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Top 10 Career Quotes from Literature and the Finest Authors

Top 10 Career Quotes from Literature and the Finest Authors

Here at Oorja Biz Ops, we are all voracious readers. We believe that books make the world and the #WorldOfWork a much better place, and rightly so! Wisdom, imagination, hope – books have a lot to offer. They influence, they inspire, they help us understand our lives, our careers. Literature, since the beginning of time, has been able to capture some of the most intense emotions human beings feel and express. Many a times we may not even be able to recognize or describe what we feel, and find the authors putting those exact emotions into words so eloquently. We feel as if the words were written just for us, as if the author has been privy to our innermost thoughts. We relate to the characters, we look for solutions through those characters. In a very short span of reading the book, we traverse an entire tapestry of emotions and feel overwhelmed of how much sharing is possible between an inanimate object, which is the book and us as individuals.

Some days are just difficult. It is hard to feel inspired or motivated to get up and get to work. To find meaning in our careers or to find a career that means something. It is during this phase that we assess ourselves the most, we are full of doubts and uncertainty, full of “what ifs”. The good news is, we are not alone. We have heroes from literature and we have writers who created these heroes, who went through the same trajectory, had the same doubts and in the end succeeded. So who better to turn to than these fine authors for some inspiration?

Here are some of the best career quotes from literature that the finest authors have gifted us!

Career Quotes #1 : Do not forget Life.

“I’ve learned that making a ‘living’ is not the same thing as ‘making a life’.” ― Maya Angelou, I’ve Learned

Career Quotes #2 : You are the CEO of You, Inc.

“It is not in stars to hold our destiny, but in ourselves” ― Shakespeare, Julius Caesar 

Career Quotes #3 : Find Your Passion and Make it your Vocation

“Who is willing to be satisfied with a job that expresses all his limitations? He will accept such work only as a ‘means of livelihood’ while he waits to discover his ‘true vocation’. The world is full of unsuccessful businessmen who still secretly believe they were meant to be artists or writers or actors in the movies.” ― Thomas Merton, No Man Is an Island

Career Quotes #4 : Say No to Pressure, Take your Time

“When they asked me what I wanted to be I said I didn’t know.”― Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

Career Quotes #5 : Keep the Faith

“Don’t lament so much about how your career is going to turn out. You don’t have a career. You have a life. Do the work. Keep the faith. Be true blue. You are a writer because you write. Keep writing and quit your bitching. Your book has a birthday. You don’t know what it is yet.”— Cheryl Strayed, Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar

Career Quotes #6 : Never Give Up

“When today fails to offer the justification for hope, tomorrow becomes the only grail worth pursuing.” – Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman

Career Quotes #7 : Trust in Yourself

“You are your best thing.” – Toni Morrison, Beloved

Career Quotes #8 : Purpose is Everything

“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” — JRR Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

Career Quotes #9 : Happiness is a Choice

“Happiness can be found in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” – JK Rowling, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Career Quotes #10 : Do not Let Your Fire go Out

 

Being uncertain about your career, or not knowing where you are headed is one of those challenges that can actually be turned into a power house of opportunities. How you think determines the path you take. As John Milton wrote in Paradise Lost – “The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven.” Dive in into the fascinating world of literature when you are feeling numb or need to clear your head. You will arise manifold wiser and humbler and ready to take on the #WorldOfWork!

We hope this post on beautiful career quotes from literature has inspired you to keep calm and keep going! Which is your favourite quote from amongst these? Did we leave out your favourite quote? We would love to hear from you!

5 Top Leadership Quotes of All Time to Help Us Decode Great Leadership

5 Top Leadership Quotes of All Time to Help Us Decode Great Leadership

Being a leader means different things to different people. We all have our own thoughts on what good leadership entails. Some say it comes with what title one is vested with in the hierarchy of a company, some say it is about seniority while some firmly believe it is attributes like confidence, charisma and power that make up a good leader. But would we get a great leader even if we put all these qualities into one person? No, not necessarily. There is no one definition of great leadership and who a great leader is, so here are some of our favorite top leadership quotes by some of the world’s greatest leaders themselves to help us understand what leadership is (and isn’t) better.

Top Leadership Quotes #1:

Being a leader does not mean brute force, a sheer show of muscles (even metaphorically):

I suppose leadership at one time meant muscles; but today it means getting along with people ~ Mahatma Gandhi

Top Leadership Quotes #2:

No matter what your position on the hierarchy is, whether you have the responsibility of leading a team or whether you are to be led, you are the CEO of You, Inc. Leadership starts with leading yourself first.

A true leader has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions, and the compassion to listen to the needs of others. He does not set out to be a leader, but becomes one by the equality of his actions and the integrity of his intent ~ Douglas MacArthur

Top Leadership Quotes #3:

Because with great power, comes great responsibility.

Power isn’t control at all – power is strength, and giving that strength to others. A leader isn’t someone who forces others to make him stronger; a leader is someone willing to give his strength to others that they may have the strength to stand on their own ~ Beth Revis

Top Leadership Quotes #4:

Leadership may be a paradox, but it is a paradox worth understanding and practicing:

I have three precious things which I hold fast and prize. The first is gentleness; the second is frugality; the third is humility, which keeps me from putting myself before others. Be gentle and you can be bold; be frugal and you can be liberal; avoid putting yourself before others and you can become a leader among men ~ Lao Tzu

 Top Leadership Quotes #5:

A great leader does not “lead”, (s)he empowers and enables. A critical attribute for being a great leader is to have 0% Hubris and 100% Humility:

In my experience, leadership is about three things: To listen, to inspire and to empower. Over the years, I’ve tried to learn to do a much better job listening actively, making sure I really understand the other person’s point of view, learning from them, and using that basis of trust and collaboration to inspire and empower. [It’s about] setting the bar high, and then giving them the time and resources to do great work ~ Larry Garfield

And to conclude the post, here is a bonus quote to sign off with, by Dan Shoenbaun that sums up our views on leadership very well. Even if you are a leader, be aware of your weaknesses, as you are of your strengths – “I define leadership as knowing when to be in front to lead and guide a team during the journey, and when to step back and let others take the lead. Much like an athlete who knows exactly what position to move to on the field at any given time, a true business leader understands the delicate balance of how to help others become leaders, fuel career ambitions, then give them the chance to shine.”

5 Quotes on Operational Excellence for Successful Business Operations

5 Quotes on Operational Excellence for Successful Business Operations

Very few people have the ability to capture their thoughts into a few words – words that leave a lasting impact, words that continue to inspire over decades or centuries and words that speak to you and give you your personal “eureka” moments.  Think about it, Aristotle lived between 384 BC and 322 BC – more than 2300 years ago and what he said then continues to influence us now. Among his many pieces of wisdom passed down through the ages, and before modern management or its terms were invented, he defined business operations and operational excellence –

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”

So my post today combines two of my passions – operational excellence and quotes that inspire me in this area. I have chosen my five favourite Quotes on Operational Excellence that to me most accurately reflect the principles of successful Business Operations –

Quotes on Operational Excellence #1: Build a Cathedral –

Organizations should be……. no less than Cathedrals in which the full and awesome power of the Imagination and Spirit and native Entrepreneurial flair of diverse individuals is unleashed in passionate pursuit of … Excellence. Our job as leaders—the alpha and the omega and everything in between—is abetting the sustained growth and success and engagement and enthusiasm and commitment to Excellence of those, one at a time, who directly or indirectly serve the ultimate customer.

7 Steps to Sustaining Success:   You take care of the people. The people take care of the service. The service takes care of the customer. The customer takes care of the profit. The profit takes care of the re-investment. The re-investment takes care of the re-invention. The re-invention takes care of the future. (And at every step the only measure is EXCELLENCE.)” ~ Tom Peters

Quotes on Operational Excellence #2: Get Everyone on the Same Page –

“The best, most efficient, most profitable way to operate a business is to give everybody in the company a voice in saying how the company is run and a stake in the financial outcome, good or bad …. A business should be run like an aquarium, where everybody can see what’s going on — what’s going in, what’s moving around, what’s coming out. That’s the only way to make sure people understand what you’re doing, and why, and have some input into deciding where you are going. Then, when the unexpected happens, they know how to react and react quickly.” ~ Jack Stack, “The Great Game of Business

Quotes on Operational Excellence #3: Follow the Right Order of Operation

 “Values should underpin Vision, which dictates Mission, which determines Strategy, which surfaces Goals that frame Objectives, which in turn drives the Tactics that tell an organization what ResourcesInfrastructure and Processes are needed to support a certainty of execution….

While successful leaders address all four areas, the best leaders always start with why followed very closely by who. Then, and only then, do they work on the design of what and how.” ~Mike Myatt

Quotes on Operational Excellence #4: Process First, Technology and Tools Second –

“The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency.” ~ Bill Gates

Quotes on Operational Excellence #5: Discipline Matters – Close the gaps in Execution by Following Through

“Follow-through is the cornerstone of execution, and every leader who’s good at executing follows through religiously.  Following through ensures that people are doing the things they committed to do, according to the agreed timetable.  It exposes any lack of discipline and connection between ideas and actions, and forces the specificity that is essential to synchronize the moving parts of an organization.  If people can’t execute the plan because of changed circumstances, follow-through ensures they deal swiftly and creatively with the new conditions…” ~Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan – “Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done”.

These quotes reveal the corner-stones of operational excellence – people, processes, technology and continuous improvement. There are many more quotes that inspire and I have left out some that I have already quoted in my past posts.  I would love to get your favourite quotes on Business operations and Operational Excellence here – maybe do a part 2 of this post. So, if you enjoyed this collection, spare a moment and leave a comment.