"Plans are only good intentions unless they immediately degenerate into hard work."
Peter F. Drucker (1909–2005), US management consultant and academic
Source: Quoted in The Definitive Drucker (Elizabeth Haas Edersheim, 2007)
"It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan."
Eleanor Roosevelt (1884–1962), US reformer, author, and first lady
Source: Quoted in From Scratch and on a Shoestring (Arthur A. Leidecker, 2006)
"Grand business plans are all very well, but nothing beats dipping your toe in the water."
Karan, Lord Bilimoria (1962–), Indian entrepreneur and founder of Cobra Beer
Source: Sunday Times (London) (October 2000)
"Today, if someone showed me a five-year plan, I'd toss out the pages detailing Years Three, Four, and Five as pure fantasy … Anyone who thinks he or she can evaluate business conditions five years from now, flunks."
Mark McCormack (1930–2003), US entrepreneur, founder and CEO of International Management Group
Source: Staying Street Smart in the Internet Age: What Hasn't Changed about the Way We Do Business (2000), Introduction
"There was no business plan, no model. It was just guts."
Peter Chernin (1951–), US former president and COO of News Corporation, and former CEO and chairman of the Fox Entertainment Group
Referring to the planning style of News Corporation.
Source: Forbes (June 1998)
"Managers who extensively plan the future get the timing wrong."
Shona L. Brown (1966–), Canadian writer
Source: Competing on the Edge (cowritten with Kathleen M. Eisenhardt, 1998)
"Central planning didn't work for Stalin or Mao, and it won't work for an entrepreneur either."
Michael Bloomberg (1942–), US entrepreneur, business executive, and mayor of New York
Source: Bloomberg on Bloomberg (cowritten with Matthew Winkler, 1997)
"You need to plan the way a fire department plans: it cannot anticipate where the next fire will be, so it has to shape an energetic and efficient team that is capable of responding to the unanticipated as well as to any ordinary event."
Andrew S. Grove (1936–), Hungarian-born US entrepreneur, author, and former chairman of Intel Corporation
Source: Only the Paranoid Survive: How to Exploit the Crisis Points That Challenge Every Company and Career (1996), Preface
"Basing our happiness on our ability to control everything is futile."
Stephen Covey (1932–), US writer and psychologist
Source: First Things First: To Live, To Love, To Learn, To Leave a Legacy (1994)
"A lot of companies … find planning more interesting than getting out a saleable product."
H. Edward Wrapp (1917–2009), US academic
Source: Dunn’s Review (September 1980)
"Planning ahead is a matter of class. The rich and even the middle class plan for future generations, but the poor can plan ahead only a few weeks or days."
Gloria Steinem (1934–), US entrepreneur, editor, and writer
Source: “The Time Factor,” Ms. (March 1980)
"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans."
John Lennon (1940–1980), British rock musician and songwriter
Source: Beautiful Boy Double Fantasy (1980)
"There is nothing so disastrous as a rational policy in an irrational world."
John Maynard Keynes (1883–1946), British economist
Source: Quoted in The Money Game (Adam Smith, 1976)
"In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensible."
Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890–1969), US president and general of the army
Source: Quoted in “Krushchev,” Six Crises (Richard Nixon, 1962)
"We can chart the path to the future clearly and wisely only when we know the path which has led to the present."
Adlai E. Stevenson (1900–1965), US statesman and author
Source: Speech, Richmond, Virginia (September 20, 1952)
"If we had had more time for discussion we should probably have made a great many more mistakes."
Leon Trotsky (1879–1940), Russian revolutionary leader and Marxist theorist
Referring to discussions of the Soviet Communist Party's Central Committee about the Red Army.
Source: My Diary (1930), ch. 36
"To be practical, any plan must take account of the enemy's power to frustrate it."
Karl von Clausewitz (1780–1831), Prussian general and military strategist
Source: On War (1831)
"Hindsight is good, foresight is better; but second sight is best of all."
Evan Esar (1899–1995), US humorist
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