The Executive's Book of Quotations

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From William Wrigley's advertising maxim "Tell them quick and tell them often," to all-purpose words of wisdom such as E.F. Schumacher's "Think globally, act locally," and Yogi Berra's "When you come to a fork in the road, take it," the Dictionary of Business Quotations is a browser's delight, brimming with thousands of quotations for use in business speeches, reports, articles, or simply to spice conversation over lunch. Stretching from Chinese proverbs to John Maynard Keynes, from Heraclitus to Peters and Waterman, compiled from newspapers, books, movies, and poetry, this lively collection arranges more than 500 topics alphabetically, spiriting us from "Advertising," "America," and "Avarice," through "Wall Street," "Winners," and "Youth." Here at the executive's fingertips are witticisms, jibes, bon mots, epigrams, and sage adages by and about those who skyrocketed—or plummeted—in the game of business.
We sample business advice from entrepreneurs like Anita Roddick: "Tap the energy of the anarchist and he will be the one to push your company ahead," and from giants like McDonald's late chairman Ray Kroc—"When you're green, you're growing; when you're ripe, you rot"—and Tom Peters: "Companies have got to learn to eat change for breakfast." Sports greats like Knute Rockne and Notre Dame coach Lou Holtz offer wit and wisdom: "Build up your weaknesses until they become your strong points," "Happiness is having a poor memory about what happened yesterday." From the entertainment world comes Billy Rose's "Never invest your money in anything that eats or needs repairing," and Wendy Wasserstein's "Because of Mozart, it's all over after age seven." Readers looking up "Ability" will find then-governor Clinton's down-home response to a Newsweek reporter who finally beat him at cards: "Even a blind hog can find an acorn." Under "Money," oil man Clint Murchison proclaims "Money is like manure. If you spread it around, it does a lot of good," and Babe Ruth delivers his 1930 answer to reports that he earned more than President Hoover: "I had a better year." Other colorful entries include, "These kids are smart. But I'd as soon take a python to bed as hire one" (Ned Dewey on the Harvard MBAs of the '80s); "I have a brain and a uterus and I use both" (Congresswoman Pat Schroeder); and Retail Marketing Institute's answering machine message, "We've fired our receptionist and are passing the savings on to you." In addition, the curious can learn who coined famous phrases such as "Captains of Industry" (Thomas Carlyle) and "The business of America is business" (Calvin Coolidge). And for speech openers, few can top Alfred Hitchcock's "Always make an audience suffer as much as possible."
Featuring a cross-index by author and topic, this entertaining volume makes finding the perfect quotation—be it witty or inspirational—a snap for executives, CEOs, seminar leaders, speechwriters, journalists, and others looking to spice up and enliven any business communication.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195078367
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 11/18/1993
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 9.56 (h) x 1.44 (d)

Meet the Author

Julia Vitullo-Martin is a writer specializing in business and public policy. J. Robert Moskin is a historian, journalist, and author of five books.

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