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Carol Bartz Quotes

Carol Ann Bartz

Carol Bartz quotes: candid quotes from the biz badass.

“If you think you can’t, you’re right.”

“If you hate going to work in the mornings, you’re not doing anybody any good—the company, yourself or your family. Figure out what makes you happy and go after it. Keep searching.”

“Take risks on the way to innovation. One of my fondest sayings is, ‘Fail fast forward.'”

“If you hang with smart people you get smarter and [if you] hang with good people you get gooder.”

“I’ll take a smart person with passion over someone with years of experience any day. People with intelligence and passion will get the problem solved, no matter what.”

“If you sit quiet long enough, you find out what people really think.”

“Listen to others. I believe that the employees are the ones who bring value to an organization. Eliminate barriers so they can perform their best, which might at times mean finding roles that are a better fit.”

“In terms of lifelong learning, one of the most important things is to not get bored. If you get bored, guess what, everyone will figure it out. Boredom and the inability to be inquisitive and to learn more is death in a job. It’s death to your spirit, to the people working around you and to the people you work for.”

“The phrase ‘I don’t know’ is in fact a strength. I would much prefer if someone told me, ‘Not only do I not know the answer, but I wouldn’t even know how to get it. Could we talk about how, and I can get back to you?’ That is so, so powerful. I don’t care how old or seasoned or how high you are in an organization. Saying ‘I don’t know’ can give you the vulnerability you need to lead better.”

“A lot of people talk about ‘career ladders.’ But a ladder is a very unstable structure. Think instead of a pyramid. Not every career move you make will be a promotion—up and to the right. Sometimes, some of the most important things you can do in your career is make lateral moves. Or even downward moves. But you’re laying a foundation.”

“Bad bosses can be as instructive as good ones; don’t have too many girlfriends; and don’t be afraid to make ‘I don’t know’ one of your favorite phrases.”

“Think about the good bosses you had. You remember that they’re good, but you don’t know exactly why. But with a bad boss, you remember every detail about whatever [he or she] did. You really have it in sharp focus. Not that you should run off and be bad managers, but we often can be shaped more by some of the negative things that happen in our lives, like a bad boss. And of course I have a little bit of Silicon Valley in me, which says, ‘A bad boss will soon move on to be somebody else’s bad boss, so just wait him out.’ But if you happen to be in a business where they wait around for 10 years, then maybe you’ve got to move out first.”

“When we think about technology, no longer do we actually think about it only from the computer scientist’s point of view, but we think about it from the psychologist’s, the psychiatrist’s, the anthropologist’s, the economist’s.”

“The fact that you can crawl the web is a commodity.”

“If people really don’t want ads, they can go find their information however it is they want. It’s a free world on that matter.”

“None of us hate ads; we just hate crappy ads.”

“It’s very, very hard to affect culture. And you can get surprised thinking you’re farther down the path of change than you really are because, frankly, most of us like the way things are.”

“Leadership today is increasingly defined not just by how many hours you spend at your computer, but your ability to connect to others, how you incorporate outside perspectives, and how you navigate groups.”

“Any leader needs to be constantly interested in what’s going on in the world, and constantly ready—even when things are going well—to change.”

“Everybody on my team—I couldn’t do their jobs. I could not. I really mean that. So I figured out early on that the way you’re successful is you hire really successful people.”

“Managing is a tough job. When you’re young, you just think it’s a natural progression: ‘I’m good at this, so I’m going to be good at that.’ And it’s not that way at all.”

“The way you manage your company and the way you manage your people has to be totally different.”

“I manage through a sense of humor. We all work hard, and work has to be a really interesting, fun place. And that has to start at the top.”

“Cursing is part of the job. Everybody has this funny reaction to it. I don’t know what the big deal is.”

“I hug employees all the time. I’m a huge contact person. Touch is an extremely important part of the human condition.”

“Social does not just equal Facebook. Social is how people interact anywhere.”

“Most important, social connection and professional engagement is what makes our jobs interesting and enduring.”

“Don’t have too many girlfriends. They take a lot of time. They pull you in a lot of directions. The time to have a lot of girlfriends is in high school. But after that, be careful, because they can be a real drag on your time and energy.”

“I’m not a big believer in mentoring. I think we are each a snowflake, and I don’t think that that there is another snowflake who is just like me, who can mentor me. What we really are is a mosaic of all our experiences. All those little tiles come together and make you the person that you are. Which means that the advice the 64-year-old me is giving to the 30-year-old me works, because they are the same person. But just because something worked for me doesn’t mean it will work for someone else.”

“I feel very upset that some of the 20-somethings out there think there’s no problem. Women in the work place still will encounter situations where their only option is to go home, suck it down, and get up the next day and try again. I am sorry I can’t make it any better.”

“Women need to be more careful about choosing their battles than their male counterparts. Don’t fight every fight. What happens a lot of time with women is that we get in our minds that we have to fight the fight, that we’ve climbed the peak and so we’ve got to take somebody on. And that gets a little old. There is a time to let out your inner b*tch, but really, really pick your fights. If somebody says this or that, as long as they are not grabbing you or touching you, just ignore them. Don’t fight everybody. It doesn’t help.”

“My own career as an A-level celebrity CEO who also happened to be a woman was for the most part positive. Every event at the White House needs a skirt. I was a skirt. So I got to go to things that never in my lifetime—this little farm girl from Wisconsin—would I have been invited to… I got into situations and I got into venues because I was female, and that was an absolute advantage.”

“I’m kind of a Midwestern snob. I think we’re just nice people and have a great work ethic.”

“My mom died when I was eight. My grandparents took my brother and me onto their farm when I was twelve. So for four years, between eight and twelve, I was mom, housecleaner, cook—and guess what? The little sh*t doesn’t get to you anymore, it just doesn’t matter.”

“One day, my brother and I were in the machine shed when we heard a rattlesnake above us. We didn’t think about running for my grandfather—we ran for grandma. She came, grabbed a shovel, poked the snake off the rafter, and chopped its head off. This was a big snake. And she said, ‘You could’ve done that.’ It wasn’t like she was trying to give us some big life lesson. She just walked away, and that’s the way it was.”

“I grew up in a small town in Wisconsin. I never thought I’d be where I am. I never thought I’d have bling that I bought.”

“Plan to have kids. It’s the best advanced degree you can get.”

“I didn’t have my first child until I was 40. I actually learned about motherhood from management.”

“My husband doesn’t listen because his mother didn’t make him listen. What am I going to do, beat him? I mean: firstborn of a Southern family? Firstborn boy? Please. I mean, I love him to death, but is he going to take the garbage out? No.”

“Avoid being hobbled by guilt, especially when children are involved. Don’t be held hostage by your spouse, your kids, your own guilt. Guilt is the biggest sapper of energy. It can just take you to your knees because you can’t get past it. I know some people think this is bizarre, but when I was traveling, I never called home every day. You have to be realistic and teach your children in advance that this is how it all works.”

“When you are home, stay off the device and really be home.”

“You need not feel guilty about not being able to keep your life perfectly balanced. Juggling everything is too difficult. I have a belief that life isn’t about balance, because balance is perfection. Rather, all you really need to do is catch it before it hits the floor.”

Cory Johnson: CEO of a business he has yet to launch. As seen on your mom’s phone. Scaled to 7-figures in seven seconds selling a course on selling courses. Kidding. Watch this.