for a bunch of people. “

Dean Kamen


“Do what is right, not what you think the high headquarters wants or what you think will make you look good.”

Norman Schwarzkopf


“I cannot give you the formula for success, but I can give you the formula for failure, which is: Try to please everybody.”

Herbert B. Swope, American Journalist


“Measure twice, cut once.”

Carpenter’s Maxim


“Reengineering cannot be entrusted to the semi-competent, the hangers-on with nothing better to do. “

Michael Hammer & James Champy, Reengineering The Corporation


“Leadership is communicating to people their worth and potential so clearly that they come to see it in themselves.”

Stephen Covey


“Mistakes are the portals of discovery.”

James Joyce


“Leadership is the art of mobilizing others to want to struggle for shared aspirations.”

Jim Kouzes & Barry Posner, The Leadership Challenge


“The best way to predict the future is to invent it.”

Alan Kay, inventor (personal computers)


“A leader is a person you will follow to a place you wouldn’t go by yourself.”

Joel Barker, Future Edge


“How does a project get to be a year late? One day at a time.”

Frederick Brooks


“Dialogue is the basic unit of work in an organisation. The quality of the dialogue determines how people gather and process information, how they make decisions, and how they feel about one another and about the outcome of these decisions. Dialogue can lead to new ideas and speed as a competitive advantage.”

Ram Charan


“On planning – What is truth today may be falsehood tomorrow. Never confuse your plan with truth.”

Woody Williams


On design – “Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler.”

Albert Einstein


“Genius may have its limitations, but stupidity is not thus handicapped.”

Elbert Hubbard, American Philosopher


“The testers won’t break the system but the user who thinks the cd-rom drive as a drinks holder will “

Cornelius Fitchner


“Never stop until your good becomes better, and your better becomes the best.”

Frank Zappa


“Not doing more than the average is what keeps the average down.”

William Lyon Phelps, American Author


“Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes … but no plans.”

Peter Drucker


“The conditions attached to a promise are forgotten and the promise is remembered. “

Edwards, Butler, Hill & Russell


“No matter how good the team or how efficient the methodology, if we’re not solving the right problem, the project fails “

Woody Williams


“The P in PM is as much about ‘people management’ as it is about ‘project management’.  “

Cornelius Fichtner


“There’s something inherently funny about self-reference.”

Dr. Steven Gimbel, Philosopher


“Develop success from failures. Discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping stones to success.”

Dale Carnegie


“I think if you do something and it turns out pretty good, then you should go do something else wonderful, not dwell on it for too long. Just figure out what’s next.”

Steve Jobs


“Without caring there can be no quality.”

Joel Barker, Future Edge


“It isn’t uncommon for managers at senior levels of large organizations to be so out of touch with customer or production reality that they don’t know just how broken some of their business processes are.”

Michael Hammer & James Champy, Reengineering The Corporation


“The paradox of Asia is that Japan is a profoundly socialist country on which capitalism was imposed whilst China is a profoundly capitalist country on which socialism was imposed.”



“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


“Hanging a sign on a cow that says ‘I am a horse’ does not make it a horse.”




“The project manager is expected to integrate all aspects of the project, ensure that the proper knowledge and resources are available when and where needed, and above all, ensure that the expected results are produced in a timely, cost- effective manner.”

Meredith & Mantel


“Project management can … be defined as a way of developing structure in a complex project, where the independent variables of time, cost, resources and human behaviour come together. “

Rory Burke


“The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.”

Elbert Hubbard


“Consulting offered me an opportunity to see a lot of different businesses in different regions of the world, to see how textiles were being affected by foreign competition, how technology was changing.”

Mitt Romney


“It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows.”



“My greatest strength as a consultant is to be ignorant and ask a few questions.”

Peter Drucker


“You may con a person into committing to an unreasonable deadline, but you cannot bully them into meeting it.”

Edwards, Butler, Hill & Russell


“Experience tells you what to do; confidence allows you to do it.”

Stan Smith


“For a project plan to be effective it must equally address the parameters of ‘activity time’ and ‘activity logic’. This logical relationship is required to model the effect schedule variance will have down stream in the project.  “

Rory Burke


“‘Don’t use a sledgehammer to crack a walnut’, but equally don’t agree important things informally where there is a chance of a disagreement later over what was agreed. “

Colin Bentley


“Momentum is a fragile force. Its worst enemy: p-r-o-c-r-a-s-t-i-n-a-t-i-o-n. Its best friend: a deadline (think Election Day). Implication no. 1 (and there is no no. 2): Get to work! NOW!”

Tom Peters


“You learn in this business: If you want a friend, get a dog.”

Carl Icahn


“Leadership is a potent combination of strategy and character. But if you must be without one, be without the strategy.”

Norman Schwarzkopf


“Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.”

Mark Twain


“They say that time changes things, but you actually have to change them


Andy Warhol


“Never underestimate your power to change yourself and never overestimate your power to change others.”

Jackson Brown, Jr.


“After two weeks of working on a project, you know whether it will work or not.”

Bill Budge


“Every now and then when you’re on stage, you can hear the best sound that a player can hear. It is a sound you can’t get in movies or in television. It is the sound of a wonderful, deep silence that means you’ve hit them where they live.”

Shelley Winters


“When you compete with a person, you only have to be as good or better than the person to win. If you compete with yourself, there is no limitation to how good you can be.”

Chu Chin-Ning


“Compromise makes a good umbrella, but a poor roof.”

James Russell Lowell


“Patience, persistence and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success.”

Napoleon Hill, Author


“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”

Thomas Edison


“Tell me and I’ll forget, show me and I may remember, involve me and I’ll understand”

Chinese Proverb


“Change is not made without inconvenience, even from worse to better”

Samuel Johnson


“Any Idiot can point out a problem …. A leader is willing to do something about it! Leaders Solve problems!”

Tony Robbins


“Adde parvum parvo magnus acervus erit – Ovid (Latin to English translation). “Add little to little and there will be a big pile” “



“Do not repeat the tactics which have gained you one victory, but let your methods be regulated by the infinite variety of circumstances”

Sun Tzu


“This feeling, finally, that we may change things – this is at the centre of everything we are. Lose that… lose everything”

Sir David Hare


“My philosophy is, don’t take no for an answer and be willing to sacrifice your entire project for freedom. “

Tim Robbins


“Get the right people. Then no matter what all else you might do wrong after that, the people will save you. That’s what management is all about.”

Tom DeMarco


“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


“A meeting is an event in which minutes are kept and hours are lost.”



“Technological change is like an axe in the hands of a pathological criminal .”

Albert Einstein


“Nothing would be done at all, if a man waited till he could do it so well, that no one could find fault with it.”



“If you have never recommended canceling a project, you haven’t been an effective project manager.”

Woody Williams


“Teaming – No one can whistle a symphony. It takes a whole orchestra.”

H.E. Luccock


“Good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgment. “

Fred Brooks


“A new idea is delicate. It can be killed by a sneer or a yawn; it can be stabbed to death by a joke or worried to death by a frown on the right person’s brow.”

Charles Brower


“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


“I’m a project manager, not a magician. Magicians have way cooler hats.”

Merlin Mann


“You do not lead by hitting people over the head – that’s assault, not leadership.”

Dwight D. Eisenhower


“With ISO 9000 you can still have terrible processes and products. You can certify a manufacturer that makes life jackets out of concrete…”

Richard Buetow, Motorola


“Executives owe it to the organisation and to their fellow workers not to tolerate nonperforming individuals in important jobs.”

Peter Drucker


“If you want to test your memory, try to recall what you were worrying about one year ago today.”



“I like to tell people that all of our products and business will go through three phases. There’s vision, patience, and execution.”

Steve Ballmer


“You cannot earn $10 million. Nobody earns millions. You can rob, you can steal, or you can make $10 million in an IPO, but never earn so much. So just forget all this saving and consulting bullshit.”

Ravindra Shukla, A Maverick Heart


“A business has to be involving, it has to be fun, and it has to exercise your creative instincts.”

Richard Branson


“Fit no stereotypes. Don’t chase the latest management fads. The situation dictates which approach best accomplishes the team’s mission. “

Colin Powell


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



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

Edwin Land


“If you’re not confused, you’re not paying attention.”

Tom Peters


“Every year in consulting is like three years in the corporate world because you have multiple clients, multiple issues – you grow so much.”

Indra Nooyi


“That which is measured improves.”

Old Business Adage


“The customer is a rear-view mirror, not a guide to the future.”

George Colony, Forrester Research


“The affairs of life embrace a multitude of interests, and he who reasons in any one of them, without consulting the rest, is a visionary unsuited to control the business of the world.”

James F. Cooper


“If, on your team, everyone’s input is not encouraged, valued, and welcome, why call it a team?”

Woody Williams


“There is no use saying, ‘We are doing our best.’ You have got to succeed in doing what is necessary.”

Winston Churchill


“Whilst you can practice good project management without EVM, you cannot practice EVM effectively without good project management.”

Steve Crowther


“Plans are only good intentions unless they immediately degenerate into hard work “

Peter Drucker


“Project managers function as bandleaders who pull together their players each a specialist with individual score and internal rhythm. Under the leader’s direction, they all respond to the same beat.”

L.R. Sayles


“Meetings are indispensable when you don’t want to do anything.”

John Kenneth Galbraith


“Hell, there are no rules here — we’re trying to accomplish something. “

Thomas A. Edison


“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


“Any committee that is the slightest use is composed of people who are too busy to want to sit on it for a second longer than they have to.”

Katharine Whitehorn


“I’m not young enough to know everything.”

James Barrie


“The biggest mistake when trying to resolve a conflict with someone is focusing on what you want to say and not on what you need to hear.”

Jude DaShiell


“The people in our lives are like flowering plants; they need regular watering and the occasional application of nutrients.”



“When cost is number one in importance, you’ve already lost.”

Jim Rembach, Six Sigma Consultant


“People who ask no questions make no discoveries.”



“People get into a rhythm that makes them resistant to change. To understand the mind-set, try switching hands when you brush your teeth in the morning.”

Gary Gesme, Deere & Co.


“The real problem is what to do with problem solvers after the problem is solved”

Gay Talese


“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man”

George Bernard Shaw


“Project management will become a recognized profession when jokes are made about the practitioners.”



“If an IT project works the first time, it was a very small and simple project.”

Cornelius Fitchner


“Unengaged sponsor sinks the ship.”

Angela Waner


“I stayed in the astronaut program until 1993. People ask me why I left. I thought I had a lot of things to contribute that would be difficult to do if I stayed. I thought I could have a stronger voice as an advocate for space exploration. So I ended up starting my own technology consulting company.”

Mae Jemison


“Whom the gods wish to destroy they send 40 years of success.”

Ancient Proverb


“When Tom Ford asked me to consult for Gucci, I had never consulted in my life. I didn’t know what consulting was, and look, we made something amazing.”

Carine Roitfeld


“The minute you’re satisfied with where you are, you aren’t there anymore.”

Tony Gwynn, Hall of Fame Baseball player


“Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson


“Great things are done by devotion to one idea.”

Cardinal John Henry Newman


“If you have always done it that way, it is probably wrong.”

Charles Kettering, Engineer


“You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong. You cannot help small men by tearing down big men. You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich. You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer. You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income. You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatreds. You cannot establish security on borrowed money. You cannot build character and courage by taking away a man’s initiative and independence. You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.”

William J. H. Boetcker


“Failures are divided into two classes – those who thought and never did, and those who did and never thought.”

John Charles Salak


“All work is creative work if done by a thinking mind”

Ayn Rand, From Atlas Shrugged


“You will be remembered in the long haul for the quality of your work, not the quantity of your work … no one evaluates Picasso based on the number of paintings he churned out.”

Tom Peters


“’Tis better to be silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt.”

Abraham Lincoln


“In times of change, learners inherit the Earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.”

Eric Hoffer, American Social Philosopher


“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”

Wayne Dyer


“Greatness is won, not awarded.”

Guy Kawasaki, How To Drive Your Competition Crazy


“Don’t be afraid to assert yourself, have confidence in your abilities and don’t let the bastards get you down.”

Michael Bloomberg


“Great things in business are never done by one person. They’re done by a team of people.”

Steve Jobs


“By prevailing over all obstacles and distractions, one may unfailingly arrive at his chosen goal or destination.”

Christopher Columbus


“I feel that luck is preparation meeting opportunity.”

Oprah Winfrey


“Meetings are indispensable when you don’t want to do anything. “

John Kenneth Galbraith


“The only way you find what your limits are is by pushing them.”

Terry Irwin


“The things we fear most in organizations – fluctuations, disturbances, imbalances – are the primary sources of creativity.”

Margaret J. Wheatley, Management Consultant


“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”

George Bernard Shaw


“Success is most often achieved by those who don’t know that failure is inevitable.”

Coco Chanel


“If necessity is the mother of invention, discontent is the father of progress.”

David Rockefeller


“Customers, I realized, don’t care about functions or specific activities that occur within our organization. The end game is whether they are getting the right product at the right time at a competitive price.”

Max Guinn, Deere & Co.


“Some people make things happen, some watch things happen, while others wonder what has happened.”



“My first six years in the business were hopeless. There are a lot of times when you sit and you say ‘Why am I doing this? I’ll never make it. It’s just not going to happen. I should go out and get a real job, and try to survive.’”

George Lucas


“A friendship founded on business is a good deal better than a business founded on friendship.”

John D. Rockefeller


“Look for the positive qualities in your client’s negative behavior.”

Marilyn Suttle


“Business is not financial science, it’s about trading … buying and selling. It’s about creating a product or service so good that people will pay for it.”

Anita Roddick


“I have never believed in the Wizard of Oz theory of consulting, that I am all-knowing and all-seeing, and that everyone around me is kind of a backbencher.”

David Axelrod


“Out there in some garage is an entrepreneur who’s forging a bullet with your company’s name on it.”

Gary Hamel, Business Writer


“Well, you know, I was a human being before I became a businessman.”

George Soros


“In the business world, there is no gray. Either you are black, or you are white-washed.”

Sameer Kamat, Business Doctors – Management Consulting Gone Wild


“Instead of being a teacher, I got a job with a company called Bain & Co., consulting firm, and they taught me how to build businesses.”

Stephen Pagliuca


“You can celebrate accomplishments, but after a while, you need to start celebrating the speed at which you’re traveling instead of the destination

you’ve reached.”

Max Guinn, Deere & Co.


“If all you have is a hammer in the toolbox, everything looks like a nail.”

Bernard Baruch, Financial Genius


“A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work.”

Colin Powell


“Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.”

John F. Kennedy


“If you can’t feed a team with two pizzas, it’s too large.”

Jeff Bezos


“The functional groups should not be allowed to stretch out the project for the sake of improvement, refinement, or the investigation of the most remote potential risk.”

Meredith & Mantel


“Why do so many professionals say they are project managing, when what they are actually doing is fire fighting?”

Colin Bentley


“Get the right people. Then no matter what all else you might do wrong after that, the people will save you. That’s what management is all about.”

Tom DeMarco


“Vision without execution is a hallucination.”

Thomas Edison


“A low budget is uncomfortable.”

Lukas Haas


“The budget evolved from a management tool into an obstacle to management.”

Charles Edwards


“Imagination is more important than knowledge.”

Albert Einstein


“I can make more generals, but horses cost money.”

Abraham Lincoln


“The higher you go in a company, the less oxygen there is, so supporting intelligent life becomes difficult.”

Guy Kawasaki, Rules for Revolutionaries


“Judge a man by his questions, not by his answers.”



“Think Big. Try small. Then adjust and go like hell.”

John Mariotti


“Trying to manage a project without project management is like trying to play a football game without a game plan.”

K. Tate


“A project without a critical path is like a ship without a rudder.”

D. Meyer


“Running a project without a WBS is like going to a strange land without a roadmap.”

J. Phillips


“The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not the turbulence. It is to act with yesterday’s logic.”

Peter Drucker


“Change is inevitable, except from vending machines.”



“Some of the most flowery praise you hear on the subject of teams is only hypocrisy. Managers learn to talk a good game about teams even when they’re secretly threatened by the whole concept.”

Tom DeMarco


“Like organic entities, projects have life cycles. From a slow beginning they progress to a buildup of size, then peak, begin a decline, and finally must be terminated. (Also, like other organic entities, they often resist termination.) “

Meredith & Mantel



“First comes thought; then organization of that thought, into ideas and plans; then transformation of those plans into reality. The beginning, as you will observe, is in your imagination. “

Napoleon Hill


“Dictionary is the only place that success comes before work.”

Vince Lombardi


My favorite one:

“No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible.”

Stanislaus Lezczynski




Do you know any good quotes on business consultants? Please write them in the commment section!

quotes for business consultants

We would also love to hear some specifically for management consultants, HR consultants or IT consultants. Or even for engineering consultants, PR or marketing consultants.