July 4, 2013
Best CEO/Entrepreneur Quote Ever, By a Mile
I’ve seen and heard a lot of these. But perhaps it’s fitting that on Independence Day, I realized that this gem of a quote, not specifically about entrepreneurs or CEOs but very applicable to them, comes from President Theodore Roosevelt in his “Citizenship in a Republic” speech at the Sorbonne in Paris, April 23, 1910:
It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.
Amen, Brother Teddy. This quote is so good that it appears twice independently (once from me, once in a contributor’s sidebar) in my almost-ready-to-pre-order book, Startup CEO. In fact, let me quietly take this opportunity to start a bit of a hashtag movement around the topic at #startupceo. More to come on this next week!