After the loss of Arnold Palmer just over 48 hours earlier, the world lost another icon of entrepreneurship and leadership in Shimon Peres, the iconic Israeli statesman. Peres served twice as Israel's Prime Minister of Israel, twice as Interim Prime Minister, and also served as part of 12 cabinets over a political career spanning two-thirds of a century.
Politics aside, Peres' incredibly sharp mind meant that he was incredibly quotable, and many have pointed to his thoughts on leadership and strategy. Here are some of my favorites:
- For me, dreaming is simply being pragmatic.
- The most important thing in life is to dare. The most complicated thing in life is to be afraid. The smartest thing in the world is to try to be a moral person.
- Optimists and pessimists die the exact same death, but they live very different lives!
- You're as young as your dreams, not as old as your calendar.
- From my earliest youth, I have known that while one is obliged to plan with care the stages of one's journey, one is entitled to dream, and keep dreaming, of its destination.
On Spreading Ideas
The United States is the only power in history that became great by giving and not by taking. I think the crisis was when the United States had more money than ideas. Money doesn't produce money. Ideas produce money.
You can kill a thousand; you can bring an end to life; you cannot kill an idea.
- One of the things the United States does well is building coalitions. What the U.S. knows is that if you don't have a coalition with you, you will have a coalition against you.
- You don't make peace with friends. You make it with very unsavory enemies.
- It's better to be controversial for the right reasons, than to be popular for the wrong reasons.
- When you have two alternatives, the first thing you have to do is to look for the third that you didn't think about, that doesn't exist.
- In Israel, a land lacking in natural resources, we learned to appreciate our greatest national advantage: our minds. Through creativity and innovation, we transformed barren deserts into flourishing fields and pioneered new frontiers in science and technology.
- If a problem has no solution, it may not be a problem, but a fact - not to be solved, but to be coped with over time.
Even though I'm far from a politician (which we're all probably thankful for), I've always found Peres' words to be applicable to my everyday business pursuits. Which of the following can you apply to your business or initiative, starting today?