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."
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: "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."
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:]
Oxford University Study: "Aristotle had ... an extrovert stance."
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: "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:]
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:]
[Describing his influence on Obama's policies:]
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."
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':]
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 icon.'"
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?"]
Dharmacarini Munisha: "She does not suffer fools gladly, and one of her colleagues describes her as a workaholic."
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: "Show me a good loser, and I'll show you a loser."
[Asked how much luck matters:]
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: "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 and singlemindedness."
New York Times: "Stalin was that rare combination: Both 'intellectual' and killer."
ENTJs in popular culture
Talk show host
Letterman: "Nothing, believe me, nothing is more satisfying to me personally than getting a great idea and then beating it to death."
Letterman: "It's hard to orchestrate anarchy every night."
Letterman: "There are responsibilities greater than individual feelings in life."
Letterman: "Emotionally I'm very immature."
Leslie Moonves: "He has one of the best work ethics of anybody I've ever been in business with. ... That's the way he's built."
Actor and filmmaker
Clooney: "Directing is really exciting. At the end of the day, it's more fun to be the painter than the paint."
Clooney: "No one wants to hear you complain."
[Julia Roberts: "You work ten times harder than I do."]
Entertainer, partner of Teller
Jillette: "[Juggling] is very much in line with my heart. ... Juggling is very, very straightforward; very, very black and white; you're manipulating objects, not people. And that's always appealed to me."
Jillette: "Everybody [should be] busted on their bullshit all the time because I think that's the way we get to truth. That is also what respect is. ... What we call 'tolerance' is often just condescending."
Jillette: "I never wanted to be a comedian. I never wanted to be on stage."
Smulders: "I've always been one of the guys."
[On being a model:]
Charlize Theron: "I love the feeling of being in charge."
Theron: "I am definitely attracted to characters that [are] tough, and you have to break through that exterior."
Theron: "[To be a model] wasn't ... satisfying for me because I like to say what's on my mind."
Theron: "I don't think I'm a natural performer."
[Asked if sexism among Hollywood screenwriters is to blame for the lack of nuanced roles for women:]
Paul Haggis: "She has this Kate Hepburn quality: One of the guys."
Woody Allen: "Charlize is a force of nature ... with crushing sex appeal."
Hepburn: "[Success comes from] finding out where you went wrong and correcting it."
Hepburn: "Each of us has to learn responsibility. ... Here we are. Live up to your potential."
Hepburn: "I have brains ... and a handy head of common sense."
[Her father:] "I can only compare her to a young bull about to charge."
Kenneth Tynan: "Her aggressiveness is that of the sun at high noon."
[Looking back on her roles:]
Anthony Hopkins: "[She was] tough [and] very formidable. She was opinionated about everything."
Leoni: "Acting doesn't feel good. It's not comfortable to feel all this stuff, it's not!"
Leoni: "I don't find glamour and clothing relevant."
Leoni: "[Casting directors have told me I am] too edgy, too tough, too tomboy, too strong."
Leoni: "[Woody Allen and I] have great chemistry."
New York Times: "She has a quietly forceful way of speaking, words marching out of her mouth in husky cadences that bring Katharine Hepburn to mind."
Adele: "I'm a big personality. I walk into a room, big and tall and loud."
Adele: "I was a thick-skinned girl from a very young age."
Adele: "'The Godfather' is my favorite film."
Adele: "I have absolutely no intention of going into acting or making perfumes. ... I will stick to what I am good at and not spread myself thin and become mediocre at everything I do."
Adele: "In my relationships I'm never very good at saying how I feel and talking about it, even if they are and they try and bring it out with me."
[Interviewer:] "When [I order a glass of white wine and] the waitress asks what kind and I hesitate for a moment, Adele jumps in with a funny/charming/controlling burst of impatience and orders for me."