Quotes from the Academy
I had the privilege of attending the Academy of Achievement thanks to the generosity of Wayne and Cathy Reynolds 2 weekends ago in San Francisco. There were 150 extraordinary people all staying at the same hotel and interacting, dancing, and eating with one another for a full weekend. I thought I would share some on-the-record nuggets of wisdom or shocking quotes from the honorees.
Admiral McRaven, former Commander of the US Special Operations best known for leading the operation that killed Bin Laden:
- “At best, there was a 50/50 chance Bin Laden was in that compound. In fact, some very intelligent folks thought it was 10%.”
- “It’s the little things you control…the words of encouragement, the phone calls…that will define you.”
- “If two people agree, one of them isn’t needed.”
- “It’s more credible to work with folks who are known to have different beliefs. Us coming together drew a lot of attention, simply because we stand for opposite sides on many issues.”
Athol Fugard, South African playwright
- “Beware of false pride.”
General David Petraeus, former Director of the CIA
- “Get the big ideas right. Communicate them effectively. Implement them. Then repeat.”
Thomas Keller, Creator/Owner of French Laundry, Per Se
- “My first introduction into the world of cooking was as a dishwasher. It was critical. It taught me discipline (without it, where will the food go?), organization (knowing where the plates go, where the bowls go, saves critical time), efficiency (have to do it quickly), repetition (which equals perfection), and teamwork (everybody needed everybody, including me)
Francis Collins, Director of the National Institute of Health (NIH)
- “My mother’s life advice ‘do whatever you want, but whatever you do, don’t become a federal employee.'”
And many, many more.