Archive for February, 2011


Quotes on purpose


Someone on a list serve I’m part of recently asked people to post their favourite quotes to share with groups they facilitate. Rather than spam the e-list, I thought I’d start to gather in one place some of the quotes that I return to.

They’re words that say what I believe in a pure poetry of only a few lines, and remind me of what I know.

“Accept that you will never be ready. Go make a difference anyway.”
~ Espen Sivertsen (KaosPilots)

“This is the true job in life, the being used for a purpose you consider a mighty one, the being a force in nature rather than a feverish, selfish clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.”
~ George Bernard Shaw

“Make your work to be in keeping with your purpose.”
~ Leonardo da Vinci

“Be the change you want to see in the world.”
~ Mahatma Gandi

“Poverty is not only a lack of money, it’s a lack of sense of meaning.”
~ David Bornstein

“What is the most powerful lever you can imagine? A big idea, in the hands of a truly outstanding entrepreneur.”
~ Bill Drayton

“Ring all the bells that can ring/
Forget your perfect offering/
There is a crack in everything/
That’s where the light gets in”
~ Leonard Cohen

“No matter what your job is, no matter where you work, there’s a way to create a project (on your own, on weekends if necessary), where the excitement is palpable, where something that might make a difference is right around the corner.

Hurry, go do that.”
~ Seth Goodin

“The core psychology of a social entrepreneur is someone who cannot come to rest, in a very deep sense, until he or she has changed the pattern in an area of social concern all across society. Social entrepreneurs are married to a vision of, for example, a better way of helping young people grow up or of delivering global healthcare. They simply will not stop because they cannot be happy until their vision becomes the new pattern. They will persist for decades.

And they are as realistic as they are visionary. As a result, they are very good listeners. They have to hear if something isn’t working; and, whenever they do, they just keep changing the idea and/or the environment until their idea works. They are intensely concerned with the how-to’s: How do I get from here to there? How do I solve this problem? How do these pieces fit together?”

~ Bill Drayton

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Leadership quotes


“We do not need magic to transform our world. We carry all the power we need inside of ourselves already. We have the power to imagine better.”
~JK Rowling

“Given the right circumstances, from no more than dreams, determination and the liberty to try, quite extraordinary things consistently happen amongst ordinary citizens.”
~ Dee Hock

“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
~ B. Fuller

“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiation and creation, there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one commits oneself, then providence moves too.

All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favour all manner of unforseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way.

Whatever you do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now.”

~ Goethe

“Leadership: listening to what is emerging in order to bring it to reality, as it desires”
~ Otto Scharmer

“A leader these days needs to be a host – one who convenes diversity; who convenes all viewpoints in creative processes where our mutual intelligence can come forth.”
~Margaret Wheatley

“When people who are actually creating a system start to see themselves as the source of their problems, they invariably discover a new capacity to create results they truly desire.”
~ Senge, Scharmer, Jaworski and Flowers, Presence

“People don’t resist change. They resist being changed.”
~ Peter Senge

“The leader’s responsibility is to name the debate, knowing what we need to focus on, and naming the questions.”
~Peter Block

“I’m not the Civil Rights Movement. I’m an expression of it.”
~ Martin Luther King


“Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day I can hear her breathing”
~ Arundhati Roy

“Sustainability is not a problem to be solved. It is a future to be created.”
~ Peter Senge

“The question of reaching sustainability is not about if we will have enough energy, enough food, other other tangible resources – those we have. The question is, will there be enough leaders in time?”
~Dr Karl-Henrick Robert

“Kennedy chose to go to the moon. Our generation must choose to remain on planet Earth.”
~ President Nasheed (Maldives)

“I am interested in the future because that is where I will live.”
~ Albert Einstein