Fourteen years ago, I began forwarding a weekly packaged goods news summary to fellow colleagues. It was called the Grocery Digest and was novel for its time. A sales teammate and I purchased the service as a way for our company to become more externally focused.
Within a few weeks, I started adding motivational quotes to make it more engaging. After a few months, I started looking for quotes that captured the essence of what our company was going through at the time. If we were behind our financial goals, I would select a quote about adversity; if we were winning in the marketplace, I would select a quote about success. The search for the ‘right’ quote was fun and became a Sunday afternoon activity for the next 14 years.
Initially, I found quotes in famous quotation books or on internet sites.They were plentiful and well indexed. Over the years, I realized that often the best quotes were found in real time, both at work or in my personal life. I started recording and including these quotes when they fit our business circumstances. I even humbly added a quote of my own: “When you know the answer, why not put up your hand?”
As I was structuring my book a couple of months ago, I was looking for a way to concisely capture insights around the questions that leaders must answer to successful lead a big change project. The format needed to be succinct and to the point. I realized that the quotation construct did just that. It communicates a single point of knowledge in the fewest amount of words. My “Words of Wisdom” subsections will list quotes that have been publicly documented or ones I have noted over the years.
I am looking forward to speaking with some friends and past colleagues to ask for permission to include their words. Some may not be famous, but they sure are wise and sure are quotable.