30 Priceless Rosabeth Moss Kanter Quotes

Rosabeth Moss Kanter is a Professor of Business at Harvard Business School and sits as the Director and Chair of the Harvard University Advanced Leadership Initiative. Recognized for her work as a sociologist and co-founder of the consulting firm Goodmeasure Inc., here is a look at some of the most recognized Rosabeth Moss Kanter quotes to know.

“A great idea is not enough.”

“A vision is not just a picture of what could be; it is an appeal to our better selves, a call to become something more.”

“Ambivalence about family responsibilities has a long history in the corporate world.”

“Change is disturbing when it is done to us, exhilarating when it is done by us.”

“Cheap labor is not going to be the way we compete in the United States. It’s going to be brain power.”

“Companies used to be able to function with autocratic bosses. We don’t live in that world anymore.”


“Confidence is contagious, but so is failure. Even the Yankees will lose if you persuade them that they will.”

“Confidence isn’t optimism or pessimism, and it’s not a character attribute. It’s the expectation of a positive outcome.”

“Friendly people are caring people, eager to provide encouragement and support when needed most.”

“I see the level of sophistication and knowledge about business growing dramatically. Several decades ago, only a few companies thought about international business.”

“It’s almost impossible to break a losing streak on your own.”

“I’ve been looking at companies that are on a positive path vs. a negative path and I’ve come to use the language of sports, winning streaks and losing streaks.”

“I’ve found that small wins, small projects, small differences often make huge differences.”

“Leaders must pick causes they won’t abandon easily, remain committed despite setbacks, and communicate their big ideas over and over again in every encounter.”

“Leaders must wake people out of inertia. They must get people excited about something they’ve never seen before, something that does not yet exist.”

“Mindless habitual behavior is the enemy of innovation.”

“My creative process involves that old saying: It’s 90% perspiration and only 10% inspiration.”

“Nations need to understand their own strengths and weaknesses, and India’s tradition of dissent and democratic debate is a positive aspect.”

“‘No’ is always an easier stand than ‘Yes.’”

“One of the symptoms of a losing streak is a turnover of top executives. It’s a revolving door.”

“Organizational structures that allow divisions and departments to own their turf and people with long tenure to take root creates the same hardened group distinctions as Congressional redistricting to produce homogeneous voting blocs.”

“Over the years, as an industry, our train accident rate is down 80 percent; our personal injury rate is down 85 percent; and we’re doing this with about one-third of the workforce we had in 1980.”

“Power is the ability to get things done.”

“The creative process for me doesn’t work as well without an image of an audience in mind.”

“The goal of winning is not losing two times in a row.”

“The Martha Stewart trial makes clear how far women have risen in the business world. America can be proud of our equal-opportunity prosecution and conviction.”

“Throughout human history, people have developed strong loyalties to traditions, rituals, and symbols.”

“To stay ahead, always have your next idea waiting in the wings.”

“Too many people let others stand in their way and don’t go back for one more try.”

“When you fail at something, the best thing to do is think back to your successes, and try to replicate whatever you did to make them happen.”

Here is a look at the six key ways to lead positive change in the power of presence to the power of voice.

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