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Ginni Rometty Quotes

Virginia Marie Rometty

Ginni Rometty quotes: the first woman to head IBM talks business and life.

“Don’t let others define you. Define yourself.”

“If you’re clear on what you believe, you have a great foundation to go make a market.”

“Work on something that matters. Have courage.”

“It’s easy to have an act one and two. Go ahead and have an act three, four and five. The saying is the easy part. The doing is the hard part.”

“I always say at a really early age, I learned you’ve got to be passionate about what you do. No matter what it is, you put too much, your heart and soul in it, you have to be passionate about it. You make too many sacrifices.”

“You have to have passion. And you have to have clarity. But I think the most difficult thing is perseverance. As the familiar metaphor has it, that’s like changing the wheels while you’re driving. Above all, stay focused on your clients and keep moving forward.”

“So what it means is when you don’t believe in the inevitable, it means you don’t expect that that’s how things have to turn out. You can change them.”

“Ask yourself when you learned the most. I guarantee it’s when you felt at risk.”

“I am big on: it’s always about, well, what were the lessons learned? Something didn’t work out? What are the lessons learned? What are the lessons learned?”

“The recommendation when I’m mentoring folks, I always tell them, ‘Take a risk.'”

“I’ve made lots of mistakes. Probably the worst one—I would say they tie. It’s either when I didn’t move fast enough on something, or I didn’t take a big enough risk.”

“I think ‘actions speak louder than words’ is one thing I think I always took from my mom. And to this day, I think about that in everything I do.”

“When you remove layers, simplicity and speed happen.”

“The most important thing for any of us to be in our jobs is curious.”

“I learned to always take on things I’d never done before. Growth and comfort do not coexist.”

“Your value will be not what you know; it will be what you share.”

“I strongly believe that through dedication and perseverance, one can overcome adversity to achieve success.”

“Today when I think about diversity, I actually think about the word ‘inclusion.’ And I think this is a time of great inclusion. It’s not men, it’s not women alone. Whether it’s geographic, it’s approach, it’s your style, it’s your way of learning, the way you want to contribute, it’s your age—it is really broad.”

“You have to stick up for what you believe in. And that, to me, is the biggest thing you can do about driving inclusion.”

“With this emergence of big data and social mobility, you will, in fact, see the death of ‘average.’ Instead, you will see the era of you.”

“Clients say, ‘What’s your strategy,’ and I say, ‘Ask me what I believe first.’ That’s a far more enduring answer.”

“You define yourself by either what your clients want or what you believe they’ll need for the future. So: define yourself by your client, not your competitor.”

“Never define yourself by a product. Never define yourself by the competition out there.”

“As I say to our own team: ‘Never protect your past, never define yourself by a single product, and always continue to steward for the long-term. Keep moving towards the future.'”

“You can put intelligence in any product or any process you have.”

“You build your own strategy. You don’t define it by what another competitor is doing.”

“Whatever business you’re in—it doesn’t matter—it’s going to commoditize over time. It’s going to devalue. You’ve got to keep moving it to a higher value.”

“You’ve got to keep reinventing. You’ll have new competitors. You’ll have new customers all around you.”

“You make the right decision for the long run. You manage for the long run, and you continue to move to higher value.”

“As I tell all our folks, the only reason we exist—make no mistake—is our clients.”

“The only way you survive is you continuously transform into something else. It’s this idea of continuous transformation that makes you an innovation company.”

“If I have learned nothing else in all my years here, my biggest lesson is you have to constantly reinvent this company. That’s how you get to be 103 years old.”

“I learned along the way, you know, culture is behavior. That’s all it is; culture is people’s behaviors.”

“One thing I always think about in making a market? ‘Be first and be lonely.'”

“It isn’t about size, it’s about the value you provide.”

“The ultimate competitive advantage is being cognitive.”

“There will be times you make decisions that actually detract from growth.”

“When I think of revenue growth, I think of the words ‘mix’ and ‘shift.’ If you ask me, ‘So what is your business model?’ Our business model’s always about shifting to higher value opportunities.”

“Never love something so much that you can’t let go of it.”

“I’ve always looked for challenges, and I have found plenty.”

“I am very practical.”

“I make time to exercise. It’s not being indulgent. I think it’s got a lot to do with your ability to manage properly and stay focused. There’s no doubt about that.”

“Every leader wants things to go faster. You have to set the bar high and keep moving faster.”

“One of the most important things for any leader is to never let anyone else define who you are. And you define who you are. I never think of myself as being a woman CEO of this company. I think of myself as a steward of a great institution.”

“You need to have a great support around you, people that empathize, understand and yet support.”

“I was always surrounded by people that wanted to mentor you.”

“Any city has to give some thought to its ambition and brand in order to set sustainability goals.”

“One of the most important topics I think for us all to work on is job creation.”

“We’ve got to scale opportunity for the underserved around us. It starts at home.”

“If we would change the basis and align what is taught in school with what is needed with business, that’s where I came up with this idea of ‘new collar.’ Not blue collar or white collar.”

“When my father left us, my mother went back to school immediately. She went to school in the day while we were at school, and she worked at night. She worked very hard to never let someone define her as a victim or a failure.”

“My mom had not worked a day in her life, and then she woke up when I was 15 and found herself with four children, no job, no money. But she set out and made it all okay for us, and from that, I saw that there’s no problem that can’t be solved.”

“You will have many more goals in the years ahead. But do not confuse a goal with a purpose.”

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.