Category Archives: Business

Vision + Execution = Greatness

Vision is core to good leadership, and the best management. It is the essence of successful programs, the heart of effective transformation and the engine of innovation.

It is also what teams want from their leaders. James Kouzes and Barry Posner once wrote in the Harvard Business Review:

 “Being forward-looking—envisioning exciting possibilities and enlisting others in a shared view of the future—is the attribute that most distinguishes leaders from non-leaders. We know this because we asked followers.”

The Kennedy Commitment

One of my favourite examples of how an extraordinary vision can become reality is when Kennedy promised the world, before the US had even fifteen minutes of manned spaceflight experience:  “I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth.”
The Kennedy vision is truly remarkable because it was achieved, in full. The simple promise was turned to powerful reality by the leadership, intense focus and personal commitment of 400,000 people at peak.

Vision + Execution = Greatness

So, for me the essence of real leadership is precisely this combining of vision with the ability to execute. Another leadership thinker, Warren Bennis, once said:  “Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.”
This is not straightforward. Many of us will have seen corporate vision or strategy documents that are strong on the Promised Land, but not the hardships and challenges of the journey to get there. Many good ideas come to grief on the cold, sharp-edged rocks of delivery.

Example: The Global Delivery Network

My own most intense experience of combining big vision and successful execution comes from building the Accenture Global Delivery Network, and, within that, its Indian Delivery Centres. Today, the company is one of the dominant players in India-based and global delivery of technology services. In hindsight, the journey seems inevitable, almost a slam-dunk. But it wasn’t always like this.We started practical work with a small core team of India leaders, Brits and Americans in late 2000, at the request of the charismatic, global head of Financial Services. He felt the intensity of coming global competition, and had the vision to take action.

This core team would become true masters of delivery and client service. They would achieve extraordinary things in their careers. (And to give credit were it is due, we were also strongly supported by experienced leaders in the US and Spain, reflecting the already global personality of the company. They would give us resources and counsel.)

Meeting in Mumbai

The initiative and initial investment was based on creation of an initial team of just 200 people. There are now 100,000s of people in the firm’s global delivery network. At the time that would have seemed to many the purest fantasy, although some of us had a glimmer of what might be possible. However, we were starting with a small step.
By the summer of 2001 had two clients and the 200 seats in the India city of Mumbai, only partially filled with people. Our initial task was getting close to completion. But we knew that our responsibility was much greater, and it was time to plan the next stage.
So in a meeting room in Mumbai, lit brightly by sunlight, we discussed want we wanted to achieve. We needed an aspirational vision but it needed to be practical, based on specific goals and achievements that we could easily communicate.

Vision on a Whiteboard

At the end of our discussion, I drew a whiteboard diagram to summarize and took a photo for future reference. I felt that it would be important, at least as a personal memento. In fact, it would years later be published in a celebration of the Indian team’s success. Although it was formalised and turned into detailed, properly costed plans, our simple whiteboard summary turned out to be a foundation stone.
The essence of this vision was what we needed to do to catalyse growth. Unlike typical start-ups, we were blessed with a vast and impressive existing channel. We needed scale and momentum, coupled with our first core offerings. We had to convince our salesforce and then our real clients we were credible in a new market. I had an instinct that once we passed that test of credibility, our growth rates would look exponential. And so it was to be. But first we had to get started.
So, the top half of the whiteboard looked like the following. (Our financial year ran from September to August, so Q1 of FY2002 starts in September 2001).

Simple Targets

This wasn’t a conventional vision or strategy. It was stripped down to a bare minimum of supply-side metrics. But it would serve its purpose. It covered the following:
  • CMM targets that refered to the 5-level Capability Maturity Model from the Software Engineering Institute located at Carnegie Mellon University. This aims to measure the quality of software delivery processes. The true value of CMM – and its descendents like CMMi – is subject to debate. However, it does require a rigorous focus on process and quality, and was essential to competing in this new market. We had to reach the highest levels of the model fast. These targets would soon evolve into a much more profound focus on offerings and industrialisation.
  • Most importantly, the diagram showed the headcount growth we wanted to achieve in the next two years – headcount would be a vital and simple metric of our progress. The goals we put down – given we were starting from scratch – were tough. We would have to keep the people we hired busy, engaged and chargeable. We were in essence already anticipating an exponential growth curve.
  • The diagram also shows our intent to move into three cities as part of building a platform for growth. Getting support for this rapid geographic expansion would not be easy, but it would provide flexibility and scalability. In fact we opened in 2002 in Bangalore, followed by Hyderabad a little later. Bangalore was destined to become a true global hub.

Building a Team

The second half of the board contained another diagram that I have also recreated below. It shows something else we realised very early on. We need a focus on building a team for the future, not simply a collection of new resources, but a group of people – a real team – who shared a strong sense of culture and common cause. Slide2-001

Communicating the Vision

We now had goals that were hard to achieve, but inspirational for our core team, easy to measure and simple to communicate. This was also fundamental. As PeterDrucker once said: “Leadership is lifting a person’s vision to high sights, the raising of a person’s performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations.” We needed to be able to straightforwardly tell our story and our intent to a team freshly hired, and get them to become leaders in a  long journey of transformation. We used our whiteboard goals as the anchor for that process.

Start-Up Days

Work started very practically, with the joys and stresses of any good start-up. One of team – who was destined to become a much respected Senior Managing Director – help dig the cable trenches in the tarmac outside the main building. We built our first big client meeting room the day before our first big client meeting. Recruiting was hard at first. Really hard. We hadn’t built our brand in the relevant technology talent pools. We did have a thriving local consulting practice. However, we were unknown to the people we needed for tech work. The vision helped. So did phone calls and events with candidates, their parents and families to show our intent, and the possibilities ahead. Our India leaders worked hard to sell our story, and with passion. Good people began to join us.

A Key Test

Then came a moment that I have written about before, but remains a pivot point of this slice of history. We had reached 500 people, and acquired more space. Overall, with a little difficultly, we had balanced demand and supply effectively. Our HR team had made a brilliant start. Now demand for people was increasing. We were beginning to see supply challenges. It was the start of the exponential growth curve I had expected, hoped for and feared, just a little. I asked our talented local leaders this: Although, it has taken eighteen months to grow to 500 peoplewe need to hire 500 people in the next five weeks. Can you do it? Those who have built and worked in start-ups know how hard an ask this was. And what the mood of that meeting, when a world of pain and hard work was opening up before us? It was tremendous – full of energy and laughter. They had a can-do, will-do attitude”  and were committed to the vision. They went for it. We hired many HR contractors, and arranged for virtual interviews across the globe. We created a large war room with white boards to record real-time status. And then we held interviews, thousands of times. By the end of the period they had made 526 offers to good candidates. This was a break through moment. The India team went to trounce all the targets in the initial strategy. They had a vision, they had executed well.  When we found a rare moment to reflect, we all felt we had shared in a period of great accomplishment.

Evolving the Vision

After that we adapted the vision and strategy on a six-monthly basis. It become a regular part of our process, both in India and globally. We looked ahead at our business challenges and opportunities, at what innovations were possible and what offerings would drive growth. We worked on horizons of now (immediate issues), three months, 12 months and 3-5 years. As a result, we drove higher levels of industrialisation, delivery innovation and accountability. We added a strong focus on business and industry skills. We opened in seven cities, and introduced ways of dealing with huge scale. We introduced offshore approaches to consulting and systems integration, beyond the normal outsourcing focus of global delivery. Throughout the focus remained on vision and execution.

Looking to the Future

What of the future? Global delivery models are now part of the fabric of IT services.  They are standard, and expected. However, as always, there is new opportunity on the horizon. This is not so much from fashionable digital business models. These are important,  but even more important is the systematic underlying change from an old world of devices and systems to a new universe of services and infinite sharing in the cloud. Agility becomes possible at scale in ways it never has before, and our connection with technology will be completely transformed. So, there is still plenty of scope for leadership that combines ambitious vision, and successful execution. There are still histories to be made.

Keith Haviland

Keith Haviland is a business and technology leader, with a special focus on how to combine big vision and practical execution at the very largest scale, and how new technologies will reshape tech services. He is a Former Partner and Global Senior Managing Director at Accenture, and founder of Accenture’s Global Delivery Network.  Published author and active film producer, including Last Man on the Moon. Advisor/investor for web and cloud-based start-ups.

Stewardship: A Fundamental Part of Good Leadership

“The price of greatness is responsibility.”– Winston Churchill

Meetings in Hollywood and London

The meeting was over drinks in the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood. It was with an old friend who I had worked for in the late 1980s. He was then leading a technology start-up in London, specialising in UNIX and Open Systems. The company was a true prototype for the eCommerce and Digital start-up waves of the 21st Century. It was tech-savvy, youthful, ambitious and diverse. It had energy and pzazz.

It became a business success, and was sold in 1990. It was also a cultural success. People liked working there. Even today in 2015 there are occasional re-unions of the core team.

My friend had then moved to LA to try his luck in the world of film. Again he had successful, and now lives in a Spanish style villa in the Hollywood Hills.

We spoke about his plans, and mine. It wasn’t long before I realized that, although I hadn’t worked with him for twenty years or so, he wanted me to develop and be successful. He still felt his old loyalty to his previous team.

Cut to another scene. It is a few weeks later. I am having lunch in London with another old friend, someone I have worked for a little more recently. He had been a respected leader in both commerce and public service. Again, I felt that same sense of support, and quiet, steady belief. Here was someone who wanted others to succeed almost as a natural reflex.



This led me to reflecting on what I think is one of the most essential qualities of good leaders: stewardship.

One of my alma maters is Accenture, a company who organize people on a global scale. It has a set of simple core values intended to help define its culture. To paraphrase, these include: integrity; respect for people as individuals; a focus on acting as a team; excellence and, above all, prioritizing client service.

And as an instruction to leaders, this set of values also includes the word stewardship – which means a focus on the greater good, thinking of the future, and the development of the people around you. It has been a fundamental element of that company’s long history, arising from its origins as a partnership.

Over the years, and across companies, I have had the privilege to work with many good leaders, and the best naturally adopt a stewardship style. They care about the future of both their business and their team with a natural grace and enthusiasm. Above all, they think about the motivations, development and careers of the people who work for them.

This does not need to be at the expense of being able to make tough calls. Indeed some of the best stewards are also courageous. One leader who worked for me in building the Accenture Global Delivery Network was a red-blooded operator – able to direct without hestitation, and do the hard things at scale. He is one of the masters of delivery it has my privilege to work with.  However, he also ensured that the bi-annual performance management process of a large group of people was undertaken with a huge amount of care, professionalism and objectivity. The views of his own leadership team were fully taken into account, and balanced. When it mattered, he acted as a steward. It impressed me, and a great many others, enormously.

Aspects of Stewardship


There economic models of stewardship cultures in enterprises, and a whole literature on “servant leadership.” However, what follows is my personal definition of major attributes of stewardship, written as advice for leaders and potential leaders.

  • A combination of strong values and an inspiring vision, communicated well. The vision is essential for setting a direction. It should be adaptable, but stable enough to allow consistent execution. The values will enable you to handle change, and trouble, and create the foundations of the culture you aim to build.
  • Loyalty. By this, I mean the loyalty of leaders to their teams. Great teams can be created when people know you “have their back”, that what you say is what you mean, and you want them as individuals to progress and prosper. Loyalty is something best returned, rather than exhorted or demanded.
  • Courage. It is important to have the skills to deal with challenges and failures in a positive way. This can mean being simple and direct about bad news, or poor performance. Truth is at the heart of delivery and learning. Courage can also mean a leader constructively standing up to his own boss when poor decisions are being made – since even great people will make poor calls.
  • A relentless focus on recognition. People thrive when their achievements or hard-work are celebrated. It is a core part of what most individuals will want out of their career. And sometimes a simple thank you is plenty enough. It still amazes me how many of those in management positions don’t recognize the value of this kind of simple engagement. As with loyalty, give credit, and you earn it back.
  • An unyielding emphasis on development. If you want long-term growth, you need to develop your team, and build a flexible leadership bench for the future. You need to worry about the progress of each individual, and what skills or encouragement they each need to succeed. This is much broader than succession planning, which often has a narrow, static focus. Indeed, when a company starts treating its middle management as an economic issue that is ultimately a failure of top leadership and their stewardship foresight.
  • Forward thinking. The job of a leader is to make sure future challenges are anticipated, offerings are adapted to changing markets, and structures flex with growth. As I was building the Accenture Global Delivery Network, I made myself think frequently about horizons of 3 months, 12 months and five years. It worked well, during a long and exhilarating period of quasi-exponential growth.
  • Providing an environment in which good can be done. When I started working with people in India, the Philippines and other developing countries, I was very struck by the intense enthusiasm for supporting local communities, and for giving something back. It was humbling, and inspirational. This taught me the importance of making sure a sense of the common good was part of the cultural fabric. Such a culture will start many experiments in achieving excellence in client-service, improvements in training, initiatives in diversity, and action to help the community and environment. And some of these experiments will work.



What are the benefits of stewardship?

It creates the kind of positive culture where teams want to deliver excellence in client service, and continuous improvement. It enables long-term growth because you naturally create a bench of leaders able to take your place. It creates an almost unconscious loyalty, with high levels of engagement, and lower levels of attrition. And your future leaders will develop their own sense of stewardship.

It creates open channels of communication, because people work in an atmosphere of trust. It can make a real impact on local communities through an effective corporate social responsibility program. In the end you can create a place where people aspire to work, to serve and progress.

Conversely, toxic leaders who are interested in personal position first and foremost will often do a great deal of damage, and can leave ineffective teams behind them. And even formerly respected leaders who break a bond of trust can see the morale and performance of their teams drop dramatically.

However, the final message is an immensely positive one. Stewardship cultures feel right. They also are right – bringing great benefits in culture and client-service. Above all, they bring the ability to grow, at scale and in the long-term, in a dynamic and changing world.

Keith Haviland

Keith Haviland is a business and technology leader, with a special focus on how to combine big vision and practical execution at the very largest scale, and how new technologies will reshape tech services. He is a Former Partner and Global Senior Managing Director at Accenture, and founder of Accenture’s Global Delivery Network.

Published author and active film producer, including Last Man on the Moon. Advisor/investor for web and cloud-based start-ups.



Failure is an Option

Things will always go wrong, but excellent preparation and strong leadership can turn failure into a kind of success.

The story of Apollo13 is a parable of gritty resolve, technology excellence, calm heroism and teamwork. For anyone focused on leadership, operations and program management it is absolutely the purest of inspirations.

The film of Apollo 13 centres around the phrase Failure is Not an Option,” invented post the original drama in a conversation between Jerry Bostick – one of the great Apollo flight controllers – and the filmmakers. It summarises a key part of the culture of Apollo era NASA, and it has found its way onto the walls or desks of many a leader’s office. It is part of the DNA of modern business culture, and of any sizeable delivery project.

Damaged Apollo 13 Service Module
Damaged Apollo 13 Service Module

Lessons from the Space Program

But one of the reasons that the crew was recovered was this: throughout its history, NASA and mission control knew that failure was precisely an option, and they designed, built and tested to deal with that simple truth. The spacecraft systems had – where physically possible – redundancy. The use of a Lunar Module as a lifeboat had already been examined and analyzed before Apollo 13. In the end, a old manufacturing defect caused an electrical failure with almost catastrophic consequences. It was precisely because Mission Control was used to dealing with issues that Apollo 13 became what has been called a “successful failure” and “NASA’s finest hour.”

The ability to respond like this was hard earned. The Gemini program – sandwiched between the first tentative manned flights of Mercury, and the Apollo program that got to the moon – was designed to test the technologies and control mechanisms needed for deep space. It was a very deliberate series of steps. Almost everything that could go wrong did: fuel cells broke, an errant thruster meant that Gemini 8 was almost lost, rendezvous and docking took many attempts to get right and space walks (EVAs in NASA speak) proved much harder than anybody was expecting. And then the Apollo 1 fire – where three astronauts were actually lost on the launch pad – created a period of deep introspection, followed by much redesign and learning. In 18 months, the spacecraft was fundamentally re-engineered. The final step towards Apollo was the hardest.

But, after less than a decade of hard, hard work – NASA systems worked at a standard almost unique in human achievement.

So, with near infinite planning and rehearsal, NASA could handle issues and error with a speed and a confidence that is still remarkable. Through preparation, failure could be turned into success.

Challenges of a Life More Ordinary

All of us have faced challenges of a lesser kind in our careers. I was once responsible for a major software platform that showed real, but occasional and obscure issues the moment it went into production, expensively tested. We put together an extraordinary SWAT team. The problem seemed to be data driven, and software related and simply embarrassing. I nick-named it Freddie, after the Nightmare on Elm Street movies. It turned out to be a physical issue in wiring – which was hugely surprising and easily fixed. The software platform worked perfectly once that was resolved.

Another example: In the early days of Accenture’s India delivery centres, we had planned for redundancy and were using two major cables for data to and from the US and Europe. But although they were many kilometres apart, both went through the Mediterranean. A mighty Algerian earthquake brought great sadness to North Africa, and broke both cables. We scrambled, improvised, maintained client services, and then bought additional capacity in the Pacific. We now had a network on which the sun never set. It was a lesson in what resilience and risk management really means.

Soon enough, and much more often than not, we learnt to handle most failures and problems with fluency.  In the Accenture Global Delivery network we developed tiered recovery plans that could handle challenges with individual projects, buildings, and cities. So we were able to handle problems that – at scale – happen frequently. These included transport issues, point technology failures, political actions and much more – all without missing a single beat. Our two priorities were firstly people’s safety and well being,  and secondly client service, always in that order.

Technology – New Tools and New Risks

As technology develops, there are new tools but also new risks. On the benefit side, the Cloud brings tremendous, generally reliable compute power at increasingly low cost. Someone else has thought through service levels and availability, and invested in gigantic industrialized data centres. The cloud’s elasticity also allows smart users to side step common capacity issues during peak usage. These are huge benefits we have only just started to understand.

But even the most reliable of cloud services will suffer rare failures, and at some point a major front-page incident is inevitable. The world of hybrid clouds also brings new points of integration, and interfaces are where things often break. And agile, continuous delivery approaches means that the work of different teams must often come together quickly and – hopefully – reliably.

The recent Sony incident shows – in hugely dramatic ways – the particular risks around security and data. Our technology model has moved from programs on computers to services running in a hybrid and open world of Web and data centre. The Web reflects the overall personality of the human race – light and dark – and we have only just begun to see the long-term consequences of that in digital commerce.

Turning Failures into Success

What follows is my own summary view of those key steps required to handle the inevitably of challenges and problems. It is necessarily short.

1. Develop a Delivery Culture – Based on accountability, competence and a desire for peerless delivery and client service. Above all, there needs to be an acknowledgement that leadership and management are about both vision and managing and avoiding issues. Create plans, and then be prepared to manage the issues.

2. Understand Your Responsibilities – They will always be greater in number that you think. Some of them are general, often obvious and enshrined in law – if you employ people, handle data about humans, work in the US, work in Europe, work in India and work across borders you are surrounded by regulations. Equally importantly, the expectations with your business users or clients need to be set and mutually understood – there are many problems caused by costing one service level, and selling another. Solving a service problem might take hours or days. Solving a problem with expectations and contracts may be the work of months and years.

3. Architect and Design – Business processes and use cases (and indeed users!) need to account for failure modes. The design for technical architectures must acknowledge and deal with component and service failures – and they must be able to recover. As discussed above, cloud services can solve resilience issues by offering the benefits of large-scale, industrialised supply, but they also bring new risks around integration between old and new. Cloud brings new management challenges.

4. Automate – Automation (properly designed, properly tested) can be your friend. Automated recovery and security scripts are much less error prone than those done by people under stress. There are many automated tools and services that can help test and assess your security environment. Automated configuration management brings formal traceability – essential for the highest levels of reliability. Automated regression testing is a great tool to reduce the costs of testing in the longer term.

5. Test – Test for failure modes in both software and business process. Test at points of integration. Test around service and service failures. Test at, and beyond, a system’s capacity limits. Test security. Test recovery. Test testing.

6. Plan for Problems – Introduce a relevant level of risk management. Create plans for business continuity across technology systems and business processes. Understand what happens if a system fails, but also what happens if your team can’t get to the office, or a client declares a security issue.

7. Rehearse Invest in regular rehearsals of problem handling and recovery. Include a robust process for debriefing.

8. Anticipate and Gather Intelligence – For any undertaking of significance, understand potential issues and risks. Larger organisations will need to understand emerging security issues – from the small, technical and specific to more abstract global threats. Truly global organisations will need to sometimes understand patterns of weather – for example: to determine if transport systems are at threat. (I even once developed personal expertise in seismic science and volcanism.)

9. Respond – But finally acknowledge that there will be major issues that will happen, and such issues will often be unexpected. So, a team must focus on:

  • Simply accepting accountability, focusing on resolution and accepting the short-term personal consequences. It is what you are paid for.
  • Setting-up a management structure for the crisis, and trigger relevant business continuity plans
  • Setting up an expert SWAT team, including what is needed from suppliers.
  • How to report diagnosis and resolution – be accurate, be simple, avoid false optimism and be frequent
  • How to communicate with stakeholders in a way that balances information flow and the need for a core team to focus on resolution
  • How to handle media, if you are providing a public service
  • And after the problem is solved and the coffee machine is temporarily retired, how does the team learn

And finally a Toast …

In previous articles, I have acknowledged the Masters of Delivery I have come across in my varied career.

In this domain covered by this article, I have worked with people in roles such as“Global Asset Protection”, “Chief Information Security Officer” and teams across the world responsible for business continuity, security and engineering reliable cloud services. They work on the kind of activity that often goes unacknowledged when things go well – but in the emerging distributed and open future technology world, they are all essential. To me, these are unsung “Masters of Delivery.” Given this is the start of 2015, let’s raise a virtual glass in celebration of their work. We all benefit by it.

Keith Haviland

This is a longer version of an article originally posted on linkedin.  Keith Haviland is a business and technology leader, with a special focus on how to combine big vision and practical execution at the very largest scale, and how new technologies will reshape tech services. He is a Former Partner and Global Senior Managing Director at Accenture, and founder of Accenture’s Global Delivery Network. Published author and active film producer, including Last Man on the Moon. Advisor/investor for web and cloud-based start-ups.

30 Alternative Quotes on Success to Celebrate New Year, 2015

A large part of the Western workforce will be returning to work, after celebrating New Year. It’s a time of New Year’s resolutions, and general thinking about renewal and the future. Or at least exercise.

And there seems to be no shortage of Internet-seved inspirational quotes and messages for this New Year of 2015 – as part of the vast, modern literature on self-improvement and leadership excellence. Much of this is based on the premise that success is ultimately about self-belief.

This actually represents a very old trade in ideas. Virgil was a 1st century BC Roman poet who completes with Shakespeare for the times he is quoted. One quote is “Possunt quia posse videntur,” which roughly translates as “They can, because they believe they can.”

But success is more than about denying doubt, it is about preparation, planning, effort and working with other people. It is managing issues and dealing with error. So, to celebrate the arrival 2015, I have assembled a few alternative quotes on success and leadership for the year, some with a little edge, and all hopefully a little truth.

Oh, and a Happy and Very Successful New Year to you all.

1. Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm – Winston Churchill

2. As a general rule, the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information. – Benjamin Disraeli

Benjamin Disraeli
Benjamin Disraeli

3. Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value. – Albert Einstein

4. I don’t look to jump over seven-foot bars; I look around for one-foot bars that I can step over. – Warren Buffett, investor

5. Success depends upon previous preparation, and without such preparation there is sure to be failure. – Confucius

6. The test of success is not what you do when you are on top. Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom. – George S. Patton

George S. Patton
George S. Patton

7. Success is dependent on effort. – Sophocles

8. The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity. Without it, no real success is possible, no matter whether it is on a section gang, a football field, in an army, or in an office. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

9. As I’ve progressed in my career, I’ve come to appreciate – and really value – the other attributes that define a company’s success beyond the P&L: great leadership, long-term financial strength, ethical business practices, evolving business strategies, sound governance, powerful brands, values-based decision-making. – Ursula Burns

Ursla Burns
Ursla Burns

10.Failure comes only when we forget our ideals and objectives and principles. – Jawaharlal Nehru

11. Never was anything great achieved without danger. – Niccolo Machiavelli

12. Ultimately, leadership is not about glorious crowning acts. It’s about keeping your team focused on a goal and motivated to do their best to achieve it, especially when the stakes are high and the consequences really matter. It is about laying the groundwork for others’ success, and then standing back and letting them shine.- Chris Hadfield, astronaut

13. Anticipating problems and figuring out how to solve them is actually the opposite of worrying: it’s productive. – Chris Hadfield, astronaut

14. Everyone who’s ever taken a shower has an idea. It’s the person who gets out of the shower, dries off and does something about it who makes a difference. – Nolan Bushnell

15. In fact, researchers have settled on what they believe is the magic number for true expertise: ten thousand hours. – Malcom Gladwell, Outliers: The Story of Success

16. First, have a definite, clear practical ideal; a goal, an objective. Second, have the necessary means to achieve your ends; wisdom, money, materials, and methods. Third, adjust all your means to that end. – Aristotle


17. Expect problems and eat them for breakfast. – Alfred A. Montapert

18. Whenever you see a successful business, someone once made a courageous decision. – Peter F. Trucker

19. Stay hungry. Stay foolish. – Steve Jobs

20. People do not decide to become extraordinary. They decide to accomplish extraordinary things. – Edmund Hillary

21. To succeed in life, you need two things: ignorance and confidence. –Mark Twain

Mark Twain
Mark Twain

22.We had risen to probably one of the greatest challenges in history, put a man on the moon in the decade. We’d created incredible technologies. But what was most important, we’d created the teams, what I call the human factor. People who were energized by a mission. – Gene Kranz, Flight Director

23. There are three things that matter. The first is competence — just being good at what you do, whatever it is, and focusing on the job you have, not on the job you think you want to have. The second one is confidence. People want to know what you think. So you have to have enough desirable self-confidence to articulate a point of view. The third thing is caring. Nothing today is about one individual. This is all about the team, and in the end, this is about giving a damn about your customers, your company, the people around you, and recognizing that the people around you are the ones who make you look good. – Bill Green, former Accenture CEO

24. I attribute my success to this: I never gave or took any excuse. –Florence Nightingale

Florence Nightingale
Florence Nightingale

25. The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now. – Chinese Proverb

26. The world is changing very fast. Big will not beat small anymore. It will be the fast beating the slow –Rupert Murdoch

27. A leader is one who sees more than others see, who sees farther than others see, and who sees before others see — Leroy Emis

28. The best executive is one who has sense enough to pick good people to do what he wants done, and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it.— Theodore Roosevelt, American President

Teddy Roosevelt
Teddy Roosevelt

29. A leader is a dealer in hope. – Napoleon Bonaparte

30. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Then quit. There’s no point in being a damn fool about it. – W.C. Fields

wc fields 1934 - by paul hesse

Writings from Keith Haviland