The Odd, Riveting and Inspiring Things that People have said (and that have Stuck with Me)

As engineering director and general visionary at CivilGEO I can easily get consumed with the details of running a business. Preoccupation with team management, product design and sales often makes me lose sight of the bigger picture and the WHY behind what I do. I know others have been in my position—stuck in the mire of the day to day—and would probably welcome some inspiration. Here are twenty insightful quotes I have collected over the years from people whose principles, values and general life histories I admire.

On Managing Challenges, Personal and Otherwise

Insightful quotes on managing challenges

  1. A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty. Winston S. Churchill
  2. All the adversity I’ve had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me…. You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you. Walt Disney
  3. Tough times never last, but tough people do. Robert H. Schuller
  4. There’s nothing like biting off more than you can chew, and then chewing anyway. Mark Burnett
  5. Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly. Robert F. Kennedy

On Growing a Business

Insightful quotes on growing a business

  1. The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it. Theodore Roosevelt
  2. I always invest my own money in the companies that I create. I don’t believe in the whole thing of just using other people’s money. I don’t think that’s right. I’m not going to ask other people to invest in something if I’m not prepared to do so myself. Elon Musk
  3. Businesses often forget about the culture and ultimately they suffer for it, because they cannot deliver good service from unhappy employees. Tony Hsieh
  4. Failure is an option here. If things are not failing, you are not innovating enough. Elon Musk
  5. Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower. Steve Jobs

On Leadership

insightful quotes on leadership

  1. Great leaders are almost always great simplifiers, who can cut through argument, debate, and doubt to offer a solution everybody can understand. General Colin Powell
  2. My job is not to be easy on people. My job is to take these great people we have and to push them and make them even better. Steve Jobs
  3. What you do has far greater impact than what you say. Stephen Covey
  4. Earn your leadership every day. Michael Jordan
  5. To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart. Eleanor Roosevelt

On Life

insightful quotes on life

  1. You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else. Albert Einstein
  2. In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. Thomas Jefferson
  3. Forget yesterday—it has already forgotten you. Don’t sweat tomorrow—you haven’t even met. Instead, open your eyes and your heart to a truly precious gift—today. Steve Maraboli
  4. Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up. Thomas A. Edison
  5. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. Aristotle

About the Author Chris Maeder

Chris Maeder

Chris is an experienced civil engineering and software technology leader, with over 30 years industry experience. With proven expertise in global software development, he has built engineering teams that adapt quickly, focus on what’s important and, most importantly, deliver. He is a licensed professional civil engineer with extensive experience in water resource engineering. He has performed and supervised engineering projects in urban stormwater drainage, transportation and roadway drainage, storm sewer design, detention pond design, stormwater quality, green infrastructure, watershed management planning, wastewater sewers, water distribution networks, pump stations, FEMA flood studies, bridge and culvert design, bridge scour and armoring, dam failure analysis, seepage and groundwater modeling, and environmental permits.