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Lee Iacocca quotes page 2

We're losing the manufacturing edge to Asia, while our once-great companies are getting
slaughtered by health care costs.
Lee Iacocca

The discipline of writing something down is the first step toward making it happen.
Lee Iacocca

The most successful businessman is the man who holds onto the old just as long as it is
good, and grabs the new just as soon as it is better.
Lee Iacocca

As I'd learned from McNamara, the discipline of writing something down is the first step
toward making it happen. In conversation, you can get away with all kinds of vagueness and
nonsense, often without even realizing it. But there's something about putting your thoughts
on paper that forces you to get down to specifics. That way, it's harder to deceive yourself -
or anybody else.
Lee Iacocca

We at Chrysler borrow money the old-fashioned way. We pay it back.
Lee Iacocca

There are times in everyone's life when something constructive is born out of adversity.
There are times when things seem so bad that you've got to grab your fate by the shoulders
and shake it.
Lee Iacocca

Name me a leader who has a better idea for homeland security than making us take off our
shoes in airports and throw away our shampoo.
Lee Iacocca

You can have brilliant ideas, but if you can't get them across, your ideas won't get you
anywhere.
Lee Iacocca

No matter what you've done for yourself or for humanity, if you can't look back on having
given love and attention to your own family, what have you really accomplished?
Lee Iacocca

With all the firings, we ended up stripping out several levels of management. We cut down
the number of people who needed to be involved in important decisions. Initially we did it out
of the sheer necessity to survive. But over time we found that running a large company with
fewer people actually made things easier. With hindsight it's clear that Chrysler had been
top-heavy, far beyond what was good for us. That's a lesson our competitors have yet to
learn - and I hope they never do!
Lee Iacocca

When the product is right, you don't have to be a great marketer.
Lee Iacocca

Americans are not going to accept second-class status in the world. Maybe some of our
leaders aren't too alarmed about our country's losing its ability to compete, but my mailbag
has convinced me that the American people won't stand for it.
Lee Iacocca

The week I was fired (by Henry Ford III), Walter Murphy, who had been my close associate
and executive director of the company's worldwide public relations staff for twenty years,
received a phone call from Henry in the middle of the night.
"Do you love Iacocca?" Henry wanted to know.
"Sure," said Walter.
"Then you're fired," said Henry.
Henry rescinded the order the next day, but it shows you how crazy he got.
Lee Iacocca

The trick is to make sure you don't die waiting for prosperity to come.
Lee Iacocca
 
I have always found that if I move with seventy-five percent or more of the facts that I
usually never regret it. It's the guys who wait to have everything perfect that drive you
crazy.
Lee Iacocca

I've had a terrific career, and this is the country that gave me the chance to do it. I seized
the opportunity, but I was no ninety-day wonder. It took me almost forty years of hard work.
People say to me: "You're a roaring success. How did you do it?" I go back to what my
parents taught me. Apply yourself. Get all the education you can, but then, by God, DO
something! Don't just stand there, make something happen. It isn't easy, but if you keep your
nose to the grindstone and work at it, it's amazing how in a free society you can become as
great as you want to be.
Lee Iacocca

Name me a leader who has a better idea for homeland security than making us take off our
shoes in airports and throw away our shampoo?
Lee Iacocca

When I read historical accounts of World War II and D-Day, I'm always struck by the same
thought: Eisenhower almost blew it because he kept vacillating. But finally he said: "No
matter what the weather looks like, we have to go ahead now. Waiting any longer could be
even more dangerous. So let's move it!" The same lesson applies to corporate life.
Lee Iacocca

We are continually faced by great opportunities brilliantly disguised as insoluable problems.
Lee Iacocca

The office of the president was the size of a grand hotel suite. I had my own bathroom. I
even had my own living quarters. As a senior Ford executive, I was served by white-coated
waiters who were on call all day. I once brought some relatives from Italy to see where I
worked, and they thought they had died and gone to heaven.
Lee Iacocca

Don't get mad. Get even.
Lee Iacocca

In my lifetime, I've had the privilege of living through some of America 's greatest moments.
I've also experienced some of our worst crises: The Great Depression, World War II, the
Korean War, the Kennedy Assassination, the Vietnam War, the 1970s oil crisis, and the
struggles of recent years culminating with 9/11. If I've learned one thing, it's this: You don't
get anywhere by standing on the sidelines waiting for somebody else to take action. Whether
it's building a better car or building a better future for our children, we all have a role to play.
Lee Iacocca

One of the things the government can't do is run anything. The only things our government
runs are the post office and the railroads, and both of them are bankrupt.
Lee Iacocca

My father always said: "Be careful about money. When you have five thousand, you'll want
ten. And when you have ten, you'll want twenty." He was right. No matter what you have,
it's never enough.
Lee Iacocca

Every business and product has risks. You can't get around it.
Lee Iacocca

I'm constantly amazed by the number of people who can't seem to control their own
schedules. Over the years, I've had many executives come to me and say with pride: "Boy,
last year I worked so hard that I didn't take any vacation." It's actually nothing to be proud
of. I always feel like responding: "You dummy. You mean to tell me that you can take
responsibility for an $80 million project and you can't plan two weeks out of the year to go
off with your family and have some fun?"
Lee Iacocca

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