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What Happened?

I am not a great fan of workplace motivational ’sayings’ and quotations but I quite like the following which I spotted on the club noticeboard at a local swimming pool.
The notice said that there are:
  • those who make things happen
  • those who watch what happens, and:
  • those who wonder what happened.

I have traced the quote to the late Mary Kay Ash, an American businesswoman and founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics.

The quotation is particularly apt when considering leadership styles, of course, and it goes without saying that a very necessary leadership quality will be to make things happen rather than be passive. I also suspect those leaders who watch what happens all too quickly find themselves in the ‘wonder what happened’ category.

I would like to add a fourth bullet point to Mary Kay Ash’s three. In my experience, there are those at all levels in an organization but all too often in middle and senior management positions who criticize what happens as others strive to act or implement change.

Not acting yourself but expending all your energy criticizing those who do. Now that really is a serious fault. Don’t do it!


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