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John Doerr Quotes

John Doerr

John Doerr quotes: the billionaire investor slash venture capitalist drops some game.

“If the heart doesn’t find a perfect rhyme with the head, then your passion means nothing.”

“Ideas are easy. Execution is everything.”

“Act now. Act with speed.”

“So what makes for a great entrepreneur, and how do you learn the skills you need to succeed in business? You have to figure it out yourself.”

“I don’t think you learn to be an entrepreneur at an accelerator. I think you are an entrepreneur, or you’re not. A master’s degree in business won’t give you the skills or qualities you need. An entrepreneur is someone who can do more than anyone thinks is possible with less than anyone thinks is possible. And the only way to learn about business is to do business.”

“If you’re going to build a business that outlasts struggles with revenue and other challenges, you’ll need a team that is willing to make sacrifices in the near-term for long-term gains. Your team also needs to have a certain combination of skills to succeed.”

“Nothing ever goes according to plan. The most important lesson learned was about ‘inclusion.’ This will be a mission for a long time. If you’re committed to this, you have to work at it.”

“You’re not going to get the system just right the first time around. It’s not going to be perfect the second or third time, either. But don’t get discouraged. Persevere. You need to adapt it and make it your own. Commitment feeds on itself. Stay the course and you will reap amazing benefits.”

“What you should do is more counterintuitive: stop for a moment and shut out the noise. Close your eyes to really see what’s in front of you, and then pick the best way forward.”

“It almost doesn’t matter what you know. It’s what you can do with whatever you know or can acquire and actually accomplish that tends to be valued.”

“We must realize—and act on the realization—that if we try to focus on everything, we focus on nothing.”

“Focus, alignment, commitment, tracking and stretching. I love that acronym because it spells FACTS. And I can remember it.”

“Alongside focus, commitment is a core element of our first superpower.”

“Actions (and data) speak louder than words.”

“When people have conflicting priorities or unclear, meaningless, or arbitrarily shifting goals, they become frustrated, cynical and demotivated.”

“Meritocracy flourishes in sunlight.”

“Bad companies are destroyed by crisis. Good companies survive them. Great companies are improved by them.”

“You have to have great design to be competitive in today’s markets.”

“An objective is simply what is to be achieved, no more and no less. By definition, objectives are significant, concrete, action-oriented and, ideally, inspirational. When properly designed and deployed, they’re a vaccine against fuzzy thinking—and fuzzy execution.”

“Objectives are the ‘whats.’ They: express goals and intents; are aggressive yet realistic; must be tangible, objective and unambiguous; should be obvious to a rational observer whether an objective has been achieved. The successful achievement of an objective must provide clear value.”

“The objective is what I want to have accomplished. The key results are how I’m going to get it done. The objectives are typically longer lived. They’re bold and aspirational. The key results are aggressive, but always measurable, time-bound, and limited in number.”

“One of the powerful things is that at any level of an organization you’re only going to have two or three, or maybe four or five, objectives. And three or so key results. So it requires a kind of rigor and discipline about saying, ‘These are the most important things that are going on in an organization.’ But it’s not set the goals and then stuff them away in a drawer and ignore them. By going through the process of brainstorming and writing goals, we are assured that the major goals will surface. That’s good discipline.”

“You know, in our business we have to set ourselves uncomfortably tough objectives, and then we have to meet them. And then after 10 milliseconds of celebration we have to set ourselves another set of highly-difficult-to-reach objectives and we have to meet them. And the reward of having met one of these challenging goals is that you get to play again.”

“Objectives and key results are the yin and yang of goal setting.”

“Where an objective can be long-lived, rolled over for a year or longer, key results evolve as the work progresses.”

“An effective goal setting system starts with disciplined thinking at the top, with leaders who invest the time and energy to choose what counts. Set goals from the bottom up.”

“Nothing moves us forward like a deadline.”

“Healthy culture and structured goal setting are interdependent.”

“As Larry Page says, ‘If you set a crazy, ambitious goal and miss it, you’ll still achieve something remarkable.'”

“[Muhammad Ali said] ‘What keeps me going is goals.’ Goals create alignment, clarity and job satisfaction.”

“For anyone striving for high performance in the workplace, goals are very necessary things.”

“Your biggest challenge will be building a great team.”

“Leaders must get across the why as well as the what. Their people need more than milestones for motivation. They are thirsting for meaning, to understand how their goals relate to the mission.”

“When you have that sort of structure and environment, and the right people, magic is around the corner.”

“As Jim Collins observes in Good to Great, first you need to get ‘the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats.’ Only then do you turn the wheel and step on the gas.”

“Individuals want to drive their own success. They don’t want to wait till the end of the year to be graded. They want to know how they’re doing while they’re doing it, and also what they need to do differently.”

“Contributors are most engaged when they can actually see how their work contributes to the company’s success.”

“Continuous recognition is a powerful driver of engagement.”

“Peak performance is the product of collaboration and accountability.”

“In today’s economy, change is a fact of life. We cannot cling to what’s worked and hope for the best. We need a trusty scythe to carve a path ahead of the curve.”

“Learning from direct experience can be more effective if coupled with reflection—that is, the intentional attempt to synthesize, abstract and articulate the key lessons taught by experience. We do not learn from experience; we learn from reflecting on experience.”

“The old economy was about people acquiring a single skill for life; the new economy is about life-long learning.”

“Well, there are more writers of blogs right now than there are readers, so that’s clearly a vanity phenomenon. We all know about blogs and how big they are.”

“It is quite clear that compelling content, which is made available on economic terms that respect the intellectual rights of owners, can be a tremendous spur to the growth of broadband networks.”

“Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.”

“If the reason you’re taking on a mission is for the money you’ll make, I believe you’ll fail.”

“People are looking to have more meaning in their lives. It is a sign the technology community is coming of age.”

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.