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24 Thought-Provoking Quotes for Leaders of Continuous Improvement

Posted by Maggie Millard

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May 29, 2015 2:25:00 PM


gear-403504_640If you need a little inspiration to jazz up your leadership style, read some of these quotes. Each possesses a gem of wisdom or a thought-provoking idea that you'd do well to consider applying to the way you lead in a culture of continuous improvement. If you have a favorite quote that's missing from this list, leave a comment and share it!


  1. “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” - John Quincy Adams (Click to Tweet this quote!)

  2. "A corporation is a living organism; it has to continue to shed its skin. Methods have to change. Focus has to change. Values have to change. The sum total of those changes is transformation." - Andrew Grove

  3. "I am opposed to the laying down of rules or conditions to be observed in the construction of bridges lest the progress of improvement tomorrow might be embarrassed or shackled by recording or registering as law the prejudices or errors of today." - Isambard K. Brunel

  4. “There are risks and costs to a program of action, but they are far less than the long-range risks and costs of comfortable inaction.” - John F. Kennedy (Click to Tweet this quote!)

  5. “When trust is high, relative to fear, people and people systems function well. When fear is high, relative to trust, they break down.” - Jack Gibb (Click to Tweet this quote!)

  6. "It is better to stir up a question without deciding it, than to decide it without stirring it up." - Joseph Joubert (Click to Tweet this quote!)

  7. “Every day you may make progress. Every step may be fruitful. Yet there will stretch out before you an ever-lengthening, ever-ascending, ever-improving path. You know you will never get to the end of the journey. But this, so far from discouraging, only adds to the joy and glory of the climb.” - Sir Winston Churchill

  8. “It is failure that guides evolution; perfection provides no incentive for improvement, and nothing is perfect.” - Colson Whitehead (Click to Tweet this quote!)

  9. "Continuous improvement is not about the things you do well — that’s work. Continuous improvement is about removing the things that get in the way of your work. The headaches, the things that slow you down, that’s what continuous improvement is all about." - Bruce Hamilton

  10. "If you need a new process and don’t install it, you pay for it without getting it." - Ken Stork (Click to Tweet this quote!)

  11. "There are many experts on how things have been done up to now. If you think something could use a little improvement, you are the expert." - Robert Brault

  12. "When solving problems, dig at the roots instead of just hacking at the leaves." - Anthony J. D’Angelo (Click to Tweet this quote!)

  13. "Watch the little things; a small leak will sink a great ship." - Benjamin Franklin (Click to Tweet this quote!)

  14. "We are too busy mopping the floor to turn off the faucet." - Author Unknown (Click to Tweet this quote!)

  15. "What gets measured, gets managed." - Peter Drucker (Click to Tweet this quote!)

  16. "If you do not know how to ask the right question, you discover nothing." - W. Edwards Deming (Click to Tweet this quote!)

  17. “If you see a snake, just kill it – don’t appoint a committee on snakes.” - Ross Perot (Click to Tweet this quote!)

  18. "Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." - William Bruce Cameron (Click to Tweet this quote!)

  19. "Great ideas need landing gear as well as wings." - C.D. Jackson (Click to Tweet this quote!)

  20. "Different isn’t always better, but better is always different." - Author Unknown (Click to Tweet this quote!)

  21. "Don’t water your weeds." - Harvey MacKay (Click to Tweet this quote!)

  22. “The things we fear most in organizations – fluctuations, disturbances, imbalances – are the primary source of creativity.” - Margaret J. Wheatley

  23. “Act the way you'd like to be and soon you'll be the way you'd like to act.” Bob Dylan (Click to Tweet this quote!)

  24. “No matter how good you get you can always get better, and that's the exciting part.” - Tiger Woods (Click to Tweet this quote!)

What's YOUR favorite quote for leaders of contnuous improvement?


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