John W. Gardner Quotes

Whoever I am, or whatever I am doing, some kind of excellence is within my reach.

John W. Gardner

True happiness involves the full use of one's power and talents.

John W. Gardner

For every talent that poverty has stimulated it has blighted a hundred.

John W. Gardner

The society which scorns excellence in plumbing because plumbing is a humble activity, and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because philosophy is an exalted activity, will have neither good plumbing nor good philosophy. Neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water.

John W. Gardner

The hallmark of our age is the tension between aspirations and sluggish institutions.

John W. Gardner

Political extremism involves two prime ingredients: an excessively simple diagnosis of the world's ills, and a conviction that there are identifiable villains back of it all.

John W. Gardner

The idea for which this nation stands will not survive if the highest goal free man can set themselves is an amiable mediocrity. Excellence implies striving for the highest standards in every phase of life.

John W. Gardner

We pay a heavy price for our fear of failure. It is a powerful obstacle to growth. It assures the progressive narrowing of the personality and prevents exploration and experimentation. There is no learning without some difficulty and fumbling. If you.

John W. Gardner

Excellence is doing ordinary things extraordinarily well.

John W. Gardner

If you have some respect for people as they are, you can be more effective in helping them to become better than they are.

John W. Gardner

Self-pity is easily the most destructive of the nonpharmaceutical narcotics; it is addictive, gives momentary pleasure and separates the victim from reality.

John W. Gardner

I think that all human systems require continuous renewal. They rigidify. They get stiff in the joints. They forget what they cared about. The forces against it are nostalgia and the enormous appeal of having things the way they have always been, appeals to a supposedly happy past. But we've got to move on.

John W. Gardner

Leaders come in many forms, with many styles and diverse qualities. There are quiet leaders and leaders one can hear in the next county. Some find strength in eloquence, some in judgment, some in courage.

John W. Gardner

We pay a heavy price for our fear of failure. It is a powerful obstacle to growth. It assures the progressive narrowing of the personality and prevents exploration and experimentation. There is no learning without some difficulty and fumbling.

John W. Gardner

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