Real Leaders Don’t Do Powerpoint

That’s the title of a book I grabbed at the library several weeks back.  It was basically about communication and leadership.  It was interesting enough to start, but not enough to finish.

But there were some beauties for quotes within it.  Here are some that resonated with me:

  • Doc Pomus–the legendary songwriter who created ‘A Teenager in Love,’ ‘Suspicion,’ and ‘Save the Last Dance for Me’–was once asked how to write a hit song.  He answered, ‘Find the shortest distance between your insides and a pencil.’
  • Antoine de Saint-Exupery, aviator and author, said, “If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather the wood, divide the work, and give orders.  Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.”
  • “When a brave person takes a stand,” the Reverend Billy Graham said, “the spines of others are also stiffened.
  • “‘Safety first’ has been the motto of the human race for half a million years,” wrote turn-of-the-century journalist Herbert N. Casson, “but it has never been the motto of leaders.  Leaders must face danger.  They must take the risk and blame, and the brunt of the storm.”
  • Bill Gates’ commencement speech at Harvard: “Humanity’s greatest advances are not in its discoveries–but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce iniquity.”
  • Randy Pausch, professor of computer science, giving the professor’s last lecture: “Brick walls are there for a reason: they let us prove how badly we want things.”
  • Winston Churchill put it this way: “When you an important point to make, don’t try to be subtle or clever.  Use a pile driver.  Hit the point once.  Then come back and hit it again.  Then hit it a third time–a tremendous whack.”
  • Mark Twain, much admired in his day for his speaking as well as for his writing, observed that “it takes three weeks to prepare a good ad-lib speech.”
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