is perhaps our nation’s most recognizable business innovator. He was the father of the modern assembly line and creator of the Model T.
It turns out Mr. Ford was quite the pithy quote machine, like other great business leaders. His simple yet meaningful observations still have relevance today to your own enterprise.
Here are 10 of Henry Ford’s most quotable quotes, according to Forbes, and what they portend a century later:
- There is one rule for the industrialist and that is: make the best quality goods possible, paying the highest wages possible. This a particularly relevant quote as public debate centers on wages for large retail stores and popular electronics makers with large overseas workforces. A highly skilled and loyal workforce might cost a company more in the short-run but over time, that expertise and commitment to the company will pay for itself many times over.
- Don’t find fault, find a remedy. When hiring prospective employees, pay particular attention to attitude. All companies will face adversity. The more employees pull together and go forward instead of wallowing in blame, the better the results.
- Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently. Again, expect a bumpy road and don’t be slowed by mistakes. Adjust and make fewer mistakes going forward.
- Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t — you’re right. There is no substitute in a good attitude and it is a choice whether to have one. Ford recognized this.
- Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at 20 or 80. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. With America’s work force getting older and older, it pays to have young spirited people young and old. For older people, it takes focus to stay engaged in learning.
- You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do. Results trump resume. Ford got it.
- A business absolutely devoted to service will have only one worry about profits. They will be embarrassingly large. Those the least focused on money usually have the most money. Zero in on what’s important for your customers.
- You don’t have to hold a position in order to be a leader. Nobody is born at the top. Leadership is an attitude and a commitment to excellence.
- Quality means doing it right when no one is looking. Integrity can’t be beat. It is a skill every worker has within his or her power to control.
- There is no man living who isn’t capable of doing more than he thinks he can do.Companies and individuals that reach for the stars sometime get there. Those who don’t, seldom do.
Henry Ford’s influence today can still be felt through his simple and timeless wisdom.