Michael Korda

The fastest way to succeed is to look as if you're playing by somebody else's rules, while quietly playing by your own.

Michael Korda (born 8 October 1933) is a writer and novelist who was a longtime editor-in-chief of Simon & Schuster in New York City.

QuotesEdit

The biggest fool in the world is he who merely does his work supremely well, without attending to appearance.
Act impeccably! Perform every act as if it were the only thing in the world that mattered.
  • The fastest way to succeed is to look as if you're playing by somebody else's rules, while quietly playing by your own.
    • As quoted in Powered by Instinct : 5 Rules for Trusting Your Guts (2003) by Kathy Kolbe, p. 136
  • The biggest fool in the world is he who merely does his work supremely well, without attending to appearance.
    • As quoted in Quote Unquote (A Handbook of Quotations) (2005) by M. P. Singh, p. 141

Power : How To Get It, How To Use It (1976)Edit

Learn to use time, think of it as a friend, not an enemy. Don't waste it in going after things you don't want.
  • Act impeccably! Perform every act as if it were the only thing in the world that mattered.
  • Never reveal all of yourself to other people; hold back something in reserve so that people are never quite sure if they really know you.
  • Learn to use time, think of it as a friend, not an enemy. Don't waste it in going after things you don't want.
  • Learn to accept your mistakes. Don't be a perfectionist about everything.
  • Don't make waves, move smoothly without disturbing things.

Success! (1977)Edit

One way to keep momentum going is to have constantly greater goals.
Luck can often mean simply taking advantage of a situation at the right moment. It is possible to make your luck by being always prepared.
The more you can dream, the more you can do.
Your chances of success are directly proportional to the degree of pleasure you derive from what you do.
  • • It's O.K. to be ambitious.
    • It's O.K. to look out for Number One. …
    • It's O.K. to be a winner.
    And it's always O.K. to be rich.
    A word of caution: people will tell you that success can't buy you happiness. This is true enough, but success is the next best thing to happiness, and if you can't be happy as a success, it's very unlikely that you would find a deeper, truer happiness in failure.
    • p. 3
  • Success on any major scale requires you to accept responsibility. You have to assume all the problems, difficulties and doubts of other people, and to reflect back your capacity for decision-making and action, and for enduring without visible signs of worry or panic. In the final analysis, the one quality that all successful people have (and which is the most difficult one of all to learn or fake) is the ability to take on responsibility. It is easy to be responsible for things you control and are sure of; but to be successful you must make yourself responsible for the blunders of the people who work for you as well. Responsibility requires a highly developed ego and a good deal of courage, but it is ultimately the one test you cannot afford to fail. You must be willing to accept personal responsibility, for the success of your assignments, for the actions of the people who work for you and for the goals you have accepted or been given.
    • p. 14; often quoted in the form: Success on any major scale requires you to accept responsibility... in the final analysis, the one quality that all successful people have... is the ability to take on responsibility.
  • One way to keep momentum going is to have constantly greater goals.
    • p. 36
  • Luck can often mean simply taking advantage of a situation at the right moment. It is possible to make your luck by being always prepared.
    • p. 40
  • Remember: never walk away from failure. On the contrary, study it carefully — and imaginatively — for its hidden assets.
    • p. 119
  • The more you can dream, the more you can do.
    • p. 121
  • Your chances of success are directly proportional to the degree of pleasure you derive from what you do. If you are in a job you hate, face the fact squarely and get out. You may earn a good living, you may have a safe career, but you will never be a success. Find out what you enjoy doing, and your chances of succeeding will be dramatically better. We play the game every day, sometimes without even recognizing that we're doing it. We compete with other people, or other teams, or other companies, not only because it is essential to business survival, but because we frankly enjoy competition. It's fun to be in the game, and it's even more fun to win.
    • p. 145
  • The first step to success is to accept the consequences of knowing that you're right, when that is the case. It is not so much a matter of being assertive, as of giving up the comfortable cocoon of apologies and guilt in which most of us have chosen to live.
    • p. 240
  • The freedom to fail is vital if you're going to succeed. Most successful people fail from time to time, and it is a measure of their strength that failure merely propels them into some new attempt at success.
    • p. 240
  • In America, success has always been easy to measure. It is the distance between one's origins and one's final achievement that matters.
    • p. 272; often quoted as "Success has always been easy to measure. It is the distance between one's origins and one's final achievement."
  • The American system demands success, and in order to succeed we must first believe that we can. Yet our society, with its intolerance of failure and poverty, traps millions of people in positions where any kind of success seems impossible to contemplate, and in which failure itself is a kind of passive rebellion against their own misery and the social system which created it in the first place.
    To succeed it is necessary to accept the world as it is and rise above it.
    • p. 284; a portion of this — "In order to succeed we must first believe that we can" — has become widely attributed to Nikos Kazantzakis on the internet, but without citation of any sources.


DisputedEdit

  • If you don't believe in yourself, then who will believe in you?
    • Attributed to Korda in The Power of Choice (2007) by Joyce Guccione, p. 52, the earliest occurrence of such phrasing yet located is by Martin Lawrence, in "What Up?" in Upscale : The Successful Black Magazine (February 1993), p. 79: "If you don't believe in yourself, then who will believe in you? The next man's way of getting there might not necessarily work for me, so I have to create my own ways of getting there."

External linksEdit

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Last modified on 10 April 2014, at 18:37