General and emperor of France
Bonaparte: "An empty throne always tempts me."
Bonaparte: "Ambition is never in a greater hurry than I. It merely keeps pace with my way of thinking."
Bonaparte: "Men are moved by two levers only: Fear and self-interest."
Bonaparte: "Glory is fleeting, but obscurity is forever."
Karl Marx: "[Napoleon] swept away everywhere
the establishments of feudality. ... [He was] Caesar himself."
Arthur Wellington: "His presence on the field makes the difference of forty thousand men."
Steven Pinker: "[Napoleon deployed] every available resource to
inflict all-out defeats on [his] enemies."
General and dictator of Rome, adoptive father of Augustus
Caesar: "I would rather be first in a village than second in Rome."
[Letter to the Senate about his progress on campaign:]
Caesar: "Veni, vidi, vici."
("I came, I saw, I conquered.")
Caesar: "If you must break the law, do it to seize power: In all other cases observe it."
Caesar: "No one is so brave that he is not disturbed by some unexpected twist in his plan."
Caesar: "If I fail it is only because I have too much pride and ambition."
Caesar: "He conquers twice, who shows mercy to the conquered."
Caesar's notion of mercy is the same as that of Aristotle:
"Use pardon as an instrument of power."
U.K. Prime Minister - "The Iron Lady"
Thatcher: "When you fight - fight to win."
Thatcher: "To wear your heart on your sleeve isn't a very good plan; you should wear it
inside, where it functions best."
Thatcher: "I favour an approach to statecraft that embraces principles, as long as it is not stifled
by them; and I prefer such principles to be accompanied by steel."
Thatcher: "[The problem with socialists is that] they always run out of other people's money."
Brian Walden: "She was as tough as they come, and anything that required guts and will she could do."
Keirsey & son identify Thatcher as ENTJ.
The American Counseling Association identifies Thatcher as ENTJ.
The British Association for Psychological Type identifies Thatcher as ENTJ.
More quotes on Thatcher
Greek philosopher, student of Plato,
mentor of Alexander
Aristotle: "How many a dispute could have been deflated into a single paragraph if the
disputants had dared to define their terms!"
Aristotle: "With regard to excellence, it is not enough to know, but we must try to
have and use it."
[When Alexander asked how to conquer:]
Aristotle: "Make your hurry bristle with deliberateness [and] use pardon as an
instrument of power. Then I guarantee you many subjects."
Oxford University Study: "Aristotle had ... an extrovert stance."
Greg Mogenson: "Jung is to Freud
as Plato is to Aristotle."
U.S. Secretary of the Treasury and founding father
Hamilton: "A nation that prefers disgrace to danger is prepared for a master and deserves one."
Hamilton: "Power over a man's salary is power over his will."
Hamilton: "Men love power."
[Thomas Jefferson: "The three greatest men in history are Bacon,
Newton and Locke."]
Hamilton: "The greatest man who ever lived was Julius Caesar."
Thomas Jefferson: "He is really a colossus ... Even without the
support of others, he is a host in himself."
Joseph J. Ellis: "Hamilton possessed all the confidence of a military leader accustomed to command."
Chess champion and political activist, mentor of Magnus Carlsen
Kasparov: "My nature is that I have to excite myself with a big challenge."
Kasparov: "My ... style requires tremendous energy and labor."
Kasparov: "I used to attack because it was the only thing I knew. Now I attack because
I know it works best."
Kasparov: "I know that there is aways a time and place for diplomacy, but I also
know that you win more often when you negotiate from a position of strength."
[Asked which military achievements impressed him the most:]
Kasparov: "The victories of Hannibal and Napoleon."
Founder of Microsoft along with Paul Allen
Gates: "Microsoft has had clear competitors in the past. It's a good thing we have museums to document that."
Paul Allen: "It was tough not to back off against Bill, with his intellect
and foot tapping and body rocking; he came on like a force of nature. The irony was that Bill liked it when someone pushed
back and drilled down with him to get to the best solution."
Des Dearlove: "Gates [is] a fierce competitor. In everything he does, he [is] driven to win."
Stewart Aisop: "Gates believes everything can be ... reduced to essentials and
rearranged into a logical sequence that will achieve a particular goal."
Sagan: "Valid criticism is doing you a favor."
Sagan: "[We should not be] willing to tolerate ignorance and complacency."
Sagan: "We live in a society absolutely dependent on science and technology and yet have cleverly
arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. That's a clear prescription for disaster."
Sagan: "It is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion,
however satisfying and reassuring."
Ronald Blum: "[He was] very intolerant of anything irrational."
[His first wife:] "He never listened to anything on any kind of emotional level. ... He
was ... untouched and untouchable."
Campaign strategist and policy advisor (R)
Rove: "[A campaign that is run by me] has a strategic plan, discipline, and a bias for action.
It is structured to keep momentum."
Rove: "[I] set goals and repeatedly check performance against those goals."
Rove: "[I] acknowledge and directly confront critics."
Rove: "I [want] a bridge from the world of ideas to the world of practical politics."
Rove: "[I have always wanted to have] better research and more of it than
any of [my] competitors."
Rove: "Staying on offense [is] important and ... once you [are] on the defense, it [is] hard
to regain control."
Rove identifies himself as an extrovert.
U.S. Vice President (R)
Cheney: "Principle is okay up to a certain point, but principle doesn't do any good if you lose."
Cheney: "I didn't [become Vice President] out of a desire to be popular. You've got
to be willing in this business to take the slings and arrows when they come your way. What's important is to
do ... what needs to be done."
Steven Johnson: "It has been said that with Dick Cheney's failing heart,
George W. Bush is just a heartbeat away from the presidency."
U.S. Chief of Staff (D) at the White House
Emanuel: "Obama and I share ... a sense of impatience to get things done."
[When asked why he took the job:]
Emanuel: "The place where you can most impact people's lives and leave your thumbprint ... is [from] the White House."
[Describing his influence on Obama's policies:]
Emanuel: "... of course it's his presidency, et cetera..."
U.S. Vice President (D)
Gore: "There is in all human beings a natural instinct for power."
Gore: "Modern politics seems to require and reward some capacities that I don't
think I have ... such as a tolerance for ... spin rather than an honest discussion of substance.
... Apparently, it comes easily for some people, but not for me."
Gore: "Too many of the world's leaders are ... decided only to be undecided."
Washington Post: "[While the young] Gore was a bit reserved, he was [not] an
introvert ... and ... had [an] enthusiasm for ... competitions of all sorts."
Bill Gates: "Al Gore's book 'Our Choice'
is a great book."
In 1964, Gore's IQ was tested to be 134.
U.S. Secretary of State (D)
Albright: "[I am] a person with strong opinions [and] a tendency to express them."
Albright: "[I] have the capability of telling it like it is."
Albright: "There is no doubt [that] if you aim high enough, you will ... meet resistance. ...
But no matter how tough the opposition may seem: Have courage - and persevere."
Albright: "I [do] not share the popular distaste for politicians. People in politics ... put their
egos on the line, work hard, take risks, and the best of them accomplish things of real and lasting value."
Albright: "I'm not saying that the whole world would be a lot better if it were run by women.
If you think that, you've forgotten high school."
U.S. Speaker of the House (D)
Pelosi: "Anybody who's ever dealt with me knows not to mess with me."
Pelosi: "[Politics] is not for the faint of heart."
Pelosi: "Bipartisanship is nice, but it cannot be a substitute for action, not having
it cannot prevent us from going forward."
Pelosi: "My biggest fight has been between those who wanted to do something incremental
and those [like me] who wanted to do something comprehensive."
Pelosi: "I say to my colleagues: 'Never confine your best work ... to what will
be signed by George W. Bush because that is too limiting a factor.'"
[On her cameo on the sitcom '30 Rock':]
Pelosi: "I would do almost anything Tina Fey asks me to do."
Aung San Suu Kyi
Politician and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize
Suu Kyi: "You should think of me as a political party leader. I was a politician before I was a 'democracy
Suu Kyi: "As the leader of a party you have to aspire to the leadership of the nation, because that
means your party will have won, and every party wants to win."
Suu Kyi: "I like intelligent people."
Suu Kyi: "Truth is a powerful weapon."
Suu Kyi: "Melodrama is very silly."
[Interviewer: "Can you imagine yourself as the leader of Burma having to use violence against
humans, to use force to kill people?"]
Suu Kyi: "It's an occupational hazard."
Dharmacarini Munisha: "She does not suffer fools gladly, and one of her colleagues describes her as a workaholic."
Founder of PayPal along with Elon Musk, student of Rene Girard
Thiel: "[Life] is like a never-ending tournament. ... You have to win the tournament.
You have to be realistic about how to win the tournament."
[Asked if he prefers nuclear power to renewable energy:]
Thiel: "I prefer things that work."
Thiel: "Show me a good loser, and I'll show you a loser."
[Asked how much luck matters:]
Thiel: "[If] you think of the world as consisting of lottery tickets, you have set yourself
up to lose. ... It's really a kind of laziness where people don't want to think as hard about things as they should."
Thiel: "Every myth on this planet tells us the purpose of life is death, and I don't think
that's true. I think the purpose of life is life."
Conservative radio talk show host
Limbaugh: "The only reason people are willing to pay me [$400 million] is because
the people who invest in me get results beyond their expectations."
Limbaugh: "I don't stop and think about what I've accomplished
because there's always tomorrow."
Limbaugh: "Compassion is no substitute for justice."
[When asked if he wanted Obama to succeed as president:]
Limbaugh: "No. ... Why would I want socialism to succeed?"
Limbaugh: "I admire Sarah Palin's backbone.
... There are not many politicians who've been through what she's been put through and are still
able to smile. ... This woman is pretty tough."
Management theorist and CEO of General Electric
Welch: "I am brutally honest and outspoken. I am impatient and, to many, abrasive."
Welch: "The world isn't that complex!"
Welch: "Can you say yes or no? Or are you one of those people that always wants a
little more data? A 'maybe' person. ... I hate those people!"
Welch: "Self-confident people aren't afraid to
have their views challenged. They relish the intellectual combat."
Larry Ellison: "I greatly admire [Jack Welch's] utterly ruthlessly focused management.
[At GE] they make decisions; they are incredibly disciplined and focused."
Keirsey & son identify Welch as ENTJ.
Dictator of the Soviet Union, student of Lenin
Stalin: "[My] principles triumph; they do not 'compromise.'"
Stalin: "Ivan the Terrible would execute someone and then spend a long time repenting and
praying. He let God get in his way in this matter. He ought to have been more decisive!"
Stalin: "[I have made it so that] in the Soviet army, it takes more courage to retreat than to advance."
Razhden Arsenidze: "He spoke with cruelty [and] radiated energy, his words imbued with a raw power
New York Times: "Stalin was that rare combination: Both 'intellectual' and killer."