Words to Live By: Notable Quotables & Advice

By Jeff Campbell, VP Product Development

Whether it’s your favorite Pete Drucker quote on strategy, inspirational song lyrics, or advice from a grade school teacher, what are some words of wisdom you have received that has stuck with you or has helped to mold who you are today? That’s right, this is a conversation. I’ll start…

  • People do business with people they like. You’ve probably heard the old adage “that most business decisions are made on the golf course,” it’s referring to the same thing. Took me a while to grasp this ever-so-simple concept and to change my approach with clients, sales targets, etc.
  • Good is the enemy of great. After reading Good To Great, I adopted this mantra from the book. This has got to be the toughest advice to follow, even in my personal life. I still tee off with a 3-iron because I can hit a straight and consistent 220 yard drive (just jinxed that) versus my 50% slice rate of my driver.
  • Everybody loves progress, nobody likes change. How can you grow (personally, as a leader, as a business) while keeping things the same? Change willingly; let go of the fear and look for opportunities that come with change (easier said than done, I agree). With change comes discomfort so balance that with the desire for progress.
  • “Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” –Robert F. Kennedy. I’m a risk taker and a change junkie. Wouldn’t be here if I wasn’t. Sure, I’ve got regrets, but at least failure is instructive.
  • Focus on Solutions, Not Problems. I started my career with larger, Fortune 100 companies with multiple divisions and many, many layers of management; I was pretty good at finding inefficiencies, issues, or opportunities and bringing them to my manager. When starting/joining a small company, this was a major mental shift for me – now, the only person to fix the problem was me. I had to take the initiative, I had to investigate further, I had to learn to be more resourceful and take action. A thanks to Mr. Spiegel for instilling this value in me.
  • Just have fun with it. This is a quote from Three Amigos that Chevy Chase tosses out before going into battle. Whenever I feel stressed, especially before a big presentation, I remind myself to just have fun with it (and refer to the advice in the top bullet). Then I think of the kid who approaches Chevy on the horse to ask “Can I have your watch when you are dead?”. :)
  • Rarely do you find purely evil people. I love psychology and understanding what makes people tick, which is the main reason I’m in marketing. In all aspects of life, I need to account for people’s behavior & communication styles that are different than mine. I’m verbal, they are written. I am quick to answer a question with little information, they need time to process or research. I feel positive conflict brings progress, others get emotional with confronted and avoid it at all costs. “They” aren’t evil or wrong…and I need to understand (and account for) their differences if I’m going to be an effective team member/manager/husband/leader.
  • Success is a choice. Speaks for itself. This is my #1.
OK, now for you. Cliche or not, share as little or as much as you think would be helpful to your fellow readers…


David J Barnes said...

Keep it simple.

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Aaron Goldman said...

"Don't lose the forest for the trees." Too many people get bogged down in keywords when they should be looking at the overall program. Taiga, anyone?

CJeffCampbell said...

Stewie's above removed advice was: "Whether you think you can, or you can't, you're right."

Apologies for the McCarthyism, Mr. Griffin. Giggity.

Anonymous said...

If you want to win war, you have to become war - John Rambo

Bryson said...

A drawing teacher once told me that great artists learn the rules in order to break them. I think the same can be said about greatness in almost any industry. The better one understands the details and the limits of what has been done, the better that person is equipped to succeed at something new. That sort of applies to everyone who does what we do as search marketers.

Great thread. I'll keep on the mental lookout for other gems.

dgould said...

First off, I don't believe you can smack a 3 iron 220 yards.

That said, I love the rest of your piece. You stole my thunder with "Success is a Choice" although my personal version of that is "Happiness is Choice". If you're not happy with how things are, then suck it up and do something about it.

I'd also make a comment about change. A million quotes on that, but I'll stick to two that I like. Charles Darwin - “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change" ... and also, "We can't change the direction of the wind, but we can adjust the sails." Let's face it, change happens, deal with it ... proactively.

CJeffCampbell said...

DGould - two quotes that didn't make my initial list. First, re: your golf comment: "Don't let the truth get in the way of a good story."

Second, another change quote I enjoy: "If you don't create change, change will create you."

Glad you enjoyed it.

Unknown said...

From the incomparable Yogi Berra:

"If you come to a fork in the road, take it."

Buck Dossey said...

Lead with Data. We all know Lance's saying about Opinions, so this is a good by-law.

Nathan Janitz said...

My dad always had a saying that is very similar to Jeff's idea of "Good is the enemy of great."

"Just because you have been doing something for 20 years doesn't mean you have been doing it RIGHT for 20 years."

Being in the industry he is, he runs into tons of old timers who learned something one way. Just because it worked doesn't mean that it was the best way. While the quote itself is a little harshly stated (at least in comparison to Jeff's version), the idea is the same. Don't be afraid to break what isn't broke if you think that you can find a better/cheaper/faster/safer way of doing something.

Nathan Janitz said...

A couple other quotes that I have no clue where I heard, but have still stuck with me:

"The best Leaders is the one that knows when to shut up and let someone else take the helm."

"Be the one who does hard on a daily bases...that way when the impossible crosses your path its nothing more than an extra step."

"Work somewhere as if you owned the place. You will be surprised what new things you learn in the process."

Felicia said...

Here are some of my favorite quotes...

"All men are prepared to accomplish the incredible if their ideals are threatened."
-Maya Angelou

“Life is one big road with lots of signs. So when you riding through the ruts, don’t complicate your mind. Flee from hate, mischief and jealousy. Don’t bury your thoughts, put your vision to reality . Wake Up and Live."
-Bob Marley

"Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony."

Great words from the wise!

Aaron Goldman said...

"A brand is what a friend tells a friend it is. Not what a company tells them." - Scott Cook, founder of Intuit.

Anonymous said...

Pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered.

CJeffCampbell said...

pigs get fat...that's Jim Cramer. Love it. Booyah, my friend.

Dave McAnally said...

A man much wiser than myself told me:

"If you work a job you don't like for the money, you end up spending most of that money on augmenting your lifestyle so you can stand the 8 hours you spend everyday at the job. It's a zero-sum game".

Bryson said...

Not sure who said this, but "a fate worse than death is dying with regret" is one I've been living by for a few years now. Along the lines of not trying is worse than failing, I think.

Most commented post! Congrats.

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