Valuable Insights from the Greats

Jack Welch, Warren Buffett, and many other greats have shared some of their insights with the world through some of their writings and interviews. I thought it would be a good to share some of those insights here. As with many things that I have learned over the years, I wish I had learned some of these insights sooner (or that I had paid attention to them sooner). I certainly wish you well in applying them to your own life.

For now I only highlight a few insights but will add more to this list in time. However, I consider the following insights to be of such significant potential value to everyone, that I wanted to go ahead and share them without waiting to bulid up a longer list.

Jack Welch's "Six Commandments":

  • Control your destiny, or someone else will
  • Face reality as it is, not as it was or as you wish it would be
  • Be candid with everyone
  • Change before you have to
  • Don't manage, lead
  • If you don't have a competitive advantage, don't compete


Warren Buffett's investment-in-a-nutshell rules:

  • Rule Number 1: Don't Lose Money
  • Rule Number 2: Don't Forget Rule Number 1


From Wayne Gretzky:

"A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be."


Albert Einstein:

  • A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.
  • Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.
  • Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
  • No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.


Peter Drucker

  • Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things.
  • Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes; but no plans


Lou Holtz:

  • The attitude you choose to assume toward life and everything it brings you will determine whether you realize your aspirations. What you are capable of achieving is determined by your talent and ability. What you attempt to do is determined by your motivation. How well you do something is determined by your attitude.
  • Discipline is not what you do to yourself; it is what you do for yourself.
  • Before choosing an action, ask yourself, "Will this elevate my opinion of myself?" If it doesn't, look for an alternative that will.
The Lou Holtz quotes are just a few I have selected from his book Winning Every Day: The Game Plan for Success. This book is practical and insightful. When I heard him speak several years ago at a conference where I worked, it was clear to me why he is a legend.


Steve Jobs (at 2005 Stanford Commencement Address)

When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: "If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you'll most certainly be right." It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: "If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?" And whenever the answer has been "No" for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.


If you are interested in some good books on leadership and self-management, see this link for my recommendations.

Help me continue to improve this site by giving me your feedback. My email is brucekeener at


2007 - 2008 Bruce Keener



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