Many years ago I stumbled onto the recognition that people respond to common expressions and old sayings in a way that they do not to an original specific statement that makes the same point. Perhaps it is the familiarity that comes of rote learning and a culturally accepted understanding that if something was worth remembering and handing down in the past then it was worth paying attention to in the present.

I began collecting quotations as a result of this observation and started using them as attention getting devices in various business situations. This practice evolved into a quote-of-the-week which I would disseminate in some regularly distributed document like meeting minutes or a newsletter.

I found that the quotes attracted sufficient attention and generated sufficient interest that people actually looked forward to receiving the document used to transmit each week’s quote and would even submit suggested quotes to me for use in the future. Over the course of the years I collected quite a few quotes which could generally be applied to business situations.  The resulting body of wisdom is contained in the following pages and is worth noting just for its own sake as well as being worth using in a similar manner as I indicated in the paper on Communications located elsewhere on this site.

The quotes are listed by author's name only. I have not tried to catalog them by subject or viewpoint primarily because I don't wish to impose any coloration on the author's intent. Select a letter from the Contents frame to the left or just use the continue buttons at the bottom of each page to review the collection at leisure.


A couple of the difficulties in collecting quotes lie in obtaining the quote accurately as it was originally stated or written and also in attributing it to the proper person. I have omitted many sage thoughts because they were cited anonymously. On all of the quotes that I have collected, I have endeavored to obtain full names and correct wordings. Translations I have left to others and can only hope that they are accurate.

Many of the quotes in this collection disagree with one another. This no doubt goes to show that there are indeed two (at least) ways of looking at anything. Occasionally, the juxtaposition of these viewpoints itself can be enlightening.

As a regular contributor to this collection myself, I have often found solace in the words of Aelius Donatus:

"Confound those who have said our remarks before us."